Episode #3 of The Rogue Dialogues: Inner Healing for Leadership
Continued from Rogue, Wisdom
A young girl in a white robe enters the garden.
Acolyte: Athena? Athena? ‘Thena, are you there?
Thena: [entering] Rogue, is that you?
Acolyte: Um, sort of? I know I was Rogue when I started looking for you, but now I have become… this.
T. And it suits you very well. Because now you are no longer an Orphan, but my own precious daughter.
A. Wait, wait? Isn’t that a little… weird?
T. Not at all. Wisdom is always made known by her children
A. Okay, whatever. Listen, there’s something that’s been bugging me for a while, but I keep forgetting to ask you.
T. Ask away!
A. I think I understand that the zeroeth lesson of Wisdom is to run away from a dangerous foe, and the first lesson is finding someone and somewhere safe to talk about it.
T. Yes, that’s an excellent summary.
A. But, how do I know what’s safe? One of the reasons I became a Rogue is that all my father figures turned on me when… when…
Acolyte collapses into tears. Thena takes her to the bench, and holds her close while she weeps herself out.
A. It’s just not fair. All I did was try to do the very things they told me to do. The whole reason we were there in the first place. They even let me help them out sometimes. I thought I could trust them. And they trusted me. Until…
A. [in a small voice] I never know what’s going to trigger it. A small question. A helpful suggestion. Or, yes, sometimes an angry retort, or blurting out an awkward truth. But instead of trying to comfort or understand me, they turn on me. With a vengeance. As if I was the source of all their woes. As if… they were just tolerating me all this time… and never truly lo… l…
Acolyte bends over in Thena’s lap, and cries and cries and cries.
Thena gently strokes her hair, murmuring soft nothings.
T. It’s okay, my daughter. It is ever thus with my children. I am sorry you had to go through this. But it was needful for you to lose faith in your earthly parents in order for you to become my true heir.
A. But why? Why does it have to hurt so much? Why do they have to be so cruel? Why does everyone need for it to be MY fault!
Not cruel or mocking, but a glorious tinkle. Acolyte splutters and tries to protest, but soon finds herself joining in. Before they know it, they both roar themselves breathless, and then nearly drown in giggles every time they try to speak.
A. Wh… what just happened?
Thena holds up a finger, then takes a carefully controlled deep breath.
T. [in a stage whisper] Can you keep a secret?
A. [whispering back, puzzled] I think so.
T. [loudly] That was your answer!
There is a moment of shocked silence, and then they both burst into guffaws again.
they finally wheeze to a stop, Acolyte tries again.
A. Okay, no, seriously. What the #*@$! just happened?
T. You remember how I gave Athens the gift of creating words?
T. Well, I also introduced them to comedy. Of course people have always laughed. But I showed them how to use humor to teach truths that did not — could not — fit into words.
A. So when I asked my question…
T. I had no words that could heal the wounds in your heart, my dear Acolyte. So I did something better. I let you in on the joke!
A. But I didn’t understand it!
T. Yet you enjoyed it all the same, the way a child shares in the joy of her parents long before she knows why.
A. Is that… my answer?
T. To your original question, yes. You know a place is safe when the people there can laugh about it. Or perhaps… if you can laugh about yourself with them.
A. [hugging her] Thanks, Mommy
T. Aww! You’re welcome, sweetie.
Continued in Diarogue 4/7: Adept, Wisdom