After a few hours by bullet train in the Japanese countryside, we arrive in Kyoto and, after parking our luggage in a coin locker in the station, Katie and I head off to explore.
The first temple, described by the guidebooks as "the last word in gaudiness," is, while a bit on the large side, hardly as tacky as the description would lead one to believe. A moat full of shimmering carp surrounds an enormous compound in which a good half dozen buildings, all dedicated to one form or another of the Buddha.
As Katie and I kneel together in the temple, I feel this enormous pressure, almost physical, in the almost exact shape of the space surrounding us, and I can feel the area in my body around my heart slowly opening, and I think, "How can I make this happen for everyone, all the time?" but there's no real answer.