I had not been confronted by devotion like that before. I’d seen wailing at walls, muscle-cramped kneeling, and bowing in the direction of Mecca. But not this – offering oneself up for gentle demolition. I mean, who does that? Who stares deeply into the sun? A tropical Burmese one at that, etching across Rangoon while tourists shriek and shelter. It is him. He goes there with his naked eyes – a holy man protected by beads – scorching a mark back into the sun. His eyes are fried opaque like that of egg white and almost as crispy. For me, it strains reality how vivid scenes can be – I know that sounds silly. You often see various acts of divinity in pages or online, but not in front of you, not within patting distance.
How the sweat droplets sewn on across his forehead would fray and unravel down his cheeks. He was consumed into the void, cycling through his mantra, bursting the wooden beads along his rosary. Unbinding himself on the tiles of the Shwedagon. He sat there lotus posed for another thirty minutes. Wincing up at his divine, chanting to salvation to be understood – to understand. Tossing back pretty little words to be singed.