As I return to the frenetic energy of the city and the ordinary stress of work and deadlines, I try to remind myself of this moment. This is the stone torii gate on the beach of Naoshima Island, Japan, and it symbolizes the transition from the mundane to the sacred. With it, came the sound of the waves coming ashore, coupled with extended periods of silence. I’ve seen many torii gates in Japan, but when I saw this one I felt like I was about to enter a different world, and in a way, by coming here, I did. A world of deep reflection, thought, and time for myself… a sort of coming back to myself by leaving myself, which is a concept I’ve been trying to decipher more in my head. Where, by leaving and going off to the other side of the world, you, in fact, come back closer to yourself. Dare I say, your “true self”. Absent of all the distractions, the job titles, the status roles, even your normal thought processes and daily routines. As you are stripped, so you will be found again. Or, something like that… Are torii gates really the entrance into a spiritual world? One may never know, but it definitely feels that way. And maybe that’s all the matters.
by Jason Lam