Excerpt from “The Gates”

The winter days drag on and the whole city is in hibernation. Ice coats every surface, blinding even those who dare only to peek beyond their dark muslin curtains. I am all alone outside. The wind whips at my ears, silent but deafening. My eyes, the only part of my body left uncovered, are red and chapped. I run briskly, each step precise, so that I don’t injure myself. Central park is ablaze – saffron colored flags billow, lost amidst the snowflakes. It is the only color around me. To winter, a sickly pale patient, it brings a blush: a faint sign of warm blood coursing beneath lifeless skin. To winter, pure and minimal, it is the burning away of all desires. Crackle and pop they flap in the wind as the naked trees gently sway. My feet pound lightly on the powdery ground, watching it come together until it is so slippery, I nearly lose my footing.

“I must keep my chin up. I must concentrate! Breathe- two counts in, two counts out.”

Little clouds struggle out of my facemask, puffing out of my nostrils in rhythm, warm and moist. My mind is calm and blank – effortless. It surprises me because I usually have to try to think of thinking of nothing, in order to have a single moment of thoughtlessness. Dusk is approaching, so I slow to an even walk back to my apartment.

I bury my face into the pillow as I hang up the phone, exhausted. I could never talk to just one member of my family. As the phone had passed from one brother to the next and finally to my father, my anxiety had climaxed, but as usual I could not bring myself to say hardly a word to him.

There was so much to say and I never knew how to say it. I know that I’ve disappointed him and sometimes I’m secretly glad to have broken free from his control over me and my dependence on him- the constant needing or maybe just wanting that he would or maybe even could never satisfy. But more than that, I regret all that has happened and where I am now, as a result of my desires and following through with them. I wish I had never taken action. I wish that I could be who he always wanted and expected me to be. But surely he had to know that that I would fail- he’s a pastor and that’s his trade. To deal with- oh god, I don’t even want to say it- sinners like me.

He never came right out and screamed at me, nor even said openly that I was a disappointment, but I wish he would. I wish that he would get angry and realize how easy, or even how natural it is. I can’t very well scream at him because that would put me clearly in the wrong, although in his eyes I’m already wrong. Would it make a difference then? Why can’t I just say it? Or just ask him if it was true that I had really let him down. If he had stopped loving me because of it. No, that couldn’t be true. But maybe he loved me less. Why can’t I bring myself to say anything at all?

Now we’re like strangers- polite and formal. Our conversations are shallow, punctuated, sets of one word parries. Who is winning, I don’t know. Probably him since I hurt every time- I’m crying inside and his heart is bleeding only for the Lord.


About Jean C Wong

I am a world traveler, writer, photographer, and teacher. I've lived all over the world and speak 5 languages.


One thought on “Excerpt from “The Gates”

  1. wow Jean, really wonderful! I am impressed for sure!

    Posted by Eleanor Herzog | October 9, 2010, 9:13 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Last morning of the 4 week youth series at @tszshanmonastery . Beautiful morning sunrise yoga and seriously the most delicious vegan char siu bao I have ever tasted. Yummy breakfast, gorgeous ✌️!
In Yoga Asana as in life, we all have weak areas that we can identify where we most need to focus our tapas or work on. For me, it’s internal rotation. Experimenting and moving gently this morning I found a sweet spot in half reclining hero. My body is afraid of it and I have been subconsciously avoiding it. Time to tap into my resistance and live consciously, with a growth mindset. Find your resistance and melt into it with joy. #faceyourfear #openup #virasana #tapas #letgo #practiceyoga #yogais #growth #consciousliving #findyoursweetspot 📷: @babnikmatt
I love Martha and her gongs. She puts her heart and soul into every performance and made it her mission to share gong therapy with the world. I truly admire her dedication and devotion to her mission. If you’re in Hong Kong make sure you pay a visit to @reddoorsstudio or go to one of her events. It’s truly an epic experience! Not affiliated with Red Doors- just a happy customer ❤️😍 #gong #soundtherapy #goodvibes #healing #vibration #sound #om #alignment #chakra
On a rainy day embrace the rain and play. Or stay dry and share your umbrella with your friends. As many as you can fit under it .......... 🌧 ☔️ 👭 .......... #rainydays #rainyseason #share #friends
What a setup of yin and yang style singing bowls for powerful healing sound therapy. With the strong vibrations your mind and body immediately feel the benefit. For me the rewards of Asana are greater but more gradual and carry different and more profound benefits. But sometimes we’re just plain bear and need a little pick me up. This is where sound therapy, steam sauna, sattvic music, or float can help. Just relax and let yourself heal. #wow #singingbowl #soundtherapy #🙏 #powerofsound #om #healing #chakra #tuneup #energy #energyhealing #sound
Excited to join @biteunite and @sharedspacehk for this exciting collaborative event on Sunday. #movement #parkour #brunch #fitness #fun #familyfriendly #hkmovement #move Reposted via: Bite Unite JOIN US FOR PARKOUR THIS SUNDAY! 🤸🏻‍♂️💥 Once again, we’re teaming up with our wonderful friends at @sharedspacehk to bring you a FUN, ACTIVE morning of fitness and food! We will start with a 60 minute outdoor movement class, including stretches and simple parkour movements, and end with a delicious spread of healthy goodies, prepared by chef Catherine of @puravidahkg Hong Kong and Chef Mia of @tizzyshots This event is suitable for ladies and gents of all ages and fitness levels. Please make sure to wear shoes you can run and jump in, and a towel for afterwards! RSVP NOW ON BITEUNITE.COM (go to the event page!)
Good Morning Hong Kong 🇭🇰 !!! If you haven’t yet signed up for the 30 Day Challenge with @babnikmatt over at @sharedspacehk , head over to his profile (link in bio) and do it now. Don’t miss this chance to jumpstart your day with an energising morning practice. One week left! The countdown begins... #betterthancoffee #wakeup #yogaprogress #yogapratice #practice #yogateacher #om #practiceandalliscoming #instayoga #🤸🏻‍♂️ #hkyoga #boysofyoga #yoga #yogi #🧘🏻‍♂️ #yogaboy #yogapose #yogisofinstagram #yogaeverydamnday #yogaeverywhere #yogaeveryday #dailyyoga #yogalove #iloveyoga #yogagram #fitness #health #progressnotperfection #teacherlove #🕉
FREEDOM: Yoga teaches me how to break free from the patterns of my past and those of previous generations. When I got on my mat for the first time I felt relief to finally be able to do something real and take the first steps to breaking free. @yogaglo #yogais #internationalyogaday @amyippoliti #🙏 #moksha #freedom
Thanks to @sh1nhui for taking such good care of the kiddos while mama got to enjoy the singing bowl healing and meditation. 🧘🏻‍♀️ #🙏 #mademyday #teacherlove #❤️ #happyyogaday
Delicious coconut 🥥 smoothie family date to seal our afternoon on International Yoga Day. Thanks @babnikmatt for joining me on this amazing yoga journey 5 years ago. We’ve come a long way. I ❤️U! #internationalyogaday #crossculture #family #familygoals #teatime #thaifood #coconut
%d bloggers like this: