Saturday, 25 February 2017

When worlds collide

Last night I was invited to a Salon Venn event run by Chris, who I'd met at The Golden Hour Goes White event I attended last year.

Chris seems to know everyone there is to know in Edinburgh - musicians, poets, artists, you name them and he most likely knows them.

He started the Salon Venn a couple of years ago as a place where artistes could come and perform and an audience could come and enjoy. No-one gets paid or pays, people just perform or listen because they want to. And he called it Salon, after the French salons that artists used to attend and Venn, after a Venn diagram.

So anyway, there I was, convinced I'd know no-one but Chris, but within seconds of my getting there Chris introduced me to Shona. And Shona, so it happens, turned out to be the woman who changed the course of my life.

Back in the late 90's I was on the Clinical Doctorate course at Edinburgh Uni and having a lot of problems one way and another and the head of the course at the time was a bit of a bastard (and that's putting it nicely!) and Shona just happened to be in the role of a mentor. I was all ready to quit as, from what I'd seen of the Clinical Psychologists on that course and their egos and all the other destructive qualities they had, I didn't want to be one. Shona told me that the only way to change the system was from the inside and I remember spending an hour with her talking about how I could do things differently. And from her words of wisdom I decided to stay on and become a Clinical Psychologist and the rest, as they say, is history.

Shona remembered me - I knew I knew her, but couldn't think where from but she was straight on the case -  she was really pleased that her words had had such an impact. What is slightly odd is that she's only in her early 50's and here I am retired. She told me I was a role model for her... what a turnaround!

Next. Another woman, who I'd actually met with Chris at The Golden Hour event, was Juliet. It turned out that her best friend is someone I'd worked with in The Highlands when I was in Child Psychology services in 1996.

And next, one of the performers, Roy (part of the duo Mount Juliet) was a guy who managed one of the services of the charity I used to be on the Board of Directors of until force of circumstances led me to quit a couple of years ago.

Then there was Ryan, who was my poetry tutor on one of my Poetry School courses. It was as though wherever I looked there were people coming out of the woodwork joining my past, my present and my future!

A rather weird and wonderful evening that ended for me at about 1 a.m., feeling that I'd was slightly drunk on a mixture of wine and life!

P.S. Oh yes, and the musicians were excellent (headlined by Mersault) as were the poets. One of the poems performed was by Jewel Mathieson called We Have Come To Be Danced, which was just brilliant. You can find it here if you're interested, though to be honest the actress who performed it last night I think performed it better than it's author.

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