Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Old Man and the Pilgrim

An old man sat cross-legged before Mathias, his eyes closed, his hands folded gently on his lap; a stillness seemed to emanate from him. Mathias relaxed, the tension of his pilgrimage flowing from him.

“Why have you come?” The Seer broke the silence, his voice deep and resonant.

“I seek greatness.” It wasn’t the eloquent speech that Mathias had planned, but it was the truth.

“Go south to the sea; your greatness awaits you at Helos,” said the old man.

Mathias barely slept that night. For the first time he found himself questioning the Seer’s ability to see the future.

“Helos is but a tiny sea port,” Mathias thought, “nothing but fish could await me there.”

As dawn touched the sky with her rosy fingers, Mathias hatched a plan: he would visit the Seer again and see if he received the same advice.

I will put on a disguise, Mathias told himself, the old man will not recognise me.

The sun’s fiery head peeked over the horizon as Mathias made his way towards the Seer’s house.

Once again Mathias stood before the old man, but this time he did not wait for the Oracle’s question.

“I seek greatness, oh mighty Seer.”

“Go north. You will learn greatness from the mountains,” the old man replied.

“I thought…” Mathias stammered. And then he realised that he wasn’t sure what he had thought. He had hoped; he had had hope.

Mathias hung his head and turned to leave. But as he did, the old man gave him a tight lipped smile and said, “Tomorrow I will tell you what awaits you in the East.”

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