Historical setting: 563 C.E. remembering a different time
I know I wasn’t part of a procession of bishops. We are at the visitor’s desk at the basilica of Bracara, called Bragda now. Nic is urging that we study the visitor’s list from a Council held here only twenty months ago in 561. I know my name will not be on that list. But when I was here, I brought a gospel so I asked the monk if they owned a Gospel of St. John.
“Indeed, we have such a book. But it’s very old. To lay eyes on it you will need to make an appointment with the one who keeps the books.”
“Please, then, help us make that appointment.”
Nic is already assured that I had only lost a year or two of remembering, and we would soon find my wife named Susannah with the yellow hair, and maybe a family longing to greet me and meet him, my newest friend. And he would also feel assured to know that the strange story I confided to him of my life as an earthly friend of Jesus, forever being healed back into life, was simply the product of a once scrambled mind.
But this encounter at the visitor’s station doesn’t leave me nearly so sure. So few things are as I remember them, and those that I do recall are worn and old, or newly refurbished to hide their oldness. Surely I was here once, but I fear it was in the century of 400’s, and I know this is the year 563. Everyone says so. No one else even wonders about that. In every language in every place it is the middle of the 6th Century in the year of Our Lord.
While we wait to make an appointment with the monk who oversees the library, Nic plys the doorkeeper for details. I just wander the Christian marble pillars pretending Rome emulating Greece in Galleacia where now the Suebi rule. Such a mix is the world these days.
Dear God, it is no wonder my sense of belonging is scrambled. Help me to see your way, and thank you again, for Nic. Amen.
Nic is anxious to learn all he can about this recent “Council of Bragda” assured, he supposes, that the more we know of it the more my memory will be jogged back into normal time and my weird nature of resurrection can be dismissed with my mind’s scramble.