When people ask me which of the songs Ive written are my favorites, “Still is Still Moving” always comes up near the top of the list. The band and I play it at almost every concert, and I’ve recorded it countless times, as well, so you have got to figure the song means something important to me.
Sometimes I wonder if perhaps the song is me.
Whether you look at the song from the point of view of ancient philosophies or from the modern knowledge of quantum physics, there is great motion in all stillness, and true stillness at the heart of all action.
The early Chinese philosophers referred to hits in the concept of something called wu wei, which suggests fulfilling every task with the least necessary action. Two notes are not required when one will suffice. Twenty words may not say something better than ten, or one. For me, that word is stillness.
No matter how still I am, the world around me is abuzz with activity, and the world within me as well. Modern physics tells us that the atoms in our body ” and all the particles and forces that make up those atoms ” are never at rest. While our bodies and the world around us seem solid, that physical appearance is merely an illusion, for each of our atoms is comprised primarily of empty space.
If your life in this modern world seems to pass you by at the speed of light, perhaps you could consult Einstein, who proved that the faster we travel, the more time is compressed. That’s right, the faster we go, the less time we have. So what is your hurry?
This may not mean much to you, but it must be quite traumatic for the atoms. Would you like to hear an atom joke? I didn’t think so, but here is one anyway:
A neutron went into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?”
The bartender says, “For you, no charge.”
The Tao of Willie Nelson
by Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin