When the summons came, I was surprised but not excited. We long for this time all our lives, but not for a day like today. There is no waiting though, no putting it off. When the Chronicler calls, you go. Unless you are in the annuls your memory will cease to exist. One day, one day and it has to be a day like this one.
I groaned as I reached out, pushing the heavy door into the room. He sits expressionless in his chair, pen posed over the high desk where the book lay open, ready for my words. What would I say? What mark would be mine in time? I wait silent. We do not speak first. That is the teaching. It is for him to begin.
“You have come. Welcome.” His booming voice held an unexpected gentleness. “It is yours to speak now. Tell me about your day.” He looked at me expectantly.
“This wasn’t much of a day…. I even got up late, not even wanting to write. But from there it is just a normal day. I ate, went to school and taught, came home, practiced guitar, went to my lesson and then you called me to come. Please, can’t we make it another time. I only get this one day to be remembered. Isn’t there some bigger day in my future so that I can be remembered as more than this?”
“That is all to your day?” he coaxed. His face wore a look of expectancy. I knew that I would not get off this easily And besides? Would I want to? Was that the only memories I would leave behind?
“I did write this morning – words into a new journal. Only when I opened it, I found I had bought graph paper instead of lined pages. I almost let it excuse my from the task but then I thought of all the houses I had drawn in my life just to help me think. Perhaps this paper was just what I needed. Perhaps it would help me dream. I set the timer for the minutes I would claim from the morning hurry and began to dream a house. My heart started with an art room with walls that I would paint with the mountainous picture that has filled my dreams since childhood.”
He didn’t speak when I paused but just continued to write in flowing letters on the page before him. When he looked up, but still did not speak I knew I had to go on.
“I tossed a stone into the words in a writing group. It was not a beautiful stone. “Morning? Groan.” the simplicity fitting the expectation, the words fitting my reluctance to move into the day. But I could not leave the ugly stone in that way. When I read the words my heart felt heavier. I could not leave that heaviness for others so I added another image from my memory, “This is one of those uglier stones laying on the shore. Thrown into the waters of the day, I am sure it will start to glisten.” It isn’t much but it left me feeling lighter. Maybe it would feel that way to others too.”
Words. My day was tied to words. No, not just words but memories. Tied into the package of the day were moments that held all the things that had touched my life – storied shared, songs sung, a moment of empathy with a struggling student. There were moments of choosing to be more than came easily as I interacted with children and colleagues, as I plugged through to pick out one more phrase in the music that frustrated the inexperience of my fingers. There were choices given and taken that would in small ways impact relationships with those who were a part of my world. I did not realize he had stopped writing and was watching me as I stood there deep in thought. It seemed he could hear all that was going through my mind.
I was quiet, waiting, somehow knowing that there was nothing I had needed to say. The Chronicler had not called me here to tell him my day. He had called me here to know for myself that this was the day. Today I was all that I am in life. It is in the small moments and the everyday that who we are can be known.
He smiled at me. I knew I was free to go. This was my day, my moment, my knowing. What will you find when you are called?