Thursday, 26 November 2009

All's Well That Ends.....


...there is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

Oh, and not forget to buy a single feather and down continental quilt!

Shakespeare forgot that last part.

I didn’t. It was in Winchester, England and I was in my early twenties, standing in front of the department store window on a Thursday evening.

On Monday morning I went in with the hard earned cash from a long weekend of busking on the streets surrounding the hallowed grounds of the Cathedral.

That evening I slept, perchance to dream, under it. (er, the duvet – not the cathedral).

It was the end of my childhood – safe suburban life, automatic university, unexpected marriage and eventual separation.

I was independent and the single quilt celebrated the fact.

That evening I ate at Jonathan’s, the organizer of the festival to which I had been invited, and after food and wine several of us sat late into the night as he explained both passionately and obsessively the secret nature of Shakespeare’s identity as the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth the first and his role as protector of the mysteries.

I gave it every opportunity; I tried to grasp the immensity of the conspiracy of ignorance being laid out in front of me, in a town that claims to have King Arthur’s Round Table hanging up on a wall; I really tried; but in the end I took my quilt and my van and slept soundly in a forest on the edge of the city happy with the knowledge that Romeo and Juliet is a cracking story.

After all is said and done we are such stuff, as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.

There, that’s what I wanted to write today, it links back of course to Tuesday's post and particularly the comments that were left by Farrar.

I had a similar feeling oh “yes, so?” watching the videos as I had listening to Johnathan all those years ago.

The last time I saw Johnathan was in a tent at the Glastonbury festival, and then only his back.

I was due to perform a new, and for me experimental, show and Johnathan was on stage with a tent full and heaving with an excited audience.

He had in the intervening years developed a show in which he would enter on to the stage with nothing and do nothing until he was eventually heckled. He took it from there.

By the end of the show in which he challenged the fundamental distinction of “audience” and “performer” everybody would have joined him on stage and they would then lead themselves off and out into the night with the energy to do anything.

It was brilliant, but for the next act it was a nightmare as it meant you walked into an empty, COMPLETELY empty void.

Not the ideal situation for my experimental piece........

I wanted to offer this post as part of my November experimentation on this blog, where – if you have somehow missed it – I am trying to keep “coincidence” as the ongoing theme.

But for the life of me I couldn’t find the “coincidence” in the tale and Shakespeare himself is strangely silent (an annagram of listen) on the issue.

I even tried a similar, very very complicated puzzle analysis of my own blog pages – like in the videos Farrar mentions – to arrive at an artificial but sensational coincidence.

Nothing doing.

So I decided to siesta and when I woke I had a sudden idea to consult my "never consulted" book of days, an activity book that offers ideas for teachers linked to the anniversaries associated with each day of the year.

I haven’t opened it for years and in our house it is known more as the storage place for my orange wrapper collection.

November 26 turns out to be the anniversary of King Tut tomb being opened and the book suggests treasure as the theme for today.

Not very helpful.!

But guess what I suddenly see on the shelf, right under my nose where two days ago there was no sign – honest – I really had searched for it, high and low.

The King James Version, referred to two days ago
And yes Psalm 46, 46th word from the beginning and the end!

Just like the man said!



2 comments: said...

I had a coincidence today, too:
A friend suggested a game, opening the book closest to you to page 56 and writing out sentence number 5, and it turned out to be
"He gave thanks for our food and comfort, and prayed for the poor and destitute in great cities, where the struggle for life was harder than it was here with us."
That's Willa Cather, My Antonia. And today is ...
Happy Thanksgiving, Chris!

popps said...

I'm not sure why i didn't reply before Anne, but ever since you posted this i occasionally flip to page 56.
Today's ...
"She would build on everything she'd learned by running her own business and, if all wet well, apply this newfound knowledge to sum profession that would pay an insanely high wage without relying on her own physical labour."