And so, legend says, one cold night the boy sat down at his bedroom desk to write his way through that labyrinth of mystery. There was an empty composition notebook and he opened it before him to begin writing the state of his perusals, composing into language the likeness of his whirling mental tapestries. He soon discovered how natural it was for him, the act of writing. He wrote about his fears, the crippling panic whenever he was around strangers, whenever he thought of something particularly troublesome, perhaps a situation that forced his heart into a sprint. He wrote about the effects of that anxiety, it’s force not only upon his mind but also his body, which he hoped would lead him invariably to the source, what he considered to be the progenitor of his sickness, and he wrote about time and refracted light and he scribbled mathematical equations into the notebook and then his mind delicately eased him onto the path of the state of the world, the collective fear amid the global socioeconomic hardship, the widespread warfare, disease, the suffering in the wake of poor leadership and representation. Ever-present spiritual decay and fragmentation. He wrote about the governing policies and the political world as entropy or as a crutch for the modern, post-quake people of the world. He wrote about prolonged and sustained damage and he wrote about the social norms that would need to change in order for the world to be a more peaceful, more practical place for everyone to live cooperatively, contributively, equally, and before he knew it he had composed a very detailed (and very long) treatise on radical social theory unlike anything since the quake.
The translator and I watched the woman. She seemed more confident than before, as if opening this doorway into her history or our history she’d found the courage she’d needed. She tossed the butt on the ground and watched a string of smoke rise into the air, a flame of smoke braided and torn, twisted and folded back upon itself.
So who is this person, this prodigy child? I asked her.
These are stories, she said, waving at the air with a gesture of dismissal. They are just stories. Nobody knows if they are true.
Where are these writings? I asked her.
The woman looked at me and smiled.