Another Mandalay sunset.
Looking east towards the mountains of Shan,
I feel pleasure and pain in equal measure.
More importantly, I feel an infinite gratitude
for being able to drink from the cup of life,
for being woven into the fabric of history,
both cosmic and mundane,
both sacred
and profane.

The gentlest breeze and street-cries,
horns bellowing and mortal day,
all drifting away …

It occurs to me that my generation has failed,
the world we are leaving our children is gargantuan, wretched,
finely attuned to disaster.

It also occurs that for me, being cradled in the ashes and devastation of war
has metamorphosed into the greatest gift.
I wonder in fifty years time, whether my daughter will say how grateful she is
‘to drink from the cup of life’.

The mountains of Shan stand resolute and majestic.
They fade into a blue, medallioned dusk.