Historical setting: 588 C.E.
Thole has been waiting in the rain with the horses inviting me to ride with him to his father’s house. First we gather up the chickens binding their feet to take them along.
We only go toward Tours as far as the road into the little village where Bertigan is the count. Jesse’s house is at the fork. It’s a cold little cottage with a walled enclosure for goats and a large stable with a shared wall with the house. I take the horses while Thole asks his father if I may stay as a guest tonight.
Jesse has apparently become the count’s stable master. So here I see the count did go back and buy that stallion after all. I suppose Bert is raising his own horses now that he no longer fears a good gallop. Other than keeping horses for the count I see Jesse also keeps goats on this land, and now there will be chickens.
Through the wall of the house I overhear Jesse’s raging voice reprimanding Thole for saying the name Lazarus – as though Thole was one who accepted the crazy “Christian myth” circulating as rumor at Ezra’s vineyard. “So what does Ezra call him?” He asks his son.
“He calls him ‘papa,’ Papa, as did Auntie Eve. Shall we call him Papa?”
“Of course not! Call him nothing!”
I can understand why in these times of lost metaphor, when sign and symbol are thought to be tangible fact people are believing that a banner or flag is the same substance as the people who follow it. And I know my name conjures a myth of new life. But I am a sign, a tale of something true, not a lie. In these times of confusion of truths and myths, and facts and lies, my son Ezra was once named after me, but now he calls himself ‘Ezra.’ I understand the apprehensions of myth.
Thole comes out to tell me I am welcome as a guest at their table and I may sleep in the mow of this barn.
“Thole,” I offer, “I heard your father through the wall here. Please know, you may call me Ezra. In my house father and son once had the same name. The son has chosen to call himself Ezra and so shall I.”
Thole brightens with grin. “Thanks. Ezra.”
Truth is that which doesn’t need to be said to be true. But lies only exist when they are spoken.