The Rogue Dialogues (aka “Diarogues“) are a series of stream-of-consciousness narratives I wrote while alone in my room from July 3-6, 2022, unemployed and quarantined with COVID-19. This was my attempt to make peace with the “part” of me that had an unfortunate history of sabotaging my relationships with authority figures.
The scene is a wide-open grassy field. Two women enter from opposite sides, running towards each other. One is older than the hills, but still a picture of perfect health. The other is younger, having just now reached her full maturity.
Before they can embrace, the younger one trips and falls. She lies prone, shaking and pounding the ground in her grief.
A serious-looking, raven-haired young woman with a sable cloak and green eyes enters the room.
Seer: Thena? My lady Thena, art thou here?
Thena: [entering] Rogue, my dear child, how you have grown! Who are you today?
S. I hast followed thy advice and become a Seer. My life is devoted to seeing others as they are, not as I wish them to be. I can even see the invisible kingdom alongside the kingdoms of man.
T. Wonderful! I am so proud of you. But why did you say this was my advice?
S. For sooth, that is the reason I sought thee out, for fear I hath misunderstood thy intent when last we met.
T. What did you think I meant?
S. I was an Adept strong in battle, yet thou shewed me fretful and vulnerable as ever I lost sight of my surroundings, or thee. I took this as a challenge to improve my vision.
T. That challenge was well-taken, dear child. But are you concerned you may have taken it too far?
S. Yea, verily. For I am now so besotten with every little detail, I know not whence to act. I see all sides of a conflict, and the Justice and Pain behind each, so that my heart is torn every which way and darest not choose sides.
T. Gentle Seer, I honor the pain you carry. While it was not my intent to place this great burden upon a you, yet I am so proud you took the narrow path until its bitter end.
S. But what good hath I done? Hast I not wasteth my life, if all I do is see and not act?
T. Seer, you surprise me! Do you truly not see the great power of seeing?
S. Mistress, thou justly shamest me. I took such great pride in my vision that I thought I hath seen it all. Please forgive me.
T. Seer, I see your humility and honor you for it. I see the pure hunger that drove you to discipline your mind and body; and also the vanity and insecurity that both spurred you on and crippled you.
T. I see your childlike curiosity, as well as your selfish desire for superior knowledge. Your longing to help, and your need for control. Your deep compassion — and subtle judging. Know that I see you, with all your glory and all your flaws, and love you all the more for both of them.
Seer, overcome, kneels down and weeps. Thena reaches down and gently strokes her hair.
T. Seer, the power of seeing is the second of God’s Great Acts. The first is to Beget. The second is to Behold. No life is wasted even if devoted to just one of these.
Seer rises. Thena hugs her fiercely, then holds her at arms length.
S. Mother, what shadow of trouble so darkens thy brow?
S. Is there no cure? Thou has taught me to seek so far, surely somewhere I mayest find thy succor?
T. No… but yes. Even Wisdom has its limits, child. Your instinct was right. To be a Seer is a great and agonizing call. But the one that comes after is much more of both. And that step… I cannot take with you.
S. No! Dearest mother, thou hast always been my sweetest friend. Let me abide with thee still, even if I must die with thee.
T. O my darling Rogue, how tempted I am to spare you the bitter cup that awaits. But such decisions are not mine to make. I am not worthy to choose the time and place of my own death, much less yours.
Thena seems to have aged a century. She lies back on the ground.
T. Come close to me, child. There is but one path left, if you would save my life and fulfill your destiny.
Seer grips Thena’s suddenly frail hand with two of hers. She lowers her ears to Thena’s lips.
Seer screams and jumps to her feet.
S. No! No, please. No, not that! Never!!
Weeping and wailing, Seer runs off into the darkness. While Wisdom lays dying in the light.
I think I am still a student But it feels like modern times
We are working in some major industrial plant Or perhaps a city Maybe even a Muniversity [hypothetical Learning City]
I was sent there to help our professor Who oversees their sanitation systems
He has done some amazing work He added, like, a second trash dropoff line Inside an existing building Nearly doubling throughput At virtually no cost
But he hasn’t been communicating The top brass is worried It may be time to pull him back
He never wanted this job But now he seems to be clinging to power It doesn’t make any sense
So I really have three assignments:
On the surface, I am there to help him
My bosses primarily just want to know what the heck is going on
And I am wondering if I should replace him
He has been avoiding me for days Finally I manage to corner him On his way to the cafeteria
Another person seems to have had the same Idea A Chinese woman Probably a local Her bosses probably have similar concerns I wonder if she has the same triple assignment
We buttonhole the professor Pleading with him to let us help him
He’s unfailingly polite But strangely evasive
I finally realize He is at war with himself
At one level He is surprised to discover He loves this job The chance to make a concrete difference The power and authority Living abroad, free from distractions
At another level He hates himself for getting sucked in He is supposed to be a science professor Not a sanitation executive He is neglecting his research And graduate students Not to mention his family!
Yet he somehow got addicted to this crap job During what was supposed to be A short term assignment Of just a few months
I finally ask him point blank “Don’t you want to get back to your research?”
We are in the enormous cafeteria now He is so flustered He throws scalding hot coffee All over me
It is probably an accident But he and I both know It doesn’t look good
I could easily spin it As him physically assaulting me And have him called back
I don’t want to do that I just want to understand What the heck is going on What he truly wants How I can help
Maybe He finally Does too
Please pray for me Our tiny little church is going through a massive transition The risks and opportunity are great
God seems to be opening long-closed doors for me to speak into leadership
The spiritual warfare is intense So pray carefully Thank you