On the rim of the border of the fringe of the fringe
So my delightful little run of shows has come to an end and what an end! My stage manager and tech support, not to mention bosom bud, Frankie is currently horizontal at the Edinburgh Eye Pavillion having had eye surgery. Frankie love noticed something amiss on the morning of the final show and within hours was told he needed an operation to fix a tear in his retina. I always think these little reminders of how fragile we all are serve two purpose other than the reminder of mortality, they prove that a) shit happens all the time for no apparent reason and that b) we are not an intelligent design, sure we are amazing but we are very far from perfectly put together thus we are ironing out the kinks as we evolve.
My performance has evolved again over the past few days and I’ve had a lot of food for thought. One of the contributing factors has to be the venue of the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre and the lovely people that inhabit it.
Over the past few days I’ve watched demonstrations of mediumship, had some spiritual healing and generally hung out with the spiritualists and I have to say that as people, you couldn’t ask to meet a nicer set of folk. I told them very clearly that I don’t consider myself psychic and that I’ve never been convinced by anyone who does claim psychic abilities and they were still curious and interested in what I performed and how I achieved it.
They in return, explained elements of their practice and were very generous with their time and also help in promoting the show. In the past, I have been a vocal and rampant voice against clairvoyants and clairaudients because I have always felt them to be ‘Grief Farmers’ (my term that I came up with), praying on the unhappy and vulnerable but I may have to re-jig slightly in light of meeting the congregation at the ACD centre. I’ve seen a few demonstrations of mediumship now from differing practitioners and I remain unconvinced that they are channelling the dead, but I believe that some believe they actually are doing what they say. I remain unconvinced by those that roam the country exchanging messages for cash but what I witnessed in Edinburgh was different. I saw a community, a supportive environment where people sharing the same belief received comfort and help, hope and joy at the idea of a continuing existence beyond this one and that their loved ones were no longer in pain (though apparently just as irascible, stubborn and generally prone to moods as they were in this life) At one of the demonstrations I attended, hymns were sung, notices given, a medium gave readings and then a small plate was passed around for collections. So very different from the glitz and ghoulishness of the clairvoyant bandwagons trolling the UK charging twenty to thirty pounds for the chance to salve your pain or receive a message from the other side.
So do I like spiritualists?
Well, I suppose I do, i like most people of religion who wear their faith on their sleeve but don’t expect you to wear clothes cut from the same cloth. I certainly like the Edinburgh spiritualists, I think that they are misguided and I am certain they think the same of me but from what I saw, they weren’t telling people to take spiritual healing over conventional medicine, they weren’t counselling folk to listen to the spirits with regards financial decisions or relationships, in fact mostly all the ‘spirits’ seems to want to pass on, were messages of love.