The smell of incense always brings me up short and evokes a Proustian moment that causes me pause. The smell of incense will always be Hong Kong in my mind. The sweet, heavy odour is encountered in accidental moments throughout the city as there are large and small temples, some so small they are just depressions outside a door, all over the city. Incense gives a home to the ghosts of elders, freeing up domestic space for good fortune. It also gives thanks for gifts bestowed by gods and is offered in anticipation of future benefit. As such it’s circular form is also a mechanism through which time can curve back upon itself.
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