A Glade of Bishops {Performance Night at Queen's Cross} @ Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen, Aberdeen [22 July]

A Glade of Bishops {Performance Night at Queen's Cross}

20:00 - 21:30

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Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen
Albyn Place, AB10 1YN Aberdeen

An hour of readings, original literature and acoustic music, broadly based around the theme of faith, from the student-led and Aberdeen-based arts collective Re-Analogue. This is for the God-loving, the questioning; the doubt-lovers and those enthralled in an uncertain, abstract love…

8pm — 9:30pm at the Session Room, Queen's Cross Church, Albyn Place. £5 entry.


In the high mountains a card game formed out of leftover dye and scraps of paper, the skins of trees, cut to the size of an adolescent's palm. They described the universe and mapped life through archetype. Symbols became keys. The Wheel — destiny. Death — a change. Cups, Swords, Pentagrams, Wands… Life became a journey. A tangle of roots. Within a dozen generations the game became something to strategise, a way to win material. Ceaseless meanings ordered towards singular victory. But, sometimes, in a miraculous glimmer of sheer rarity, one would find their deck to be filled with icons of religious kin. Stoic, fierce, monastic; rebellious figures; heresiarchs, seemingly stretched to infinity between the frail fingers of an elder hand. A meadow of paper, dotted with a forest of shepherd's crooks. A glade of bishops.

Though some disagree. Centuries ago, in a port city on the south coast, the one by the warm ocean, sailors were said to take spare marble slabs (rejects from the guild, having been split in the cutting process) and draw grids over the surface with chalk. Then they played a nameless board-game, with crudely carved figures from surplus onyx and marble off the ships as tokens of play. With each move the figures' purpose shifted. This, a Rook, takes a triple-step to a distant square, and now it's the Guard. Snatches the Queen adjacent and becomes that, too. Gambling thrived in the confines of the rules. Rumour had it that masters of the game could, in miraculous instances, play the game in such a way that the whole board could be filled with Bishops, all intent on an upward diagonal movement; the potential of their swipe to the top corner, ready to flood the opponent with their being and an onyx/marble ocean of love… a glade of bishops.

Well, which one is it? Is this faith, faith fabricated, or something greater? Is this everything we need? Is this it? Is this fiction?

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