Cathedral

Feastday of St. Sigebert, the Eighth Year in the Reign of King Richard II

A sanctuary for the fearful. And I must admit, we are all fearful of that life to come. Not in the joys of Heaven, but in the uncertainty that we will arrive there.

And so the cathedrals rise. An amazing expanse of the stone mason's art. Each runner and column climbs into the heavens of arched ceilings, details wrought from stone. Florets, gargoyles, saints. The masons prove that with enough skill, there is no facet of nature they cannot conquer with the right chisel and skilled hand.

Glazers, too, create rainbows of colors on glass and paint pictures with shards. The cathedral floors gleam with their art married to the sun.

I am not an artistic man. I have been trained in courtly arts, the playing of an instrument, for instance, the dance, but I lack skill and heart. The instrument I was best suited for was a sword.

And so I have returned to London with thoughts of Canterbury on my mind. I do not think that I shall look at another church in the same light, for I have seen death bleed out upon its holy floor. The stone tiles were stained with it. The shrieks echo in my head and no godly chant can wipe out the sound. I shall not look at a shadow of a quire again without a chill running up my spine or without a hand groping desperately for my dagger. Under its holy arches, there is the promise of sanctuary, but it is now an empty promise to me. I must go forth now, an orphan in my soul, wandering in hopes of finding peace again within the walls of a church. Perhaps Westminster, for in that place resides old friends. Abbot Nicholas is fond of putting me to rights. Indeed, he believes it is his final work on this earth.

With the shadows of Canterbury still haunting my soul, I am almost pleased to let him try.