Wordcarpenter Books

Chapter Thirty-nine


Lapsit Exillis


Thomas's brush with death left him with some bad burns, but he recovered fully except he had noticeably deeper wrinkles on the right side of his face. Now out of the hospital and with time off work, he relaxed somewhere over the Pacific Ocean on his way to meet Josh at the Winnipeg airport with the Taponi Tablet in his bag under his seat. He busied himself with Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival about the Holy Grail to get his mind off some electrical malfunction in the airplane that had left passengers without any heat. It was unbelievably cold cruising at 30,000 feet and most were without a jacket.

Warm and cozy wearing his coat, something strange and eerie happened when he came across a passage in von Eschenbach's book. It had to be more than just another coincidence. It really did. It was a passage on page 251 about the Holy Grail. Here was the passage from the book:

"It [the Holy Grail] is a stone of purest kind. If you do not know it, it shall be here named to you. It is called lapsit exillis. By the power of that stone the phoenix burns to ashes, but the ashes give him life again. Thus does the phoenix moult and change its plumage, which afterwards is bright and shining and as lovely as before. There never was a human so ill but that, if he one day sees that stone, he cannot die within the week that follows. And in looks he will not fade. His appearance will stay the same, be it maid or man, as on the day he saw the stone, the same as the best years of his life began, and though he should see the stone for two hundred years, it will never change, save that his hair might perhaps turn grey. Such power does the stone give a man that flesh and bones are at once made young again. The stone is also called the Grail."

Could this Taponi Tablet of the East, this lapsit exillis or it fell from the heavens, be one of four Grail stones given to the four races of mankind? Was it a source of alchemy for the spirit, an elixir for what is good in man? was that the physiological reason why the stone had reddened the cut on his forehead? Had that mark historically been called the Mark of Cain? Did Grandfather tell him his spirit name was Red Phoenix because he knew he would burn under the shining light on that perfect day? Into ashes and be reborn? Where did these coincidences end?

He closed his eyes to ease his racing mind and soon fell into a deep slumber. He dreamed that he was in a modern-day monastery where he awoke among Christians in white robes who told him all will be redeemed in the end. From two long rows of cots with people milling around, he got up and everything in the dream was bathed in a bright light. The first step he took gave him an overwhelming sense of true faith, as if his faith was beyond doubt. With every step he took he spoke in parables from the Bible. The walls around him were white but the people in the dream were like points of light in an outline of the shape of a person. Then when the words of Matthew came out of his mouth, it fueled his passion to speak. He specifically heard himself say: ‘Those who are first are the last; those who are last, first.' He felt warm and safe, and the light was almost powdery as if it was a fluffy substance that bounced off the white robes. It spilled over as free energy for those who reached out for it like stardust.

After he woke up on the plane, the one thing he couldn't stop thinking about was how odd it was that he had known the words of Matthew. He couldn't figure out how he could have come to know any quotes from the Gospel of Matthew.

Part One - Canada
1.      The Twin From the East Returns  
2.      The Sundancer  
3.      Waxing Gibbous 
4.      The Second Coming of the Messiah 
5.      The Sacred Twin Story 
6.      The Sign of the Pahana 
7.      Palongawhoya and Poqanghoya 
8.      Rainbow Thunderbird and Red Phoenix 
9.      The True White Brother 
10.    The Lost Louis Riel Notebooks 
Part Two - Hong Kong
11.    A Mixture of Revulsion and Pity 
12.    A Classroom of Scallywags 
13.    Illegitimati non Carborundum 
14.    The Distant Fire of Empyrean
Part Three - Burma
15.    The Monastery of Sacred Tablets 
16.    The Outpost of Tyranny 
17.    When the 12th Moon Comes 
18.    The Pigeon Left & the Crow Took His Place 
19.    Go North and Find Your People 
20.    Finding Orwell 
21.    Though the Monkey is in a Hurry, the Tree Branch is Not 
22.    The Castle at God's Toes 
23.    The General and Sergeant Betel Nut 
24.    The Tattooed Station Master 
25.    Reverend Crow's Life's Work 
26.    Yield Not to Adversity, But Press on More Bravely 
27.    A Bitter Cuppa Tea 
28.    The Thirteenth Tribe 
29.    When a Lamp is Lit You Must Expect Insects 
30.    John the Christian 
31.    A Guardian Angel Named Hanna 
32.    The Bar Car & Betel Nut 
33.    The Son of Light 
34.    Slipping the Karmic Knot
Part Four - Hong Kong
35.    The Tonsure Warning 
36.    The Phoenix Reborn 
37.    Touching the Empyrean 
38.    Joshua the Gatekeeper 
Part Five - Canada
39.    Lapsit Exillis 
40.    Thunderstones 
41.    The Time of Great Purification  

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