The doorways of Pingyao

Updated: 2015-10-26 10:56

By David Kindred(

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The doorways of Pingyao

[Photo by David Kindred/For]

The doorways of Pingyao.

Dozens of times I asked myself, “What’s behind this door, that door? Who lives there? What stories could they tell me of life in Pingyao?”

Families had lived in these homes, behind these doors, for generations. Each door had opened and closed on various chapters of their lives.

Like any family, behind their doors they talked, argued, planned for the future, loved and were loved.

And, for them the doors were an opening to the world, while at the same time offering security when their space behind the closed door was called home.

This door had opened and closed thousands of times as a child came and went; sometimes banging the door as he went out to play, sometimes closing the door slowly, reluctantly, as he went off to school. Sometimes he went out this door to visit neighbours and went in and out of yet another door. Until, one day, he closed the door behind him as he left, never to return.

Through that doorway a visitor had entered and stayed only a short while to share the gossip of the street.

I heard the slosh of water as someone tossed a basin of water across the threshold of a door down the street.