[following on from Pt 1]
‘… and so the natural state of being, of a being, is being in love. To be sentient is to love. Cogito, ergo amore. Thank you.’
The audience broke out into warm applause peppered with shouts of ‘yeah!’, as the twenty-minute period for questions finally ended an hour behind schedule. As he was led off the dais, the speaker was engrossed in animated conversation with the event’s organiser, his words illustrated with small but intense gestures.
‘… but I’m preaching to the converted here, Terri. It’s all well and good but there’s very little this lot can do.’
Terri bridled slightly as he took her by the arm. ‘But we’re doing workshops, holding consciousness awareness days, then there’s the … ‘ She was waved silent.
‘Oh, now come on, Terri. Look, I love you and your centre and god bless all who sail in her – christ knows I give it enough money – but you know as well as I do that it’s a load of bull. What this lot understand by the word love is what puppies give their owners. All this hippy crap just panders to those weak-willed saps who haven’t the gumption to do anything worthwhile. They convince themselves they can save the planet by massaging its chakras … but, well …’
His flow was interrupted by the unexpected appearance in his sightline of a youngish woman with a baby strapped to her front. She sported stylised green dreadlocks and the sort of shapeless clothes favoured by so many of the audience. There was something about her that he couldn’t quite put his finger on, however. He’d been trying to put his finger on it for the previous hour.
Tamarind had spent the hour before the arrival of ecotech guru Dr Richard Woods manoeuvring herself into position near the dais. As she remarked to the original occupier of her seat, it wasn’t just that she had read each of his books, and his academic papers, too, but that she felt an almost primal urge to connect with him. The seat had become hers. It was as if Gaia herself was willing them to speak, she had added. Now was her chance.
She spoke. Her voice was clear, clean, precise. It bore none of the affectations Dr Woods expected. He felt a frisson of fear ripple through his body. He didn’t recognise her, but then … ‘oh shit’, he muttered under his breath, as he caught her eye.
[Thrilled? Try Pt 3]