My last post developed out of the phrase: the movement of the breath and stillness in the breath. My wondering about ‘stillness’ began when I was introduced to T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets at the age of about sixteen, finding its language and imagery clear and strong. They were a little beyond my reach, but continued to haunt me.
“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor
Neither from not towards; at the still point where the dance
But neither arrest or movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
“Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.”
2) T. S. Eliot Four Quartets London: Faber & Faber, 1946 (Extract from Burnt Norton, the first quartet)