Endless Frame Photography

Temple Guard: Gaze Eternal

The blank stony eyes from a pair temple guards, etched in stone, gaze eternal. fancy-line

       One of the last rays of sunlight was cast across its stony eyes. Eyes that gazed without pupils, the smooth surface warm under the rich and fading day. One could not tell where he was looking, but I suppose that was the point, he was looking everywhere. One of a set and half of a pair, this ancient temple guard stood with his brother at the gates of Myōshin-ji Temple Grounds in Kyoto, Japan. His mouth open, the other’s mouth closed. Always it is this way. In the elegant simplicity the opened and closed mouths have come to symbolize much: life and death, the start and end of a grapheme (that smallest spoken syllable in a language), the Alpha and the Omega (Christianity), and the start and the end. Passing between the guardians, and entering the temple gates is an act of cleansing, self-purification, blocking negative spirits from following you inside, or “leave your baggage at the door” to use contemporary terminology.

 Temple Guard


This entry was published on April 6, 2013 at 4:31 am. It’s filed under Portrait, post effects, Symbols and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Temple Guard: Gaze Eternal

  1. Awesome. Love the lighting! 🙂

  2. Amazing light, great story. 🙂

  3. kinda looks like an old coach i once had…………great story

  4. Wonderful image. The guardian is a recurrent theme throughout mythology guiding us to completion. The lighting is perfect.

  5. You were at the right time at the right place. I love the story too…”Leave your baggage at the door” Much food for thought there 🙂

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