Backstage, Ria Lockhart has gathered her gear and is in her street gear; a pair of black jeggings, calf high boots, a black PRIME hoodie and a King Blueberry t-shirt. As she rounds a corner, she passes a reclining figure, who has apparently laid out a travel blanket on top of a production crate. Sage Pontiff, licking what wounds he has, is seated with his body in a lotus position with his eyes closed. She throws a quizzical look in his direction, but shakes her head and keeps her stride going. But a voice halts her in her walk.
Sage Pontiff: Your aura is in disarray.
Ria turns back around, raises an eyebrow and tilts her head.
Ria Lockhart: Oh really? What makes you say that?
Sage Pontiff: I don’t have to listen hard to hear the cries, I don’t have to focus myself too deeply to see the pain. Each human being on this spaceship carries with it it’s own unique vibration, and yours is dissonant. There’s a rage inside of you, Ria Lockheart. You’re broken. I can provide the fix.
Ria chuckles as a smirk forms on her face. She shakes her head and takes a few steps towards the awkwardly positioned Pontiff.
Ria Lockhart: Honey, I’m aware of my darkness. There was a time it threatened to swallow me whole. I’ve done the work and I came to an important conclusion. That darkness? It’s a part of me. Accepting it keeps it in check. So while I appreciate the offer, I’d say I’m good for now. Thanks.
The Bodhisattva raises his body off the resting lotus position on sinewy arms before unfolding his legs. He stands up slowly, languidly, seemingly letting every vertebrae in his spine unfurl one by one until he’s erect. Hands on his hips, he looks to her.
Sage Pontiff: Acceptance is only a step, universal sibling.
He leaps down, easy, and now stands face to face with her.
Sage Pontiff: Western medicine seeks acceptance as a defeat action, throwing your hands up. But why court the feeling of powerlessness? Why look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Hey, I’m too weak to change anything, and that’s okay”? No no no, you’re stronger than that. You’ve got a deep well of transformative potential in your aura, you only need the appropriate key to fit into your lock.
Those last words carry something in his tone–it’s not seductive, necessarily, but it certainly feels inappropriate. Ria’s eyebrow raises again. Unlike last time, it’s out of annoyance rather than curiosity.
Ria Lockhart: I hope that wasn’t some attempt at innuendo combined with a pun.
Her tone, her body language and the look on her face all point to being irked.
Ria Lockhart: On top of that, I’m taking a bit of umbrage with your thought process. Acceptance as defeat? No. In this case, acceptance translates to love. Loving myself. I’m still working on spreading that love, but that’s a neverending battle.
There’s a soft chuckle at this, right on the line of either being condescending or legitimately humored. He begins to pace, slowly walking around her.
Sage Pontiff: “We are born of love–love is our mother”. I can hardly think of a more transformative power than that of love. But to love one’s self is not to mire in one’s self. One day you’ll understand, Ria Lockhart. You will break through, and you will feel the warmth of the sun on your face for the first time. Sooner than you think you will feel what it is like to achieve spiritual harmony, and you’ll wonder why you lived a life of dissonance for so long.
He stops in front of her, more close than she’s comfortable with–but she sets her spine and stiffens her lip rather than shy away. His smile is all warmth, his eyes unflinching and penetrating in their gaze.
Sage Pontiff: I will close my mouth and speak to you in a hundred silent ways.
With that, the Bodhisattva of Transformative Experiences gathers his gear–which appears to be some manner of bedroll and a baja hoodie–and strides away with the easy, loping steps of someone with little worry or care. Or anywhere in particular to be. Ria stares off in the direction Sage had meandered towards.
Ria Lockhart: Or you could’ve kept the silent part while getting rid of the speaking.
A visibly embittered Ria storms off in the other direction.