Edinburgh Fringe Day 21 — the Inner Work.
But maybe there is. Did I take my eye off the ball, having fun with Adam all day? But surely, having fun is part of the deal when you're working with this law of attraction. Was this a bit of resistance coming up to 'punish' me for having so much fun? Good old 'chemicalisation' as Catherine Ponder of Unity would put it?
I haven't been racing around handing out flyers, for sure. But this was an interesting departure that wanted my attention. So I gave it some. In the morning I listened to some Abraham-Hicks recordings and when I left for town I tucked Florence Scovel Shinn's The Game of Life and How to Play It into my bag and told the horrid little doubts that were trying to tell me that it was all downhill from here to go hang until I could deal with them later.
Adam and I were due to meet at lunchtime to go to Daniel Cainer's Jewish Chronicles. I didn't want to eat first because I was still full from last night. Full, that is, in the strange Chinese food wanting more in the middle of the night but knowing you'd eaten quite enough in reality. So we met at Underbelly and went into this dark cave of blackness for Daniel's show.
Which was not entirely to my taste at first but won me round. I'm a very odd Jewish (very ish) hybrid, having spent eight years married to a Jewish guy and knowing quite a lot about the culture and loving it. So I was slightly irritated by Daniel's explanations of Jewish stuff for us Goys although I knew it was necessary. Interestingly, Adam (who's Jewish) wasn't. As he explained, Jewish folk have to explain those things all the time so it was the norm for him.
Daniel mostly sings his own songs about Jewish life. He started with his Ashkenazi heritage — Russia, Lithuania, Poland — and stories of his family after immigration into Britain. Again, that wasn't for me because it's a/ not my heritage and b/ I'd heard much similar stuff before. But for Adam it was very moving.
After that, I was engaged fully with Daniel's tales of bad rabbis, love and passion and life and I felt gently nostalgic for some aspects of my past Jewish life.
We had a snackish lunch at Underbelly and then Adam went off to see James II by Rona Munro at the Festival Theatre and I went to the Edinburgh Fringe Central for a cup of tea and a long, thoughtful and affirmative read of Florence.
I've read The Game of Life and How to Play It a dozen times before but hadn't picked it up for a couple of years. However I'd known I had to bring it to Edinburgh. I read and worked and read and worked for two hours, dissolving resistance and allowing wonderful surprises. One of my favourite of Florence's quotations is:
My seemingly impossible good now comes to pass. The unexpected now happens to surprise and delight me.
For most people it seems very weird when there is no one in the audience to sit down and read a book. Surely I should be out there handing out flyers. Nope. If I create my own reality then I must go within first. Then I will be led to inspired action.
I took a rush-hour bus to Ryries and I was almost late for the first time ever but I knew I had to do a little flyering around the tables before going up even so. Two different groups, one of four and one of six people were already looking at my flyer and engaged me in conversation about Independent Catholicism so I only went upstairs to the event room at pretty much the last minute.
There was my unexpected surprise! Daphne, the lady who ran the volunteer section when I worked as a chaplain at at St. Mary's Hospice in Birmingham was sitting in the front row and had brought three friends with her. I haven't heard nor seen anything of Daphne since I left more than two years ago. It was amazing and fabulous.
What's more, the room just filled up, and filled up with people, including Kaylin and Stephanie from my digs in Colinton, Facebook friends Mica and Hattie and six members of one of the groups I'd been speaking to downstairs. They told me that they had all met up to go to the funeral of their 92-year-old father the next day just in case I might have any jokes that would be a bit of a challenge for them. But they'd liked the leaflet, and talking to me had clinched it, and they thought they could do with cheering up.
It was a good night. Nearly all the audience older people and they knew both about The Mary Whitehouse Experience and the real Mary Whitehouse. They laughed and laughed. And when a drunken Scots guy came in and tried to heckle, they unceremoniously told him to shut up because they were listening and then threw him out. I hardly had to say a word to him.
Afterwards there was a queue of people to talk to me including two of the funeral group. One was a retired religious education teacher in a Catholic school who said he'd never been to a comedy show where he understood all the jokes before and that it was incredible and refreshing comedy. His brother was a retired headmaster at a Catholic school who wanted my card and to know whether I'd be willing to come back to Scotland to talk to schools and perform more comedy. Well yes!
Hugs and happiness with Daphne, Mica and Hattie ... and a complete turnaround of an evening. Good old Florence.
Supper with Adam was the other side of the city — a Southern Indian restaurant. All vegetarian tonight and delicious. And with the generosity of the donations from my lovely crowd tonight, it could be a taxi home.
Thank you God.