Historical setting: 584 C.E. Ligugè
As Brother August and I prepare to set the supper he chooses to speak to me about the whispers of the master of the scribes today in the scriptorium. He was asking of my training. Brother August, thinking I am my son, assumes I was taught to read and use the inks by Brother Nic. Of course that is one possible reason why a young man of humble heritage would have the skill of an ancient scribe.
And I can set my pride aside to conform to a simpler normal. “Nic was a kind teacher.”
“He was an excellent teacher,” Brother August asserts. “So I’m thinking you’ll be asked to put your own project aside and work with the rest of us on the gospel. I believe the abbot will assign you a bench near the front tomorrow.”
In truth, neither blame nor recognition goes to a teacher. The teacher only offers the rudiments of craft. True art comes in the instant of creative inspiration then the hours and hours of pondering and practice. And here I am with all those hidden centuries of life and life again for so much time to practice.
And apparently my ages of skill as a scribe stirred the curiosity about me. Now he chooses to ask about that which we agreed not to speak – scars. But to speak of these scars, still healing, would only confirm the rumor of a forever Lazarus, and that would separate me from the community here rather than strengthen our bonds.
He offers, “I apologize for making a mystery of my scars this morning. I have no shame in telling and I have no reason for hiding. I had a need of surgery and when I learned the abbess of the convent of Poitiers is known as a healer [Footnote] our abbot permitted me to go there and have the surgery which has left a recent scar.”
I mean to change the subject. “I’ve heard rumors of that monastery which is known to be a double monastery – part just for women and the other part for men. I’ve heard rumors that say the abbess there is really the queen.”
“Yes, Radigund, she is the last of the Thuringians, a tribe of people beaten in war long ago by King Clotaire of the Franks. Clotaire was the father of the Kings of the Franks who rule now.”
Before August can ask me of my scars, I mention the others are gathering at the boards. “This is a time for silence.”
[Footnote] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radegund Retrieved 6-1-2021.