A portal suggests arriving at a new place. Windows and corridors are invitations to possibility. In this pathway leading into the Shinto shrine in Kyoto, Japan, there is a sense of passing from the secular to the spiritual world. The arresting umber-orange color of the corridor is like a flame: you can’t look away from its vibrant tone and, in that moment of pause, you are drawn into a contemplative space.
On the day I visited this ancient city and passed within these torii gates, the sounds were sacred and simple: quiet footsteps, the breeze in trees outside of the corridor, my breath as I inhaled and exhaled. There is room in that bodily moment of awareness for peace, for going inward to either investigate or silence one’s inner voices. I was intrigued by the way this tiny space held the grandeur of awe. It was not a Mount Everest moment, but was equally precious.
The woman you see centered in this pathway was an intentional compositional choice I made. Seeking inner centeredness now, years later, I remember to be quiet, silence the chatter, walk with a steady pace, and drop the thoughts that place themselves as obstructions to awareness of the divinity of being alive. If I can but hold myself in the simple miracle of my body, I will revel in breathe, pulse, warmth and cooling, soft sound, and the brilliance of orange.