Saturday, September 30, 2006

Quote to help with customers buying furniture

This week, Furniture World features Cathy Finney’s 2002 article about satisfying customers emotionally during furniture purchases, "Persuading Customers To Buy Isn't Logical." Finney quotes Thomas Moore to support her approach:
"The tragedy of September 11th has us all cleaning our houses physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our families, our homes, and even our spirituality have all taken on new meaning. Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, makes the connection between spirituality and caring for the home. To quote Mr. Moore, "How you treat the space around you affects your mental and spiritual health."
Our customers are "cleaning house" and putting their priorities in order. September 11th was a wake up call reminding them of what’s really important. Home is where the heart is and they are going back there. They have gone from cocooning, to nesting, to burrowing. They are digging in. The role of furniture in turning a house into a home has never been more important."
Furniture World describes itself as the business solutions magazine for home furnishings retailers.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Writer explores features of male mid-life crises

For Best Life Magazine, while considering "How to Have a Mid-Life Crisis: Sometimes a man has to lose his bearings to find his way", Hugh O’Neill quotes Thomas Moore and other writers to help readers accept the aging process:
"Our wounds are our uniqueness. Remember Tolstoy's wisdom that "all happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." The psychotherapist Thomas Moore argues in his book Care of the Soul, "Soul power may emerge from failure, depression, and loss." To deny our dark feelings is to cut ourselves off from what he calls "the gifts of depression." He's not recommending the pall of diagnosable depression but simply saying that a Rotarian, sunny-side-up persona is false and traps us in a limiting innocence. "The sadness of growing old is part of becoming an individual," he writes. 'Melancholy thoughts carve out an interior space where wisdom can take up residence.'"

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Creating visceral art in a local neighbourhood

Today, the Toronto Star published Murray Whyte’s "Homage to a man’s faux life". He reports that in the front yard of a house in his neighbourhood, a sign read "Municipal Archives: Legacy Assessment, Joseph Wagenbach." In the "field office" tent on the driveway, a man in a lab coat told Whyte: "Mr. Wagenbach, the 70-something resident, had suffered a stroke and was in long-term care. His home was being assessed for 'historic and cultural value.'"

Whyte signed up for one of the tours offered through Joseph’s house, "Across the threshold lay an interior nightmarescape so intensely disturbing and captivating that it was hard to parse my own reaction."

Whyte continues, "Joseph, a German immigrant who lived in seclusion, had spent decades creating rough sculptures of animal figures — cats, rabbits, skinned and whole — in concrete, plaster and molten wax. His windows were covered in newspaper from the 1970s, keeping him buffered from the outside world as he churned out his dark creations in an apparent effort to exorcise his demons. They filled every corner of his tiny home. One giant, amorphous wax figure, with the recognizable cast of a human foot poking out the top, hung from an industrial hook in the kitchen like a side of beef. A column of ghostly grey wax rose from floor to ceiling, the heads of infant dolls embedded inside. Anxiety, sorrow, outrage, fear all swirled in an incoherent wash of visceral emotion. What happened to this man? And what right did I have to be here, in his private world? At the same time, I needed to know more."

Whyte discovers that Iris Haussler, "the project’s senior archivist" is really a conceptual artist from Germany, staging an elaborate deception for neighbours signing up to tour Joseph’s house. According to Whyte, Haussler’s art installation is a "love letter" to Toronto. The reporter says, "Joseph's house gave us, as neighbours, a something to share, and a reason to go beyond a polite nod in passing. [Haussler] also tapped into a collective need to believe: the urge to feel that the city we live in is more than brick walls, drawn curtains and locked doors. But she also gave us something more significant: the chance to feel before we think."

Local photographer and curator, Marcus Schubert said, "At Joseph's house, you walk into something that is pure, that is genuine. . .What Iris has done is she has offered to the public the experience of becoming innocent again." Tours will continue through November, despite the rouse’s revelation. Whyte says, "For Amy Lavender Harris, a professor of geography at York [University], it may not matter. Harris knew the truth since the project's inception, but on her first tour through it, 'my suspension of disbelief was so complete, I started crying. . .There's a truth in it that allows you to live within the story.'"

Not everyone accepts the deception. To counter Haussler’s concern that the house may be pelted with eggs and tomatoes, Whyte concludes, "It should be garlanded in flowers, a thank-you from a community who, for a time, at least, she allowed to gawk in grateful amazement, and embrace wonder in the midst of our chilly urban lives."

More about city culture:
Reading Toronto
Imagining Toronto

Friday, September 08, 2006

Soul mates not limited to romantic liaisons

Joseph Danladi Elvis Bot, in an American Chronicle piece dated September 5, 2006, talks about cultural associations with
finding a soul mate
: "How do you know this is your soul mate? Some say you recognize this someone with such an intense and immediate sense of intimacy that the connection is very powerful."

Bot continues, "We all share a deep, primal inner longing for a sense of perfect union that has taken on the label "soul mate" in recent years. This driving "romantic" urge has been examined from all kinds of perspectives. But I prefer this simple explanation by Thomas Moore.
'A soul mate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communication and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace. This kind of relationship is so important to the soul that many have said there is nothing more precious in life.'"
However, Bot could have acknowledged that Moore doesn’t limit his observations about soul mates to the romantic realm, and that he has suggested many different types of relationships may be the basis for mating souls.

Owned by Ultio LLC, California-based American Chronicle is an online magazine for national, international, state, local, entertainment, sports, and government news.