Historical setting: Maybe 6th century, off the coast of Galleacia
Maybe Nic has the same worry. What if we land here in La Coruña and I still have no memory of place or time. And all I know is I’m looking for a wife with yellow hair who might be waiting for me somewhere.
Watching the coastline, preparing for the landing I ponder this worry and harbor this fear. Relieved now, I know I’ve seen this Roman lighthouse before. I know I have a memory at least of this. Maybe I’m only missing the year. What if I’ve lost my sense of century? Nic has no idea of this possibility of vagueness. He’s testing me to see if my mind is still scrambled and he asks me if I know what day it is.
“It is August 4.” He accepts the easy answer. But I still wonder which August 4?
My worry goes unspoken. All he is asking me is to recite a numbered day and month named after a Caesar. He has no thought that it’s always been human imagination that numbers the sun’s risings and settings and measures them into distributions of sevens to make weeks. Weeks are an odd commodity of mysterious completeness — odd because weeks are contrived by ten-fingered, ten-toed humankinds, with no sevens at all in our digits to guide the count. Seven is the Godly number of completion – the perfect. You can’t count to seven on fingers, toes or even on a cube with six sides of dots for tossing, so we expect our numbering of days into weeks must be mystical, beyond human ability to understand. We place our Sabbath aside for God on the uncountable rest from work. I guess once it was noticed that the moon patterns were chaotic and the cycles of life sporadic, counting weeks into months is best kept mysteriously unpredictable on charts drawn up by ancient emperors who declare the “is” of knowledge without even a fact.
Now Nic tests me on the current of time. We both hope I have clarity. Yet I know if I can answer his quiz it will only be because I’ve been paying attention to recent things, and still I’ve noticed time has gone by me in the rotting of the boats, the wearing of the roads. Is the emperor still Justinian, who is newly failed at restoring Rome?
We are both hoping I have some idea of where to go and what to do when we land.
(Come again tomorrow)