Episode #4 of The Rogue Dialogues: Inner Healing for Leadership
Continued from Acolyte, Wisdom
A teenage boy enters, red-haired with freckles.
Adept: ‘Thena, where are you?
Thena: [entering] Right here. And who are you now, my dear Rogue?
A. Ah think ahm what they call an “Adept.” Which either means skillful or magic user, yeh?
T. Very good. What brings you here today?
A. See, ahm not quite sure. That’s the problem. See, ah know what it is ah need to do. And ah knows that ah can do it. But, ahs not so sure if ah will do it. See what ah mean?
T. Ah. I see.
A. Ah you making fun ah me?
T. Not at all, my dear Adept. I think your problem is that you don’t feel fully seen.
Adept blushes and clutches his clothes.
T. Not like that… well, not just that. Come, walk with me.
Thena whistles, and her owl swoops in to take the lead. A verdant landscape spreads before them, filled with the songs of birds and babbles of brooks. Adept follows, his mouth wide open in wonder.
T. What do you think of this landscape?
A. Och, tis beautiful.
T. How does it make you feel?
A. Safe. Welcome. Like ah belong.
T. How about now? [she snaps her fingers and the day turns to a moonlit night]
A. Peaceful. Quiet.
T. And now. [snap, and the moon and stars go out]
A. Nervous. Cold. Confused.
Thena snaps again. A chill wind begins to tear at their clothes. Drops of rain begin to fall. A wolf howls in the distance.
A. Scared. Lost. In danger.
Thena snaps her fingers again, and the cloudless day is restored. Adept rushes over to give her a hug.
T. So what have you learned, my Adept?
A. That the exact same place can seem warm and inviting, or cruel and threatening, depending on the conditions.
T. Yes. And so can you. There is no shame in that, because to be mortal is precisely to be married to our environment. But a good marriage is one where the tension forces both of you to become the best version of yourself.
A. What tension is that exactly?
T. The tension between what you know is real [pointing to the glorious landscape] and [snap, it all goes dark] what you see at the moment.
A. Thena? Are you still there?
T. Always, my child.
A. Then… will ye take mah hand, and lead mah thru the dark? Because ah know the land is glorious. Ah have seen it with mah own eyes. But… but ahm not strong enough to remember it all. And just cause it be good, does not mean it be safe. Can ye just walk this road with me?
A. Thena, are ya still there?
T. Yes, my child. My brave, handsome child. I am always with you. I will always be with you. But this road, you must walk alone, in order to become a Man. I cannot walk it for you.
A. Then how will ah know the way? Ah am not strong enough. Ah am not smart enough. Ah dinna know all the dangers that lie ahead. How can ah avoid the traps ah do not see, if ye don’t lead me?
T. My child, this is exactly why I cannot lead you. What you call a trap is actually a test, and each test contains a treasure. Those treasures contain the jewels that will enable you to fulfill your quest.
There is a rustling of cloth, and a warm hand clasps the shoulder of Adept.
T. It grieves my heart to know the heartbreak and pain you have endured to reach this point, and I would be lying if I said there was no more ahead. But oh, I am so proud of the man you’ve become, and are still becoming.
Thena squeezes his shoulder.
T. Know that I see you. Your gold and your dross, your triumphs and disasters, your joyous victories and pathetic surrenders. Remember that I know you better than you know yourself, and still love you even more than you love yourself.
T. Also, I will send my owl ahead of you, to flush out any dangers beyond your ability to handle. Take time to listen at every crossroad, and soon you will learn the recognize the flutter of his wings.
A. Mah lady… thank ye. Will ah see ye again?
T. Me? I will always be here for you. But who will you be when we meet again? That, the Fates alone can see.
Continued in Diarogue 5/7: Seer, Wisdom