Birds eye view of the Campbell River shoreline

In Stillness

Opening Introduction by Trevor Mcmonagle
Photo by Alex Brennan

An ice climber hangs from a mountain cliff so remote, so otherworldly, that its location is kept secret. A chef invites us to step out of the grocery store and forage for seaweed on a tranquil beach. A new Quadra Island cookbook directs us into the forest in search of local ingredients. The matter of food security calls us to reflect on where our food comes from, and at what cost we obtain it.

Our spring issue celebrated motion in the midst of government constraints and natural disasters that conspired to keep us from moving. This issue focuses on stillness and, once again, we swim against the tide.

Get moving, we’re being told. Hit the roads. Board airplanes. Don’t forget about cruise ships. Eat out and fill the concert venues. All those activities have their place, but this fall may be just the time to seek balance by reflecting on stillness.

That’s what the writers of the articles before you have been doing, and they have been willing to direct us, sometimes explicitly and sometimes implicitly, into their quiet places.

p Bute Inlet, we’re offered a morning coffee as we listen to the water along the shore of that remote fjord. In downtown Campbell River, we’re offered a croissant to savour in a European-style coffee house.

On the southern tip of Cortes Island, a family has exchanged the bustle of Salt Spring Island for the quiet lure of a neglected homestead.

In the Sayward Valley, we are awed by primordial stillness. A thoughtful writer turns our attention to the ground we stand on, and encourages us to take off our shoes so we can wriggle our feet into the restorative earth.

A barber assures us that it’s okay to wait in line, enjoying an old-school environment where technology does not rule, where there is no need to rush. A photographer and an animation artist display their images of actions, but on the printed page, the actors are still, not moving, yet vital in their quiet potential.

The athletes and musicians featured in the magazine know, without having to say it, that the success of their performances comes from still, focused attention and perfectly timed rests.

And three courageous people in Gold River, seeking the path of reconciliation, know, as we all must, that the stillness inside of us, the quiet that listens and imagines, is the source of all our creation, our play, our exploration.

For those three wonderful activities The Strathcona Collective exists.