Circle Of Self

By Ruth Dilley and Ruth Anne Wood

© 1991  © 2018

Act I

Scene 1 – Remembering

(Curtain opens.)

The sounds of late summer, early fall fills the foggy pre-dawn forest air.

A giant white plaster cocoon hangs in the Center Stage.

The forest is comprised of three magnificently sculpted tight leotard dance couples center stage with forest greenery in the background.

The first tree couple have their feet together, their arms locked as they lean back into a stressful, barely holding on “V”.

The second tree couple is intertwined and in an infatuated, codependent, embrace.

The third couple is standing straight far enough apart with their fingers barely touching. Energy, confidence, love, and strength exude from this power couple.

Images of iconic world events are projected on the white plaster cocoon that has taken place in the lifetime of the main character that eventually busts through the moving projections on the cocoon.

Next, we see that women hanging upside in the busted cocoon. She represents the archetype “The Hanged One” portrayed in Vicki Noble’s “Mother Peace” tarot deck.

Suddenly we see her spread her arms into large purple, black, green and gold butterfly wings, still hanging upside down.

Next thing we know Inyah is newly fluttering around the trees with such joy and life until exiting off stage right.

A new woman coming from stage right is dressed up like a fool with a satchel over her shoulder on a stick. She ambles over to Down Stage Left, unwraps her supplies. The stick becomes an easel, and inside the wrapped cloth is her art supplies which she sets up and begins to paint or charcoal a large white and deep blue abstract sky.

The large canvas is visible to the audience the entire time of the play. Like a fool, she creates beautiful works of art but then paints over them throughout the entire play as one painting merges into the next in spontaneously inspired rhythm of the play, different and masterful every time it is performed. Like a fool, she never finishes her work or takes credit for it by signing her name at the end. Her paintings and her vision carry all the seeds and potential that never fully come to fruition or recognition.

Coming towards the fool is a man dressed in black. He takes on a magical magician quality without being overly so as he moves among the trees and shadows.

ZERO: (Sing-songy, light-hearted talking to herself, painting away.) If I ever needed to create a name for myself it would be Zero. By myself I am nothing, but behind anything, I’m empowering!

ONE: (Butting into Zero’s private monologue dramatically points at her then himself talking to the audience.) If she is Zero, then I am One!

Inyah, the butterfly now an ordinary young looking woman in blue jeans with only a hint of her former wings in the colors of her clothes, enters stage right with a shovel. She starts digging deep around the roots of the first tree. 

ONE: (In sort of an obnoxious coughing voice.) It’s not there.

ZERO: I know it’s not there! Who do you think gave Inyah the idea to bury her writing in a time capsule over two and a half decades ago in the first place?

ONE: (Pointing to the “V” couple) That couple is on the way out. Look at them, they can barely hang on.

ZERO: I know, that’s why Inyah needed to be rooted in her writing to make sense of everything going on.

ONE: More like, lost in archetypal fantasy during her hardest emotional, I mean academic subjects. Everything was code for conversations she had while her family was splintering apart.

ZERO: Not everything. Some of it was symbolic stories to describe her first crushes in high school or creative musings.

ONE: O.k., Zero! But, I bet you that if she does find her buried time capsule she’ll realize she is still grappling with the same questions and aspirations she had when these very moments scenes flashed before her mind’s eye the first week in tenth-grade study hall. Inyah should have just buried her writing on a hard drive. That’s the ultimate time capsule for a scared writer.

ZERO: First of all, that 1991 desktop is long gone. And secondly even back then Inyah was a prophetic writer jotting down both of our names we “picked” for ourselves in her journal months earlier… way before now!

ONE: Now, now or high school now?

Zero gives the magician, One a look like there is only now and no difference, and that he is the fool.

ONE: So you think she has evolved? Care to make it interesting?

ZERO: Second of all, she was ahead of her time, writing stories and dialogue that came true. She chose her name Inyah, way before she watched the opening scene of “The Lion King” where they were chanting her name which means rising sun. And then she named her business Rising Sun which is one of the meanings of Inyah! I know her! She would have buried the time capsule next to the strong, confident couple at the end, not the wimpy, codependent lovers in the middle!

ONE:  You have to understand she was a virgin then and had a romantic notion of relationships.

ZERO: Ha! What do you know about romance, Mr. Time Control Freak. Where is the spontaneity, the play and finesse? 

ONE: (Ignoring comment) Speaking of names, care to make a wager?

ZERO: Absolutely!

ONE: If I’m right, I get to sign my name to any one of your never finished pieces.

ZERO: (Innocently) What do you mean? 

ONE: I mean, Zero, I’ve never seen you sign your name on anything… it’s always a work in progress evolving from one image to the next. You chalk it up to channeling loved ones from beyond or following Great Spirit. But seriously, accomplished artists finish things and get credit for their work!

ZERO: (sassy) Fine!

An almost invisible character with an outstretched hand, uses the force to guide a new painted backdrop across the stage.

Lights dim. The tree couples move off the stage.

Scene 2

(Coming tomorrow)