She often helped people.
When she saw someone was hurting, she found little ways to soothe him. When she noticed darkness in an action, she found a way to shine some light. If someone offered her a token, she was sure to keep it faithfully. If hurtful things were done to her, she was first and always forgiving. When a friend was confused or self-deceiving, she’d gently show how things were not as they might seem.
These were gifts she gave.
Yet when her eyes got large with fear or pain, no one returned these favors. She wondered why they gave no comfort when she had held them with their needs. She did not know that she had a gift.
Why would a child think she had special powers?
She did not know, could not conceive, that others could not see the way she could see. Children believe what they believe. She believed they chose not to see her. A sadness moved into her eyes.
The little girl had to fix things. She’d prove she was worth caring about, by caring even more. She used her sight to slay dragons that tormented people and to describe the demons that stood in their way. She was sure they would thank her, but instead they turned in rage. They began tearing at the fabric of her person.
She was injured by the kindness of her own intent. She went to live alone for her own kind of ever after.
The girl grew into womanhood and made a home—a cabin with a bell. The cabin was worn with wisdom and filled with details of her heart—books, paper, pens and pencils, canvases, paints and brushes. Works of art and wildflowers dressed up every wall and table.
Children came to visit often. They loved to hear her stories, but their parents kept their distance. They feared the grown-up girl who could see too much about them. She was saddened by their fear, but she accepted that they had it.
She now preferred the company of the old pine forest.
Over time the girl met a few who saw as deeply as she did. They lived in cabins scattered in small meadows through the forest and the hills. She got them all to gather, to talk and share their stories. But the scatterlings could not stay long. They could not bear the time together. Each struck a chord in the others that played out their defining difference. Finally being seen was now too much and way too late. They were soon itching with intensity to be alone again. And so they all returned to their private cabins with the books and art and flowers.
The people in the villages called them scatterlings and seers.
The people in the cabins called themselves writers and artists.
—me strauss Letting me be