Stillness and Movement

I’ve been reading for the third time John O’ Donohue’s book “Divine Beauty – The Invisible Embrace.” It’s just a masterful treatment of the whole concept of beauty. A few moments ago I found this gem:

Stillness is the canvass against which movement can become beautiful. We can only appreciate movement against the background of stillness. Were everything kinetic, we could not know what movement is. As sound is sistered to silence, movement is sistered to stillness.

I would go further and say it is only against the backdrop of stillness that we are able to truly discern and understand movement in whatever form it expresses itself. When our lives are simply movement without these discerning canvasses of stillness, they are always in danger of becoming frenetic nonsense.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Discernment, inspiration, Life, Spirituality, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Stillness and Movement

  1. Now I want this book, Don! The quote is really breathtaking.

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  2. nrhatch says:

    Yes! And if we’re running around in circles, it doesn’t matter how fast we run . . . we’ll never get THERE from HERE.

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  3. Carolyn Page says:

    Yes, Don, couldn’t agree more. I guess it all comes down to a balance between all things. To appreciate strength one needs to understand weakness; movement/stillness; love/hate; joy/sorrow, etc.

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  4. I’m copying O’ Donohue’s quote, Don. It expresses so beautiful “sistering” sound and silence, movement and stillness. There are times when nothing is more necessary than pausing, waiting, sensing the breathing in and breathing out, sinking into the sacred calm of the moment.

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  5. Val Boyko says:

    I really do enjoy your sharings Don.
    So meaning comes from having something as a counter backdrop.
    In this case it is stillness which allows us to have meaning … or at least appreciation …of movement.
    This resonates beautifully. Thank you!

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  6. ptero9 says:

    Agreed, a wonderful image of the relationship between beauty and the space, or emptiness necessary for its presence.

    Very nice Don! Thank you for the share.

    Debra

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  7. Thank you for introducing me to this writer. Contrasts are what make everything plain. If we don’t know sadness, happiness would be unknown just as without stillness we can’t appreciate movement. Lovely food for thought again. Thank you .

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Sally. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his work. Wonderful poet and philosopher. Has had a profound impact on my own life. When he died I felt as if I had lost a close friend.

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  8. ladyfi says:

    Ah – such deep wisdom.

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  9. darrelhoff says:

    sometimes I have too much movement in my life and not enough stillness. I liked this post. 🙂

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  10. Val Boyko says:

    Not sure how I missed this earlier one Don. It’s a wonderful perspective.
    So nice to see you are around even if not active. I feel your presence still.
    Val

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  11. Don says:

    Thanks Val. That’s kind of you. I’m enjoying the break.

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