Bridge of Heaven and Other Moon Shots

Just before crossing the swing bridge that leads onto the sandbar at Amanohashidate we ventured into an old Buddhist temple.  There prayer wishes were inscribed on miniature fans as they symbolized the spreading out of the request to the universe and its refreshing return. The lower branches of the pine tree carried these wishes in the breeze.

The buddha wore a bib.  Without knowledge the inscription would be accurate to western eyes.  The simple truth is that the bib was likely placed by someone seeking protection for a sick child or a child that died very young.  It is an offering of protective armor. Seeking to protect the young person in the spirit world.

Crossing the bar.  Alright, Tennyson used the phrase to capture the transition from life to death, however in these more enlightened times we might simply see it as moving across the waterway on a swing bridge so we could safely walk the sandbar forest. The temple at the start of the sandbar walk is a Zen Buddhist temple.  The common local name translinguistically adapts as “out of the counsel of three comes wisdom.”

The hand painted red lantern inscribed with kanji characters in the Chianti temple compound is both monument and light!  We crossed the bridge, rode the cable car to Kasamatsu Park from the peak of which we were able to view the sandbar in inverted yoga poses — the hanging position creates an inverse image where ocean becomes sky and the clouds the tidal pools.  The hanging moon shot is a YouTube favorite here.  On descent we paused in a new Shingon temple and sought wellness for those we loved.  The landscape is littered with stories rather than abandoned moon shots. The absence of litter and litter receptacles was antithical but spotless.


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