Near our house was an ancient bamboo grove. It grew so thick that you could
not penetrate it except on the path that an old monk kept cleared. At the heart
of the grove was a small arch the Japaneese call Tori. It was made of ancient cedar
but the monk kept it rubbed and polished. Through the arch, there was a stone bowl
into which water flowed through a pipe made of the bamboo. It sat on an ancient
carved stone. I never saw anyone at the shrine except the silent monk but once,
just after the new year, I saw a small prayer paper newly tied to a small shoot.