Last night I was at my sister's playing the godmother fairy. She had called me to consult with me on a full moon problem. The night before, on the 13th, on her way to work at the hospital for the night shift, she found herself alone on the train platform. In the very bright light of the moon she noticed a figure hiding behind a light pole on the other side, waiting for the opposing train. She was singing softly some church hymns, and was wondering whether to do it louder so that the other could hear her. The opposing train approached, and then in a split second she saw what she could now identify as a man in his 30s jumping on the tracks. He laid down crossing them. His face turned towards her. With her mouth already open, the words, 'Oh God,' were uttered at the exact moment when the train made full impact. For the next longest five minutes in her life, she was kneeling – her physical power gone from her legs – looking at the remains. Scattered body parts, blood, an ear and a palm next to her, and bits of clothing still fluttering in the wind on the tracks. Her own train arrived, she stepped inside it, numb, got to work, where another man was dying – and she almost broke down. But she didn't. She called the police, reported the event, and then was told that she must have her state of shock checked at the psychiatric ward.
And this is where I came into the picture. When she called me in the morning, she wanted to ask me why the professionals insisted that she shouldn't think that it was her fault, and that there was nothing she could do to prevent the man from taking his life. 'Obviously I don't think that,' she said to me - though she did entertain the idea that if only she had sung louder, then, perhaps the man would have stopped. I said to her that the reason why the professionals insist on the guilt part is because it doesn't occur to them to say that she had to go through this because some divine power must have loved that soul enough to grant him his last moment in the vicinity of human breath, a singing breath. Insofar as all she cold say was, 'Oh, God, Oh God,' God was invoked, and it was enough for the young man to have a proper burial. I asked my sister: 'why do you think he turned towards you, while preparing to die, instead of placing himself with his face down, or facing the moon?' 'I don't know' she said, 'I've been wondering about that.' 'Stop wondering,' I said to her. 'You were chosen to perform a very special task. To allow a dying man to take your hand – however coercively and violently – and say a prayer for him – however unconsciously.' 'This is a privilege of the highest,' I then further said, 'and you be grateful that you were found worthy of it.'
My nephew intervened at this point, to remind his mother of the parents' day event at his school, the Roskilde Cathedral High School. 'You must also come' he said to me, and I blurted at him, reminding him that it was not given onto me to perform the task of mothering anyone. My sister insisted that what I was saying was complete nonsense. 'Some mothers are of the spiritual kind,' she said, 'and they are itinerant, and therefore the best.' Outside the school, I was standing before its tower. This school used to be right next to the Roskilde Cathedral proper, but as it grew in size they had to move it. The original tower could not follow, but thanks to technology, a beam of light was installed to reflect the shape of the cathedral. How beautiful and ingenious, I thought, and then bemused that there is something special about itinerant cathedrals. After listening to the Rector instructing the young ones on refraining from drinking binges, Paul's class performed Stevie Wonder's song, 'Don't You Worry About a Thing.' I took my sister's hand, and said to her, 'you know, my dear, you're a cathedral and a tower of strength. I bow to you.' Our hands touched and the world stood still, yet resonating.