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The Last Day by Austin Repath

 

Just after I had breakfast, cold porridge with lukewarm coffee, the guard informed me that it had been set for tomorrow morning.  Still not sure why, or what crime I committed, but it was not unexpected.  And in truth I'm ready.

Took some time studying the small cardboard box the guard left on my table.  Shook it carefully.  Something rattled inside, so I gingerly opened the box and dumped what it held onto my bed.  It was an old-fashioned alarm clock like the one I had when I was a kid, the wind-up kind with two little bells on top.

I check the time: twenty after nine.  I presume, since I was just served breakfast, that it’s morning. 

The clock must have been their idea of a final touch of misery—let him know exactly how much time he has left.  They do that sort of thing now and then.  Once, a long time ago, I found a newspaper under my plate.  The headlines told of the death of a princess.  Not good news; plate.  The headlines told of the death of a princess.  Not good news; princesses aren't supposed to die, especially when they're so young and beautiful. 

 

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            Another time under my plate I found a mirror, the small metal kind that soldiers used to shave with. Having no wish to see myself, I left it there.   It was gone the next morning.

How do I use this last day to the best of my ability?  I don't want to waste it reviewing my life.  Lord knows I've spent too many sleepless nights doing just that. From God to myself, I have forgiven all who needed it.  I’m more than ready to move on.

Twenty-four hours and my life will be no more.  I'm not sure of the exact hour or even the means.  Will it be by lethal injection, hanging, or firing squad?  Whatever way it comes about, that isn't my concern.  The brief time remaining to me is.  Confined to a small, windowless  cell, five paces by four, I confess that I have grown somewhat comfortable in my little world of bed, sink, chair.  A monk accepts his cell as a crucible, a place to grow in sanctity if not sanity.  In many ways my incarceration has done the same for me.  Besides, I long ago told myself it was time to leave the craziness of the outside world.

The first few years I was angry, bitter, despairing.  Then for reasons I'm not sure of, I found myself changing.  Maybe it was my

 

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own resolveto accept the reality of my life; maybe it was best described as grace, but something happened to me.

One day to live—don't waste it.  A stupid admonition.  Richard II in Shakespeare's play says something about what happens within tiny prison cell.  "It will make wise men mad, yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!  For 'tis a sign of love, and love to me is a strange brooch in this all-hating world." I know—odd words.  But the longer I linger here the more meaning they take on.  

One day to live.  Not really sure why I was incarcerated, as I said.  Maybe it was something I did; maybe something I didn't do.  Have the suspicion I'm here because of what they were afraid I might do.  Like a proactive arrest of some terrorist.   A friend once told me I should read Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor.  Instead, for some reason, I read The Idiot. Guess I thought that might be more useful.

Damn, now the coffee's really cold.  How many times do I have to tell my manservant—the guard—I like it steaming hot?

            So it's on for tomorrow.  Best get about my day.  I woke up with the usual aches and pains that come with growing old.  Still, I

 

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like my body and don't really want to leave it.  But I don't seem to have much choice.

Take what passes for coffee over to the rocking chair.  It took me a year and more than a few favours to acquire the chair, but it was worth every compromise I made—old pine rocker with back pad and cushion.  I relax into the comfy seat, sip my coffee.  Could spend the rest of the day rocking back and forth, letting myself drift away into daydreams.  I've done that often enough.

What would it have been like to have been born with a talent—music, painting?  I would have liked to be a writer, though in truth, I was born with a character deficit.  I don't have the perseverance or discipline to hone such skills, if I had any.  I'm not made of the stuff for greatness.

 My God, it's ten o'clock already.  Maybe I should write letters to everyone in my life.  A good idea.  But so many people.  Maybe a  form letter, like those year-end missives that used to be the rage, people bragging about what a wonderful year they had had.  I hated the affected, self-congratulatory tone of those epistles.  Better I should write my friends telling them how special they have been to

 

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me.  Not a bad way to spend one's last day.

No, stupid idea!  I haven’t been allowed contact with anyone since the day I was incarcerated.  The truth is my life has been a failure, at best a disappointment.  I never got more than  B's in school.  I never won a race, never was given an award or earned a promotion.  I was happy just to make the team! Yet I was satisfied with my place in the world. 

Until the illusion was shattered.  How or when did that happen?  Was it simply that I just lived too long—too long in that I see now only the mistakes and foolishness of believing I was so special?  Seeing the truth of one's limitations is the final challenge in life, and the cruelest.  T.S. Eliot claimed that April is the cruelest of times. He was wrong; old age is.  But here I sit with less than a day left in my life, ranting on about what never was.

Eleven o'clock on my last day on this earth, blathering on about nothing.  A thought occurs to me: maybe this is all some cruel joke the guard is playing on me.  Then again, sometimes I think life is a cruel joke.

                                 

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          Breathe; I'm not dead yet. What can I do with this time I have left?  Likely nothing, other than thinking, and I've discovered little comes from that.  The past is what was.  The future?  That's been decided.

          Wish I still believed in God, or better still, a hereafter.  To call for a priest, confess my sins, be rewarded with happiness ever-after.  It's almost worth admitting I was wrong to see the world as it is, in order to be taken back into the arms of a loving god—the lost sheep, the prodigal son, the good thief.  It would be a wonderful thing.  But such a lapse of integrity, such a cowardly submission to a discredited faith, would be unworthy of me, and in my opinion, the ultimate sin.

No question, I think the Christian narrative is the greatest story ever told, and I envy all those who live within it.  But I have lost the capacity for such delusions.  If I could be honest with myself, I might admit to having other illusions more amazing than the faith that has held the Western world in thrall for two millennia. But for now let's just say I have lost all faith. And maybe this is my crime.

 

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The one punishable by death.

Come back to this day, my last day on earth.  Can I live it fully?  Conscious beyond faith, hope, and within that one virtue I still believe in—love?  Be still, my soul.  Listen to the creaking of the rocking chair, back and forth, back and forth. Close my eyes. Sweet nothingness.

            The empty mind.  I breathe out. My chest grows warm with a pleasant sensation like a soft, glowing light.  My heart stirs, awakening as if being called forth by some personal destiny. I let myself fall into a familiar trance, a conscious state of being, sensate and mystic.  It is not a new experience.  At times recently I’ve felt as if a fountain of golden light was welling up in me.  Something I had barely any control over. Something that fills me with a joyful sense of well-being. Beyond that I know very little, except that I often find myself sending out this good feeling to everyone I have known.

I wake from my reverie.  It is almost time for lunch, and I'm hungry.  I wonder if my manservant, the guard, is feeling generous today. Maybe the food will be hot. 

 

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Lately I've come to think of him as Jedediah, though I never call him that to his face.  I find I'm growing fond of him.  He tries to act as if I'm a piece of furniture, but he no longer gives off that institutional contempt reserved for those nonentities guards are paid to watch over.  Does he experience any of that good feeling I just sent him?  I sometimes think he does.  Jedediah brings in my lunch—macaroni and cheese—and it's almost hot.  He asks me what I want for dinner.  Seems as if the "Last Supper" tradition is still alive.

"My wife sitting across from me," I reply.  He mutters something that seems to imply he'd see what he could do. But I hear only sadness and regret in his voice. Will wonders never cease?

So many times Megan and I sat across a dinner table, a glass of wine in hand, gossiping about friends, ranting on about the state of the world.  Then if we were lucky, and we often were, we'd find ourselves talking about the good times we had shared, and would end up glowingly proclaiming our love for each other.  At such moments, I'd call her my princess bride. In turn, she would scold me, saying that we were just two ordinary people trying to live

 

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together.  All this babbling on, arguing, chatting, disagreeing — the usual stuff of living with another person.  Why shouldn't she be here, at this last meal, on the final day of my life?

 In truth it would be too painful.  And what would we say that had not already been said—that we would do it all again?  Would here be the birth of a love beyond what we had thought possible? My God, it’s one- thirty.  Tomorrow at this time I will not even exist.  Must keep within the present. 

Return to the rocking chair.  Rock back and forth.  Can feel the void like an evening fog, creeping in around me.  Do I simply sit here and wait until they come for me?  Is this how the end arrives?  A numbing of the mind, a muted acceptance?  If one is lucky, an inner peace?  Not what I want for this last day.  Yet I am frozen in this present moment, like a gnat in amber, unable to rouse myself out of the stupor, until a knocking on the door suddenly startles me awake. The voice of the chaplain.  "Do you want to talk?  Is anything bothering you?" Dumb questions. 

Why do I see my life as such a failure? I'd like to ask him that,

 

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but I know he'd only try to convince me otherwise.  You have people who love you, good friends; God loves you.  You've written books.

I feel a thick mantle descending over my memory.  Some dark force seems to have enveloped me, made my life a mockery.  Is this darkness responsible for my incarceration?  Am I prisoner to this entity,  my life in thrall to some evil force?  Or maybe it can all be explained simply as the limits of who I am.

I grew up thinking/believing all things were possible, only to wake one morning to find myself in a land that was not that way at all.  The magical world of my youth had morphed into the wounded world of human misadventure.

I pace the ten-by-twelve floor space, across and back, counting out my usual one thousands steps—my daily pilgrimage to nowhere.  Get to thinking that it might not yet be too late to make a success of my life.  My God, does hope spring eternal, or what?  Or are we incapable of accepting what is? I sort of like the idea that your life passes before you just before you die. Giving it meaning.  And purpose? I go back to my rocking chair.  Start counting

 

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backward: 10-9-8. Let my body settle into a gentle rocking. 7-6-5.  Stop fretting about the past and what might have been.  4-3-2.  Let my heart open up.  1-1-1. Repeat the process.  Slowly, gradually, I feel myself being enveloped in love.  A sweet euphoria fills me—a full body pleasuring of almost erotic sensation.  I let the rocking come to a stop, and sit bathed in a golden radiant light.

Sense that it flows out from me in ever widening circles. Maybe I think this is how the sun must feel as its glowing warmth and light spreads out across the solar system. Beyond all that is sane and rational, I wallow in this impossible dreaming.  Ecstatic beyond all that can conceivably be possible, I float in the heavens.  God, if dying could be like this, if this is a taste of the hereafter, hallelujah! I'm a true believer!

Must have fallen asleep.  With only hours left, sleep is definitely a no-no.  Thank God the need to pee woke me up.  To sleep away my last day on earth, not a good idea.  Damn, it's almost four o'clock. Truth is I'm just one of what — a couple thousand people who are going to die within a few hours?  So really, dying is no big deal.

 

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Life ends.  That's the way it is. Even the great ones, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Jesus, are all where I'm about to depart to — oblivion, nonbeing, the void, whatever, or wherever.  Yet all of us were granted a life to live.  To have a go at it, see what we could make of a few decades of existence on earth.  Some do great things.  I applaud them truly and honestly, and with more than a little bit of envy.  I longed to be great, too.   But I am coming to accept my less-than-stellar lifetime.  Most of us do little more than procreate, fret and pretend I want to stand up for the mass of humanity, the great average, the ordinary, the normal, the untalented, the ungifted. Those of us who bear the anguish of little lives lived with as much dignity as we can muster.  These are my people. I respect them.  I love them in all their frailty and foibles. How can I not?

Christ, it's almost dinnertime.  I splash cold water on my face, run my fingers through my hair, settle back into my rocking chair, rock and wait, while away the minutes.  This time tomorrow I'll be cold flesh and congealed blood, stiff with rigor mortis.  Or maybe I'll be ashes cooling in an urn.  Not a problem. Still, I might be wrong. 

 

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There might be something I don't know.

Two things have just arrived.  One, a confirmation; the other, totally unexpected, yet a welcome surprise.  "You're scheduled for tomorrow morning," the guard informed me.  I watched as he put dinner on the table.  Since I've been thinking of him as Jedediah, some vague passage from the Old Testament keeps trying to come to consciousness.  And I have been sending him love.  Does it make him feel good? Today, I swear, he had the faintest hint of a smile on his face. And as he turned briskly and left, was that a wink? That's the thing about solitary confinement—you start imagining things.

I sit down and slowly address my Sloppy Joe.  Can't believe my good fortune.  It's hot!  Amazing!  I tear a piece of bread and sop up some Joe.  Pick up my mug and take a swallow to wash down the bread and meat, and practically spit it out, as if I was being poisoned.  Jedediah smuggled in a little wine for my last meal!  I can't believe it.  For my last supper he'd filled my mug with wine.  The taste on my palate triggers long forgotten memories.  I’m reminded of altar boys and wine cruets….I dig into the Sloppy Joe, and let it

 

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draw me back into the present.  Funny how after so many years you get to enjoy the most ordinary foods.   I genuinely like what's in front of me.  Plus it informs me that today is Monday; they always serve SJ at the start of the week.

I take my time, not wanting to rush this last meal.  I enjoy another sip of wine.  Want to save some of it for later.  Wipe the last of the SJ up with bread.  The one thing they always give you is lots of bread, white and starchy.  I usually save some for later.  It's good to put something in one's stomach before bed.

I sit in silence.  That's a laugh.  I've been in silence for as long as I can remember. That's the nature of solitary confinement.  In many ways it's a blessing to be secreted away—as if I was a danger to society, some terrorist capable of bringing down the pillars of civilization.  What a joke.

I take a piece of bread, pasty white and tasting like cardboard, in one hand, pick up the mug of wine in the other, and hold them out in front of me.  Let it come back to me—the last time I performed the priestly ritual, the transformation of bread and wine into the body

 

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and blood of Christ.  The last time I held the elements of life, bread and wine, in my hands, and spoke the words.  But even by then I had no belief, no faith that would have transformed the mundane into the Divine.  The words were hollow, signifying nothing.

For me it had become an act of scorn, ridicule, a meaningless ritual, that's how bad it was.  And that was my Saul moment, my awakening.  I walked off the altar, threw my vestments on the floor of the sacristy, put on my civvies, emptied my small bank account and headed down the road.  And so began my conversion.  I became human.  But my God, it was a painful time for me.  There is an ancient Anglo Saxon poem, "The Wanderer," that best captures my anguish. The narrator is a trusted member in the lord's high court.  He has a seat at the high table.  Then the lord dies and the narrator finds himself adrift.  He is alone, belonging to no one, and so he wanders the roads, bereft of kin and clan.  He finds himself unwanted, forsaken, destined to live out his days wandering a land where he no longer belongs.

That was how I felt.  My faith in my Lord had died, and I was

 

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without meaning or purpose in my life; I began to drift.  Took up with pretty girls.  Thinking I had found love, I lost my virginity.  A naive waif, lonely and desperate for something to replace my lost faith, desperate for anything, a belief, a cause, I went in search of gurus and masters, traveled to far places. But each desperate quest ended with my own collapse into despair.

This was the only “enlightenment” I could achieve—that life had no purpose, no meaning.   But I couldn’t accept it.  There had to be something more.  I held to that one last hope:  one day it would be revealed.

Was it revealed on a dance floor?  Maybe.  I asked her to dance.  And slowly, over many years, we danced, held together by our frailties, our need for each other, and together we spun down into our flesh and blood, our foibles, our vulnerabilities, and came upon love.  Our lives became simple and ordinary, and often happy.  Although secretly, such ordinariness was an embarrassment to myself, who had expected much more of my life than the simple heroism of living with another.

 

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For had I not seen for myself the possibility of greatness, a noble deed, a task fulfilled, an endeavor enhancing the forward journey of humankind? Was I not ordained a priest with Eucharistic power? And now here I was a fragile, defenseless, soft-skinned creature. A man who discovers he's loved by another so totally different, so “other,” that it would take a lifetime to fathom her depth, her complexity, let alone how she could love him as she did.  And that I, too, could love another, so foreign, flawed, and yet so unique.  And so it came to pass that I found myself once again sitting at a table, not the lord's high table, but hers.  Not in a castle, but a home.  One we had built together.  A humble abode, but one that was real. The wandering had come to an end.  I found what I had set out to find — myself, a human, capable of doing hurtful things, but also able to love.  The hardships of the journey have long since been forgotten within the fullness of our lives.

Enough of this.  It must be early evening—6:39, to be exact.  Wonder if the sun is setting. It has been so long since I witnessed such a sight, it’s painful to contemplate.   

 

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I stand at the table, feeling like a priest in front of an altar.  I put down the bread and wine.  The moment was not the right one. I go back to my chair, need to rock, to hold myself.  My last few hours of life, and I can find nothing better to do than await my fate.  No, that will not do.

I start counting down from ten, repeating the small ritual until my mind gives way.  Slowly I fall into the mystery.  Not the facts or history, but the essence of who I am. That part that has no meaning or logic, but just is. I drop into that wordless place, let it envelop me. I rock back and forth, dissolve into the fluid flow.  Like an iceberg melting into the sea, I become the formlessness of ocean.  The mystery reveals nothing, and yet I am aware that I am being drawn into the heart of mystery itself.

A sudden shudder snaps me back to my cell. Thank God. I rock fiercely, relieved that I am still embodied flesh and blood, able to move, to speak.  I get up, walk back and forth from wall to wall to wall.  Feeling afraid, I risk a look at the clock on the table.  I break off a piece of bread, wash it down with a sip of wine. Don't want to see

 

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the bottom of the empty cup.  It is now 6:39 p.m.  I hate seeing the minutes measuring out my life.

I wonder if I have the courage.  Wonder if I can put myself in that state of mind where it will be possible. That seems to be the central point of this final day of my life.  The truth that there’s nothing beyond this life, the longing for a reality beyond my secular truth of what is.  Yet to give up all that I've spent my life reaching for — my integrity, my truth, my disbelief to fulfill that longing.

I do know that I've spent what seems like endless lifetimes within these walls, fed by guards who refuse to talk to me, isolated from the affairs of the world, the touch of a woman.  With my tenuous grasp on reality, I must conclude that I am now hallucinating. Probably by any rational assessment, I'm certifiably insane.   But it serves my purpose to maintain such a cover of insanity.  Makes me a little more comfortable with what I am about to do.

This little cubbyhole with a stainless steel toilet, a sink, a bed, and a table, and an overhead light.  Plus a rocking chair, something

 

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so out of place as to be beyond all understanding of what possessed the powers that be to allow me to have it.  It has been a comfort and a source of genuine pleasure.  Like a magic carpet, it has allowed me to escape the confines of my world.

Must be getting dark outside.  I can't remember such things.  All I recall is a good feeling and a sky of red and gold. Doesn't matter anymore.  This cubbyhole is my world.  And the next twelve hours are mine. 

Mine not to be wasted.  I could call forward my priestly prerogative, according to the order of Melchizedek—thou art a priest forever — and bring down the Divine Presence into this realm of flesh and blood.  On the table is the bread and wine. Dare I speak the ancient words of transubstantiation?  Have I the depth of belief that would bring down the sacred into my cell of cement and bricks? At one time I believed I could.  But that was more of a child's faith, one filled with saints and miracles. What is needed here goes beyond all that.  It was the young alchemist who believed he could change lead into gold.  The wise old one knew the truth.

 

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I do not know if it is fear that I would be found wanting, and these words just another bit of human folly speaking to the absurdity of my life.  I feel tempted, teased by the immensity of such a moment.

The miracle of the Eucharist was part of a medieval rubric belonging to an age of faith long since hollowed out by reason.  Yet hours away from my own point of no return, here I am, questioning the point of it all. What absurdity.  Does any of it matter?

More important: why Christ or God or any divine entity would want to come down into this benighted realm is beyond me.  However, there is this strange phenomenon known as love that one might offer as a reason.  Although for me love is a mystery beyond all understanding.  Seems like wishful thinking, fool's gold.

Must have dozed off—almost eleven o'clock, the eleventh hour.  Don’t want to sleep away my last few hours on earth.  But how to fill them? What to do with them?  There must be a way to give my final moments some value.  I had once thought I might end my life with some noble deed, some heroic endeavour, something

 

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significant that might move humanity forward.  Give meaning to my life. 

Basically, I can credit myself with a few acts of kindness, but nothing beyond the norm.  In fact, as I sit here rocking myself into a state of animal contentment and groggy, not unpleasant vegetable consciousness, my mind drifts back to another place, before memory or thought.

Maybe it never was. Maybe it is just some far forgotten state of being.  Maybe it was womb time.  More than that, there is an intimation of something beyond words or thought that is drawing me toward it.  Something accessible only through silence.  I can sense a growing awareness that I am shifting toward a wordless realm that contains us all.  There is a stillness, an expectation of what awaits me in the silent void.  And without any reason or explanation, I feel a cautious joy stirring within me.  Or is it an overwhelming anxiety over what is coming?

I force myself up, pace the floor, fret, pee, try to keep in the present.  Pull back, cough, catch my breath, check the time.  It is

 

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almost midnight.  The borderline between today and tomorrow.  I wash my hands.  What is happening to me?   I switch off the light.  Make my way back to the rocker, stare out into the blackness.

The dark void holds me.  I feel comforted by its velvet impenetrability. I let myself be rocked gently in its soft embrace.  I rock back and forth, back and forth.  Nothing can be seen.  Nothing matters.  Nothing is.  I can feel myself falling into sleep.  A peace beyond understanding takes me up into its folds.  I'm given a dream.

The world is collapsing into darkness.  Every time someone switches off a light, everyone in that room vanishes into the dark.  Until there is only one room left. "Don't anyone turn off the light!  Don't even touch a light switch!" I'm shouting.  I know that the situation is dire.  There is no one left accept us few in this last small, lit room.

My shouting awakens me.  I switch on the light.  And then, heart pounding, I remember more of the dream.  I have been given a way to bring the world back.  I seem to know how to turn the lights on again.  It is gold that will bring the lights back. Gold is the key.  If



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only we can find enough gold.  I ask if anyone in the room has any gold on them.  Each person present, about a dozen of us, has a little.  One has a gold watch.  Another, a gold wedding ring.  Someone has a gold necklace.  I realize I have a gold filling.

At this point I find myself falling out of the rocking chair, excited by the dream and what it portends, and exasperated because I woke up before I find out how to use the gold.  What was the dream about?  Why gold?

Gold—the one metal that doesn't rust, the softest, most malleable of all.  Of no practical use, yet valued beyond all reasonable expectation, coveted by all mankind. A "precious" metal —odd term for the last metallic element on the periodic table.  What surprises me most is that every person in my dream has some gold on them.  And I think that is true in life. Most people wear something gold.  I wonder why this is. The hands on the clock show me I've slept for two hours.  Didn't want to fall asleep, but the dream was worth it.  If only I could figure out what it means.

            Four hours left in my life, and I have a dream about gold.  Is it

 

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the alchemist's dream—to turn lead into gold, or more symbolically, to transform the dross of one's life into something precious?  The priest's power—to transform bread and wine into the divine?  The wafer of bread held on a gold paten, the wine contained in a golden chalice…  What is hidden in these beliefs?

Why was I ordained a priest?  Why did I dream of gold as the key to changing the fate of the world? The riddle of my life contained within one last dream before my end.  Curious indeed.

I take the clock and wind it until the spring breaks, then put it face down on my bed.  Time for me has come to an end.  I sense that this moment beyond time is what my life has been about.

I study the tiny cell that has been my crucible that has prepared me for this moment.  The dream has foretold what will come to pass.  I feel a simmering joy, see sparks of ecstasy streaming from my fingertips.  I pause, calm myself.  It has come to this.  For this was I born.  For this has my life been lived. I stand with my arms outstretched, letting the glow stream out from my fingertips.

           

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The table before me has become my altar. I pick up the bread and wine. Honouring the past, I speak the words of transubstantiation over them.  Partake of the body and blood of Christ. Honouring all that was true and right within the ancient ritual of the Eucharist, I ingest the holy sacrament.

I know now that that was but a precursor of what was meant to be.  It was not the bread and wine.   Stepping forward, I call down the power that has overshadowed our kind since time immemorial.

Need I repeat the ancient words?  Yes, it is  right and just to do so.  "Hoc est enim Corpus meum."  I sense every cell in my body quivering, changing.  Far beyond all rational thought, I thrill at the impossibility of what is happening to me. 

"Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei."  I let myself be taken up.  The dross within me is being transmuted into that which can only be hinted at by the word divine.

I let its essence consume me.  Like a log placed on the fire ignites into flame, I experience the immolation of my being.  What the last thread of rational thought tells me is that I have been

 

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transformed into that which we have for millennium prayed to as something beyond us.  I am enraptured with an ecstasy that words cannot describe, divine love.

Like a lamp that has just been turned on, I feel like light itself.  I gasp, feel as if I am dying to all that was, and yet loving all that is. My body cannot contain what I am being overwhelmed with.

Sense a need to find a way of releasing what is threatening to burst me apart.  The picture on the wall of my youth, the sacred heart of Jesus, the one with the heart open and on fire, pouring love out onto the world.

 I imagine my heart opening and light streaming forth from it.  I send out love, letting it fill my small cell with a golden glow. I send it out to all whom I have met in my life, an endless litany of friends.  To neighbours, to people I smiled at on the street, to all who are open to this loving energy.  To Jedediah.  And instantly, I remember his namesake, “the servant of the Lord.”

I find I can breathe again.  I stand, feet on the floor, tall as the mountains, a loving presence within a world longing for love.  I open

 

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wider to this rapturous essence that has taken me up until I am that essence.  I am the dream.  In that last lighted room, I am the gold—the gold shared by everyone.  I see it glowing, growing, and the light returning. This, I know now, is how the dream ends. I hear a key turn in the lock.  My last day is coming to a close, and what a

fitting way for it to end.  I look about the small space that I have lived within.  Nothing has changed. It's still cramped and sparse.  And yet everything about it is different.

"Ready?" Jedediah asks

I can't help but laugh in my delight.   "Yes."

 

Notes from the author

 

If you liked The Last Day, at http://www.thelastday.ca, please send it on to your friends.  If you would like to read another fascinating story, a parable for these troubled times, take a look at The Last One  http://www.thelastone.ca  Austin Repath at thepilgrim@look.ca

 

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