Doorways to Wholeness

24 Feb 2021 (Day 13 of CNY)

“May your paths be smooth,” says the chinese blessing. These red temple door panels are more than 100 years old. My brother and I used to take turns to lock up the doors when the temple visiting hours ended.

I love taking pictures with doors and gates. They are symbols of invitation and transition.

Many years ago in a cab turning into Clementi Ave 6 on my way to work, I spotted a homeless dog lingering at the back gate of Park West Condominium.

I saw much longing in the way the animal tilted his/her head at the slip gate, as if hoping for someone to open it to let him/her in. I might be projecting my own need to belong on the dog. But till this day I continue to send prayers of comfort to the dog whenever my cab exits at Ave 6.

For as long as I remember, I rarely enter or exit a doorway mindlessly. In my childhood, like many kids, I could sense energy at doorways. I was a fairly sociable kid, but there were instances I felt great unease & reluctance to enter the homes of perfectly fine people.

“May you meet Happiness when you exit this door,” the chinese blessing says.

The only doorways I could enter with ease then were the ones leading into temples. I took and still take great delight in lifting one leg after another to cross over the raised temple threshold (门槛)that separates the secular world from the spiritual world.

Perhaps in sacred spaces of worship at some temples, churches and mosques, I feel complete as I am.

A photograph that captures a moment between 20 Chinese New Years for my young cousin and I. She has taken on the duty of photographing CNY moments ever since she acquired her own camera.

To be able to stand at the temple doors of my childhood year after year for 50 plus years, and feel its centering energy calling back all the fragments of my life is a blessing I’ve never taken for granted.

So may I take this chance to wish all friends and sentient beings, their very own special doors to wholeness & healing. 🙏

This picture of my cousin and I is very special to me because the photographer is my brother’s son. When my nephew was born, my sister-in-law invited me to name their child. That was 23 years ago. And this is the very door where my brother (the photographer’s dad) and I played at in our childhood. 😊

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