And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrath — consume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.
From The Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam
There is a book in my handbag. It had been there, regardless of changes of style, size and contents of said handbag for over forty years. It is small, dog-eared and disreputable looking. The cloth of the once blue binding is frayed and worn, the pages yellowed and spotted and coming unstitched from the spine.
It is a well-travelled book. Far more so than its current keeper. Inside the front cover, in faded ink in a hand I will never forget, is my grandfather’s name, dated and marked ‘Burma’. He was a radio operator with the Royal Engineers and the little book was the only one he carried with him…
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