What a wonderful evening Monday night was. I truly didn't know what to expect and was nervous and excited at the same time.
The journalist who was meant to be interviewing Lorna Byrne had been taken ill so another stepped in her place and if I told you she was the perfect choice for a potentially sceptical English audience (I say English because she was in Scotland last night and it's not just Scots in Scotland is it?) would you believe me? She was funny, irreverent, took the piss abit, put everyone at ease.
Lorna Byrne is a Messenger. Not like a priest is a messenger (or none that I've met). She's small, she's shy, she hides behind her hands when she's embarrassed. She's very light, like, for example, there was a point when she was talking about God's Library and I shifted in my chair, a abit uncomfortable. The conversation about this other realm was becoming a bit too much for me. Lorna stalled and the journalist asked if the angels were telling her what to say and what not to say and she said yes. The journo asked her if the angels were telling her to hold something back at that moment and Lorna said yes, that some in the audience were finding it difficult! And she giggled and I giggled and that's what I mean by light.
The journalist asked her questions for an hour. What is an angel? What do they look like? Lorna was in London at the time of the riots...were angels there? What did they make of it? Loads of questions. We were told angels were the guardians of our souls. We all have a soul and all have an angel guarding it. We need to look after our planet. We need to look after ourselves.
The next hour was taken with questions from the audience. Again, loads. Big ones some of them. So many religions, which does one choose? How can I become more patient? The trouble in Syria, Libya, why don't angels intervene? Do I have a guardian angel? Can you see it? Do you begrudge the role asked of you? I'm at a crossroads, what is my purpose? WHAT IS MY PURPOSE? (I hadn't heard the answer either so good job she repeated it)
"LIVE YOUR LIFE!"
Afterwards there was a meet and greet and Lorna would do it as a blessing we were told. The crowd swarmed to her as they do at communion on a Sunday. It was really funny! I'd got chatting to the girl next to me about all kinds of stuff and she said "Are you going up?" and I said "Yes, I told my mum I'd thank Lorna on her behalf." Would I have gone anyway? Yes, I think so! A Quaker girl in the queue behind us told us she'd actually come along for a seminar on gay marriage but saw this advertised and thought 'that sounds interesting! What's all that about?!' She'd never read Angels in my Hair or Stairways to Heaven, she'd never heard of Lornal Byrne before.
The blessing was a healing prayer and a hug. She hugged everyone. Everyone. A hug! Some were crying, some were smiling. Everyone was really ordinary, like you, like me, like Lorna is and isn't.
Obviously this isn't a great description of the evening, infact it's a pretty poor one, but I hope I've given you a sense.
By some chance, coincidental chance for I'd been faffing around the book stall at the end, I was walking just behind Lorna and her friend when I was heading back to the tube and at the lights, fell into conversation with her. I didn't ask her the question I'd shot my arm up for in the hall but chatted about my mum, how she'd wanted to write to her but didn't know where to send it, and I'd said I could hand deliver it! "She says "Thank you!"" Her friend said "We read all the letters you know!"
I wasn't crossing the zebra crossing we came to but Lorna and her friend were. Lorna looked back at me and there was a sudden flash of surprise on her face. A look of joy on her features in that split moment, like she was seeing me for the first time and recognised me. Then she turned back and walked on her way.
I didn't think to ask her anything on that short walk but I got all the answers I needed.
It was an extraordinary evening looking back and will stay with me for a very long time.
Thank you Lorna Byrne.
(at this juncture I don't know how much me and stigs have written about her as there is more I want to say! This may be the last thing but it may also be the first thing, you know as much as me!)