In a few moments everyone again focused on the Seeress. She had not been introduced to anyone except with the title of Seeress. To me, she had been revealed as Zelda Moskowitz by Rolf, with the agreement of the committee. I had heard some things about Zelda Moskowitz in the circles of those who can see and hear things that others cannot; she was building a name for herself by the quality of her work in our world community. She was certainly not anyone who I had strived to be, I had not thought her to be someone I could learn from. As usual I found myself in a position where I was not exactly right.
I had known Beate very well. In the short time of our interaction she had spent some critical time with me helping me through a difficult situation. I did not like the roommate I had been assigned, did not like the accommodations and found myself in a very awkward situation as a young student abroad.
It was not a case of really disliking but it all came to a head one day and Beate had saved the situation. The roommate and I were sharing a room in a woman’s house. The woman spoke only German and the girl, Molly was completely clueless. She was also not very well read and had no idea about WWII. It was as if she was just dumped into Austria as part of some experiment. It was stressful to me translating all the time, as Molly would not even try to cooperate. It was odd that someone whose home had been bombed out, and furniture from that time rebuilt, furniture that we were using in our room, had a student who was clueless. Molly didn’t mean to be ignorant, she just was.
Beate could understand my frustration. When I told her that Molly and I were sharing a bed and that she was a person who punched in her sleep, changes were made. The Frau had told the school that she had two beds and two rooms for students. She did not think that anyone would question her about it. She had a couch which turned into a bed by moving cushions around and that was the extra bed, so technically there was another bed.The Frau had been using this room as a dining room. We sat on the couch with a small table in front of it to take our meals.
I eventually decided that I would prefer a student house rather than a home,"living with a family" as it was termed. This change worked out great. I was with two girls, one who was German and studying at the University of Salzburg and the other an American girl studying at the Mozarteum. Beate knew just what to say and just what to do. She also understood that the school director was a bit difficult to deal with and did not want to make anything work for anyone except herself and the school. Most people just did not go to her with any concerns, they went to Beate. It was Beate who ran interference and fixed things.
We bonded over this, as did many students who had situations that they needed handling. I didn’t really have a clue why but she and I spent more time together than most. She would take me for rides in the school van to pick up the catering for lunch; she always found time to be kind. She was almost like a mother to me there, or perhaps a concerned aunt, yes, more like that.
My abilities had not completely manifested themselves at the time. I had not understood some of the things which I took for granted were actually gifts that others did not have. I used to think it was empathy or just being aware. Perhaps that is at the core of why some people can see things or know things. Maybe they are just picking up signals that no one else can translate. I have no idea. I know that even as a child I could have out of body experiences. I did not think anything remarkable about it, I actually did not know I was unique until many years later when I realized what I was doing, how it was labeled and that most people could not experience it. It was then, a few decades past that I finally understood that the telepathy my sister and I used, and all that I could do was different. It was an interesting feeling the awareness that I now had.
I think Beate knew back then there was something about me. I remember when I was going to leave Austria to go back home to the U.S., I wanted to do something special for her. I remember buying her a lavender plant.
I had no idea that she was sick with cancer and would die within the year of my leaving. I saw her as someone who was kind and devoted to the students, someone who could make things work out, who was non-judgmental, who could be quiet enough to listen and trusted enough not to tell anyone anything you might have said. In my quest to give her something important and meaningful that day I had just randomly selected the lavender. I didn’t know what kind of message the lavender flower held, that it was, in the language of flowers, a plant that denotes purity, silence, devotion and caution. Nor did I know that the lavender plant was thought to have healing powers.
It was a cold and snowy day when I had walked into the shop to purchase it. Students rarely have extra money but this was too important to me, so I spent some of my money I had to live on. I had to show her that I appreciated her efforts on my behalf.
When I had locked eyes with Zelda all this came back to me in a flash because in a way it was Beate sitting there with me. I realized that she almost sounded like Beate, even though I had not heard her voice for many years. I think it was because I had always felt Beate’s voice more than heard it. I always knew something was deeper, more meaningful.
My attention had been drawn back into the circle and while we all held hands I began to feel as though there was another presence in the room with us. We were silent and while my eyes were open, Zelda’s were not, yet I still felt Beate’s eyes looking at me and felt the comfort in them. The other guests were mostly still, eyes shut, seeming to be listening with their whole bodies to the next direction from the Seeress. Slowing words came tumbling out, “Who has joined us here?” the Seeress asked.