MEMORIES BEFORE MATINS. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Religous Bookmark and Share


Sister Brigid's ear caught the sound of the cloister bell even though the shutters were up against the cold and wind and barely a thin line of light peeked through the crack between shutters like a Peeping Tom and pushing reluctantly the thin blankets from the bed she raised her head to the crucifix above the bed with the Crucified nailed hard against the darkened wood by nails rusty and aged and made the sign of the cross from forehead to breast from shoulder to shoulder and the let the cold hand hang there in the chilled morning air waiting for the lips to find prayer to get sense back in numbed toes hear the voice of God in the bird chorus outside the window and the wind through the trees and take note of the cobweb hanging from the right hand of Christ and a small spider lingering the corner and the smell of stale flesh and damp cloth and sitting up she put her feet on the wooden floor clinging on to the few words of praise her mind could raise up from the depth of soul and dark of dawn and staring at the shutters taking in the peeling paint and the picture of St Therese of Lisieux above the sink the bright eyes gazing back at her seeking to understand and to love  and wanting to reach out and standing she walked to the window and pulled back the shutters showing the dim morning light and the chill hanging on to the tree in the garth and the statue of the Madonna holding the child with flowers frozen at her feet and she let her eyes sweep the cloister garth noting the birds flitter from branch to branch and the moon still there in the corner of her vision and the new day sun sitting up there in the eastern corner of her sight and the echo of the bell still in her ears and Sister Mary calling at the door with her thrill voice saying the Benedictus and moving on along the passage with her clumping feet and small bell and  moving back to the bed Brigid removed her nightgown and began to dress in cloth of the order of black and white and the stiffness and coldness touching and blessing her skin and having completed the dressing she stood by the bed and lifted her head and looked at the Christ with His closed eyes and arms outstretched as if He wanted to embrace the world  and take all to Him to remove all sin and hurt and pain and deep dark feelings that even she at that moment felt and wanted Him to know her more and better and to speak more louder and clearly and draw her nearer and hold her closer and speak His words until her ears rattled and there was in those carved features a sense of suffering chiselled in the wood brought out of the texture created out of an anonymous nun's fingers and hands this Christ this Crucified this Agnus Dei and looking away she remembered her mother kissing the feet of the nailed figure of a plaster Christ the wet lips touching and the closed eyes and the whispered pray and the clear memory of her mother hanging there behind the door of her bedroom by the dressing gown belt about her neck two feet from the ground and the eyes bulging from sockets as if seeking unto the end some coming saviour some sacrificed Christ someone to come some one to heal some one to mend.

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