I have heard many stories from many men. I have heard about their adventures. I have heard their complaints and accusations.
For a long time, I have been sitting here listening beneath my seven veils.
No man has ever engaged me.
Then one day, an amusing young fellow came to me. He spoke about the strange countries he had traveled through. Then he joined me in silence, and for some time we sat together.
After a little while, he said, “I have been forced to hold my peace for so many months that now I really must talk to somebody! I know what I’ll do. I’ll talk to the candlestick. ‘Oh, fairest of candlesticks, how are you?'”
“Very well indeed,” said the candlestick. It went on to describe a problem that the fellow was at a loss to solve.
I knew the solution, and so at last I broke my silence.
The Silent Princess in The Silent Princess, Olive Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.
Do you recognize this situation? Have you ever been silent because nobody is asking for what you have to offer? What is it that you know that you would be happy to offer if you were asked? Make a list of five times when you’ve been asked for something you know how to offer — from solutions to guidance and expressions of art. Reflect for a few minutes on what felt best to offer, and why.