Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Transformative Stillness

In January I decided to randomly churn out these newsletters. Here it is, only a month since my last communication and I am once again hitting the computer. I have more time now to reflect, and to write these reflections down.

In an article entitled “Stillness As A Form of Action” I came across so many statements that hit me squarely in the head: “even when nothing is happening, something is happening” we imagine things “to be stationary only when their progress escapes our observation, as (people) who are walking seem to be standing still to those who run” (Tocqueville); “stillness is a form of action, an element in advancement, in evolution, in all forward move-ment”.

And this one really made a dent – “us modern sapiens who so ardently worship at the altar of productivity and so readily mistake busyness for effectiveness, for propulsion toward progress”.

Transformative stillness is so imperceptible, it makes us think we have reached the finish line, never having to run this race again. Believing that our foundations are firm and unshiftable, we get “lulled into complacency” only to discover during moments of upheaval and crisis, that our footing is unsure. But Tocqueville in his “Democracy in America”, 1835, believes these can be times of “great revolutions”. The quiet, assuring pauses in between disruptions may give us time to breathe a little easier, but it does not stop time from “advancing…towards a goal with which (we) are unacquainted”. He believes that only when we are rudely shaken out of our self-assuredness are we forced to extend our ideas of reality beyond our current understanding.

Most historians will tell you that the big picture does repeat itself. That we go through what we think are unimaginable times only to face backwards and see, as if looking in a mirror, our own lives.

Something to muse over, hopefully finding a glimmer of light and wisdom to help us forge a better history for ourselves.

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