Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dear Adrian...

dear Adrian 

It was my daughter told me that you’d gone.

She phoned because she was upset and she knew I would be too.

Because like everyone who ever came in contact with you she was deeply touched by you.  By your artistry and tenderness. You gave her strength and comfort in a hard dark time.

She was working as an usher on your “Audience with Adrienne”; and, like any usher I’ve ever known, was completely merciless about a show that was incompetent or overblown.

But she loved yours. She said it was so beautiful and I had to see it.

So I did. I was still in a very early stage of starting to live as a woman then, and was terrified. Your show helped so much. In those days I wasn’t at all confident about talking in public, but your show made it safe for me.

Like all your work, it was open and courageous and so incredibly generous and performed with such apparently artless artistry.

And then I remember the beautiful garden you made for me in Gilmorehill. Well I know it wasn’t really for me, it was for everybody but I felt absolutely there was something special about it just for me because you could do that. You gave me a plant on the way out, which died, because I really am rubbish with plants, but you planted something deep in my soul.

They were so tender, the seeds of self acceptance and forgiveness that you gave me, and they are still growing.

I’ll never forget that wonderful bath you gave me in a hotel room once. I can’t remember what the show was called, but I know you gave me the chance to be naked, which i took, and I hope I told you what an incredibly liberating experience it was. To have my androgynous body so comforted and soothed, so completely accepted, was so incredibly profound.

You did that, my dear. You did so much to set so many people free.

And I remember the show you did about weddings, and I feared for you then, but so loved you for doing it, because you opened up so tender so vulnerable a place, in me and in you too. And somehow helped me heal it.

I know it’s silly of me to be talking to you as if you were still alive, my dear, but I just so loved talking to you, and didn’t talk enough. And anyway in my heart you are still alive somehow. 

You see when Katie phoned me I was on my way to the station to have a meeting in Glasgow about bringing an old play of mine back to life. Those of us who the world didn’t fully allow to be ourselves have a hard time when we try to value our own work, as you knew, and in spite of everything I still have a lot of trouble valuing mine. 

But I know you are such an important part of the long long process that gives me the strength and the courage to value this one. And I want to tell you that.

You see you have gone, my dear. You and your gentle loving beautiful present self. And I am so sad and sorry.

But your work lives on.


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