Continuing our Arachneversary videos, Liberty Tales, which celebrated the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, starting as an event, but too good to leave it at that, so we made a book too, and toured it across the South of England from Essex to Bath. So lots of archive video of readings!
Before I ran Arachne Press, I did many things, including, for quite a while, a job I hated. While in that job, I had as my screensaver/lock/background the words
Tymes Goe By Turnes, and Chaunces Chang by Course
I felt better every time I saw them.
Looking back, it’s pretty obvious I should have left the job, rather than comfort myself with the fact that something else would cause a change. It’s also pretty obvious I had depression, which is why I couldn’t make the change for myself, and partly why I hated the job, to be entirely fair to my then employer.
The lines are from Robert Southwell (c. 1561 – 21 February 1595), who had plenty to be worried and unhappy about. Look him up if you want to feel better about your current situation by comparison, if that’s not the sort of comfort that moves you, (me neither) read the poem, which is at the end of this post; it’ll work better, promise. (There is a bit of God in it, I don’t subscribe but RS did, and it doesn’t spoil the poem for me).
WHY am I sharing this poem with you?
Because I really should be planning this year’s Solstice Shorts Festival, but I don’t know if it will go ahead.
Because Covid-19 might still be preventing us (hope not, it is the end of December!). Because Arts Council is in emergency funding mode and may not want to know about funding it.
Because if either of these, where and how can we be true to the basic live-ness of Solstice Shorts?
Anyway, I am a planner by nature, so I will plan the bits I can, and wait to see what chances change by which courses.
We always have a time theme, so here it is.
WRITERS/MUSICIANS I keep seeing on Facer and Twitbook that in the absence of paid work, you are knuckling down to projects and upping your rejection rates, so here’s another one for you.
Write a story or poem or song that responds or reacts or is inspired by the poem Tymes goe by Turns, or some concept in it. (also open to musical settings of the actual poem – I think there is at least one already.
We want enormous change, finding balance, release… just leave God out of it, ok? Solstice Shorts has a pagan undertow because of the day we hold it, and personally I’m a heathen, so any overtly godly piece will be automatically excluded. (21st December, shortest day of the year, winter solstice.)
If the worst happens and we can’t hold the festival this year (though we are incredibly ingenious) we will just put it off to 2021, and have the book ready to launch at the festival. It’ll be fine. We’ll work it out, but please be prepared for the possibility of a twelve month delay.
Here’s the poem, and audio of the lovely Math Jones reading it for us as a special favour
The lopped tree in tyme may grow agayne;
Most naked plants renew both frute and floure;
The soriest wight may find release of payne,
The dryest soyle suck in some moystning shoure;
Tymes go by turnes and chaunces chang by course,
From foule to fayre, from better happ to worse.
The sea of Fortune doth not ever floe,
She drawes her favours to the lowest ebb;
Her tyde hath equall tymes to come and goe,
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest webb;
No joy so great but runneth to an ende,
No happ so harde but may in fine amende.
Not allwayes fall of leafe nor ever spring,
No endless night yet not eternall daye;
The saddest birdes a season find to singe,
The roughest storme a calm may soone alaye;
Thus with succeding turnes God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise yet feare to fall.
A chaunce may wynne that by mischance was lost;
The nett that houldes no greate, takes little fish;
In some thinges all, in all thinges none are croste,
Fewe all they neede, but none have all they wishe;
Unmedled joyes here no man befall,
Who least hath some, who most hath never all.
This is the whole of the event at Peterhead, magnificently edited together from three camera (Three!) by Colin Edwards.
As I get to it, I will edit into individual stories and poems so that they can be searched for, but in the meantime enjoy it as it was meant to be seen (and heard), with readings from Marka Rifat and Ken McRae, complete with music from Intuitive Music Aberdeen; featuring