Peter Pickering - Words and Worlds Interwoven

Cosmic Traveller, Elian, Views the Earthly Realm
Cosmic Traveller, Elian, Views the Earthly Realm

In the hush of the cosmos, where stars whisper secrets to the void, there spun an azure planet, swathed in veils of cerulean and wreaths of white. On this orb, teeming with life, there dwelt a soul named Elian—a voyager who felt adrift on the terrestrial tides, a being whose essence was woven from strands of otherness.

The Wanderer of Sidereal Shores

From the earliest memories that dappled Elian's consciousness, there was a pervasive sense of dissonance. The customs and cadences of this world rang unfamiliar, and the melodies of human connection often eluded the grasp of comprehension. Elian was as one born under a different sky, eyes set to a wavelength that revealed the unseen currents flowing beneath the surface of society’s sea.

Walking the streets, sitting in classrooms, engaging in the rites and rituals of Earth’s inhabitants, Elian was there but not fully part of it—like a ghost that had forgotten the way back to its haunt. The conversations around felt coded, a language that was learned but never native. Gestures and expressions were a ballet to which Elian knew some steps but could never hear the music.

It was Robert Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land' that first made Elian feel seen. Here was a character that mirrored the internal odyssey—Valentine Michael Smith, the Man from Mars, who viewed the world through the glass of otherness. In Smith, Elian found a kindred spirit, a compass that pointed to an understanding that there were indeed others who tread quietly on the fringes.

School, a supposed haven of learning and growth, became an amphitheatre where the play of normalcy was performed, and where Elian felt most acutely the bite of difference. Elian observed, learned, and mimicked, but the fit was never quite right—a puzzle piece from another box forced into a space that almost matched.

Adulthood brought with it a revelation—a cascade of terms that flowed like a balm onto the spirit: neurodiversity, ADHD, ASD. These were not just words; they were windows into a soul's blueprint, a map that charted the intricate byways of Elian's mind. There was power in knowledge, strength in the understanding that the sense of otherness was not a flaw but a feature—a distinct perspective in a world of singular views.

The journey, however, was far from over. With no corporeal rescue, for there was none needed, Elian set about crafting a life within the in-between spaces. There were passions that flickered and blazed—art, music, writing—fluent languages for a spirit that stumbled with words. There were allies and advocates found in unexpected places, souls who saw the world not in shades of conformity but as a mosaic of marvellous difference.