Saturday, 25 September 2010

north south east & west (aka south of south)

South of South, Bare Island, La Perouse

Up until recently I hadn't taken notice of directional aspects, or positions.  I mean, I always knew about directions and their significance to heat and light; that north-facing equals premium sun, south-facing means no direct sunlight, east-facing welcomes the morning sun up to the midday hours, whilst west takes in the afternoon rays.  It's only because I've purchased my first bit of real-estate that I've come to obsess about directions and their significance to me.

My unit faces south-west.  Most of it faces south with a slight easterly slant, whilst one room - the bedroom - faces west with a slight southerly slant.  I must say, I like it, and am very glad I bought into a west-facer.  In my instance I find that the southerly aspect works well because I'm facing a white building that reflects its light into my apartment.  So for the most part I tend to take in a lot of light even though most of my windows are shielded from the sun.  In the summer months there'll be the duo bonus of staying cool while taking in a good degree of light.

I like south.  South is honest, cool, equable, and icily dispassionate as it casts a spell over its Antarctic, south-pole, purview.  South is like Saturn in the Southern Hemisphere, as North is the Northern Hemisphere's Saturn.  Saturn is a task-master, you have to earn your sunlight within.  There's no easy light cast on you.  You have to allow the light come to you, from within, because in the external world there's always the intimation that the sun is nearby, over your shoulder almost, yet never actually touching you directly the way that the northern sun will.

East is my least favourite direction.  I find that East provides much promise with its lashings of morning sun, but then leaves the afternoon dark and barren, with a feeling of closed-inness.  There's even less sun in the afternoon if you face east than if you face south as the south tends to be closer to the west's rays in the afternoon, even if these rays aren't directly facing.  If you're overlooking the sea, then fair enough, having a 24-hour sea-view is worth not having afternoon sunlight.  And if you prefer morning sun to afternoon sun then east-facing vistas are the answer.

I prefer afternoon sun.  I prefer west-facing.  I don't care how dark the place is in the morning, my preference is to see that sun set in the afternoon.  The feeling of facing west is one of end-of-day expanse.  The place feels bigger with a greater sense of space or dimension.  Easterly facing afternoons where the place gets all dark, I don't like.

Nevertheless I'd have to say the optimal aspect is north-east, with a slight westerly slant on the north-facing side.  North-east will take in morning sun and the afternoon westerly sun without the disadvantage of heating up the place too markedly.

South-west, my place's aspect, comes in second.  With south-west you take in the afternoon sun but the place is left feeling temperate, without the what could be relentless 'overdose' of sun you could take in if you take up a north-west aspect.

South-east is my least favourite aspect.  These places are more susceptible to mould and mildew than all other aspects.  If you're a morning person and like to be up to raise all the curtains at 6am then you could get the place dry by midday if it's a warm sunny day.  But the problem with south-east is that it will be dark after midday, and stay that way until the sun goes down, so it's quite depressing in my view.

East is the master of promise, of the dawning of the light before its final departure halfway through the day.  The lesson of East is to keep the purity and promise of dawning light in those periods of darkness and interminability.  Carry the flame of light within always for the sun will always dawn again to bring its glorious reassurance.

North is the giver, the heaven, the ideal.  You face the sun all day.  But you can have too much of a good thing.  There are times when you need to find the "cool" of yourself, the south of yourself.   When you face north you are like the camel trying to go through the eye of the needle, life can be too easy.  Practically, too, there are times where you just wish to escape the presence of the sun, the instinctive natural impulse to find the "cool" of yourself, the south of yourself.

South is the constant purveyor of the purity of truth within.  At its ideal, south is icy, cold, white, and represents infinitesimal purity.  (Just as north does in the Northern Hemisphere).  South open us up to the dimensions within our being that are more true and real, beyond our daily surface projections.   We need to hold to the "south" of ourselves as we're craving the reassuring surface consciousness of north.  South is a wonderful teacher for us.

West is the frontier, giving us promise of further worlds and possibilities that linger in the air as the sun sinks over the horizon.  West is reassuring and revivifying in its late afternoon blossoms of sunlight, but can provoke greed and distraction in those who crave permanent "west" in their being.  I love facing the west.

Of course, all aspects merge into the one complete whole, for all directions take us back to point of where we started.  All is circular.  That's the miracle of life, again, representing oneness and connectedness in the universe.

Paul Hewson shooting star

i'm in the sunshine A mate of mine produces a monthly songwriter newsletter which goes out to a hundred or so mainly Sydney-based...