All posts by Stuart France

About Stuart France

Writer and Director of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School.

Somewhere in the world,​ there is a child seeking hope: Why we’re creating

Not Tomatoes

Somewhere in the world, right now, there is a ten-year-old child sitting at a desk. Her hand is drawing the dreams of her mind, while her ears half-listen to the lesson of her teacher. For a moment, her eyes lift towards the window and her heart fills with a deep longing to find her place in a world that does not feel like home.

Somewhere in the world, right now, there is a fourteen-year-old boy so troubled by the injustices he perceives around him, he is contemplating the end of his life. He has no true friends and is misunderstood by his parents and teachers. Every day he is tormented for being unlike those around him.

At this very moment, there is a child being born into this world. A child who will face a foreign landscape as she seeks the familiar. This child is filled with gifts she can…

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Have you danced today?

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Friedrich Nietzsche

I came across the Nietzsche quote, remembering that I first read it years ago in his Zarathrusta, a book much in fashion in my youth. I was struck even then, armed with too few years and too little experience of life to really understand the book, by the way the man encapsulated snippets of wisdom in what would today be classed as soundbites. I am no expert on his philosphy but this I cannot help but agree with.

The quote here is incomplete… and the second part puts it into greater context for me:

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.”

Although Nietzsche loved to dance and found in it his expression of ‘divine service’, I don’t think dance was all he was really talking about…

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A right royal visit…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

A few days after the Jewel in the Claw, I was lucky enough to have a visit from the queen. Not, I hasten to add, the one who currently wears the crown, but from my friend who had played Elizabeth I at the workshop, along with the gentlemen who had embodied the characters of ‘Sir Walter Raleigh’ and ‘ Dr Dee’.

After a long, leisurely dinner, listening to tales of the original Renaissance Faire, of which all three had been a part, and catching up with stories shared by friends normally separated by the Atlantic, we met up next morning. We started with a brief hello to my son, then paid a visit to a favourite chapel to see the medieval wall paintings.

The peace and simplicity of the little chapel stood in stark contrast, though, to the opulence of the rest of the day, for next we…

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Ship of Fools – a Sonnet for the Playwright

The Silent Eye

“What’s that?” The gentleman standing beside me eyed the scroll in my hand.  We had just completed the final ritual of Jewel in the Claw, the five-act workshop written by Steve and set in Elizabethan England. Steve had played Shakespeare… as well as nobly fulfilling the role of Cecil when one of our Companions had been unavoidably unable to join us.

As is customary, we were gathering on the staircase. Being amongst the first to leave the Temple, I was in prime position at the head of the stairs and could command attention when all were assembled. Steve would be amongst the last to leave and, therefore, there would be no escape…

Drawing myself grandly to my full height, which still left me a foot or so shorter than my companion, I brandished the sealed and beribboned scroll…

“I have written a sonnet for the Bard…”

Ship of Fools


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An Orcadian Diary (2) Before History

Sun in Gemini

Child Archeologist smaller

Continued from Part One

And now we should go back to an older time – a much older time – to flesh out the story of the islands of Orkney, north-east of the Scottish mainland.

The man in the picture is Gordon Childe. It’s 1927. He’s the newly-appointed Abercrombie Professor of Prehistoric Archeology at the University of Edinburgh. The photo shows him emerging from the first formal excavation of an ancient settlement named Scara Brae.

He’s an Australian and a Marxist, though his knowledge and insight have gained him an international reputation for other types of revolution. The depth of his understanding of ancient peoples is the reason he has been appointed to oversee the work at Scara Brae by the conservative Edinburgh establishment. He’s not frightened of proposing things that upset his fellows in the field… and he’s about to propose something truly shocking about Scara Brae…

Scara Brae…

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