Post #7.9, Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Historical setting: A dark age in Gaul

The doctor doubts my memory. But there are some things I know. “I know I am Lazarus, friend of Jesus, and I think I might work as a scribe and I remember that I’m often the one to take the gospels to the Christian fringe.”

         Through the dim shadows of gauze I see he gestures the “cross” on himself; but as I see so often, it is only a so-called “cross” of shoulders, head and gut – nothing of the Jesus pain or the laborer’s usefulness like the pierced hands and feet.

         He says, “So perhaps in a symbolic way you are saying that Jesus is your friend.” He is trying to offer me a comfortable escape from my admitted heresy of making Jesus sound human.

         This chat is no longer about who I am, but about what has become of Christianity in these times of excessive Trinity with its creeds and persecutions; it’s about heresy. I suggest we take a walk outside in case there is a better clarity among the things of earth.

         The split of my head is mending nicely and the seasonal re-leafing of greens seems to bring healing to all of the earth. A warm breeze wafts from the south and nuzzles the mist resting on nothing over the river like a levitating magic carpet ready to fly off into another ancient myth. With no wars or pirates to bruise the troops of Roman Navy the medic of the ranks has no one but me to mend, so he follows closely on my springtime stroll along the riverbank.

         “So, Dr. Neifus, I feel I have a recollection of Nantes from another time.  Once I sat here on this short wall waiting for a merchant’s ship to take me to my mission in Iberia.”

         “Give yourself time, Lazarus, my boy. Ports tend to look alike, one to the next. The merchant ships mostly use the port at St. Nazaire, so I doubt you are remembering Nantes.”

         Really, as I see now, it is quite the same only the shipyard seems more poorly maintained worn and out-of-use. And even the city wall shows the wear of time. I wonder when it was once, and when it is now.  But if I ask the doctor he will surely think my mind is fluffed. I do know who I am but apparently he has no imagination for that.

         (continues tomorrow)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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