It is better to be invisible. His life was better when he was invisible, but he didn’t know it at the time.
He was born invisible. His mother was invisible too, and that was why she could see him. His people lived contented lives, working on the farms, under the familiar sunlight. Their lives stretched back into the invisible centuries and all that had come down from those differently coloured ages were legends and rich traditions, unwritten and therefore remembered. They were remembered because they were lived.
He grew up without contradiction in the sunlight of the unwritten ages, and as a boy he dreamt of becoming a shepherd. He was sent to school, where he learnt strange notions, odd alphabets, and where he discovered that time can be written down in words.
It was in books that he first learnt of his invisibility. He searched for himself and his people in all the history books he read and discovered to his youthful astonishment that he didn’t exist. This troubled him so much that he resolved, as soon as he was old enough, to leave his land and find the people who did exist, to see what they looked like.
He kept this discovery of his recent invisibility to himself and soon forgot his dream of becoming a shepherd. But in the end he didn’t have to wait till he was old enough. One night when the darkness was such that it confirmed his invisibility in the universe, he fled from home, ran to the nearest port, and stole off across the emerald sea.
He travelled for seven years. He did all the jobs that came his way. He learnt many languages. He learnt many kinds of silences. He kept his mouth shut as much as possible and listened to all the things that men and nature had to say. He travelled many seas and saw many cities and witnessed many kinds of evil that can sprout from the hearts of men. He travelled the seas, saying little, and when anyone asked him why he journeyed and what his destination was, he always gave two answers. One answer was for the ear of his questioner. The second answer was for his own heart. The first answer went like this:
‘I don’t know why I am travelling. I don’t know where I am going.’
And the second answer went like this:
‘I am travelling to know why I am invisible. My quest is for the secret of visibility.’
Those who worked with him in those years saw him as a simple man. Actually, they didn,t see him at all.