Emma noticed last week that I like to photograph doors and windows. She thought I must have quite a collection of door/window photos. I went through my computer files to see – over 7000 pictures in iPhoto! I am posting a few of them here:
A favorite place for door and window contemplation is Ayuwang Temple 阿育王寺, on the outskirts of Beilun – a short taxi ride away from our home. This temple was first constructed in AD 300 and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times since. It is a large, working temple. One time we went and it seemed like the monks (men and women) were having ‘family day’ with relatives arriving with food, taking pictures and looking proud of their family’s monk. All monks shave their heads and wear special clothes made with no animal products.
I think on the left hand side it says 逍客止步 Traveler Stop – forbidden entry. I spend time deciphering characters on nciku.com or asking my Chinese friends “what does it say?” I am illiterate here and I do not like the feeling! I now have a clue as to the pain of illiteracy at home or anywhere.
This isn’t really a door, more of a passageway. They are all over the temple – beautiful and mysterious. Sometimes the monks run down the passageways when they appear to be late for temple service. There is a particular slap slap sound to their shoes on the stone walkways.
Windows sometimes have bars, lattice work or both. This window had piles of unburned incense on the sill. I wondered what happened to the piles and piles of incense given in offering. Some people burn their offerings and pray, others leave their offering on a table in front of the Buddha. Lovely colors.
I like watching new construction in China’s temples, because they use many of the same old tools, but are also putting in wiring and plumbing so the monks can have some comforts of present day life. I believe the tool on the right is a planer. Perhaps my cousin Aaron the cool tool guy can enlighten me! 🙂
More doors and windows from other sites next time!