Historical setting: 564 C.E. The road into Bordeaux
“That was two deaths ago.” I’m telling Nic what I was reminded of in my search for a doctor. I now have that memory of wife, Susanna and that foggy image of the family we sought in vain.
“I can recall I buried Susanna before my own death from plague. After that rising I learned the two children who survived were taken to a pagan hag of healing and when they had recovered from plague my son was taken from her to be trained in the tending of vineyards and my daughter stayed and was apprenticed in the pagan art of healing. When the old woman died Eve inherited her book of remedies, and she herself, then filled the need for the healer in that place along the River Loire. When I returned and found them, Eve and Ezra were adults already living their own lives. Now they know about my oddity of life and life again since I reunited with them only a few years ago.
“My son was the one assigned the task to bury the dead when a recent round of plague hit a nearby village, since he, himself bore the scars and the plague’s withered limb – signs that he would be safe from it.
“After we reunited I thought I would be useful to my children in their daily work but then I realized I was really just a misfit to their families, and a tax burden so I decided to find my place in the scriptorium of Marmountier close enough to my family that I could return and help in the seasons when help is most needed.”
Nic interrupts, “If Brother Joel heard you speaking like this, making things only about their earthly purposes — farming and taxes and the like — he would surely remind you that the spiritual oneness is more than a person’s measure of physical benefits. I’m just saying what the wise elder would want said.”
I know the ‘shoulds’ of faith, but I argue, “Regardless of holy virtue, I still keep looking for purpose in my tangible being. So I went to Tours to be useful in copying scriptures. And you know of the need and the dearth of writings. Even with no holy orders I was welcomed to work in the inks. I was tonsured as a monk, and I was being instructed in the growing Christian ways of saints and relic worship, a pagan ooze of superstition ever seeping into the Jesus way.”
#Remembrances, #Scars of plague, #Finding purpose, #Value in life, #6th Century illiteracy,