A cast of unforgettable characters draws us into a world, vivid and haunting. A world where war comes suddenly; dynamite, fire, bullets: friends and family dying in the night. Stillpoint is a daring, controversial examination of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that shows the struggles of ordinary men and women on both sides. Spanning the period from 1947 to the modern day and showing how lives are affected from Boston to Beirut, from Haifa to Rockport. Do we learn from history? It would appear that we don’t. What we learn we can easily forget, but understanding is of a different order, it cannot be forgotten. The poet T. S. Elliot describes this place of understanding as “the stillpoint of the turning world. ” Stillpoint will make you think, make you examine what lies at the root of your beliefs. Some books shift the way we see the world, even ourselves.
This is one of them! Mallard asks: Why are the Palestinians and Israelis still fighting after almost seventy years, what can we do about it, you and me? He suggests we become aware of the facts hidden behind the beliefs and ideology. You’ll not finish this novel in the same place you started. To see with someone else’s eyes brings understanding and understanding itself opens the door to peace. It would be misleading to leave the impression this book is solely about the Middle East. Although a great deal of the story takes place there, it is in fact, a deep exploration of justice and injustice in the perpetuation of conflict. It is about war and peace, poverty and wealth, leadership and service, and what lies behind the fiery violence of religious fundamentalism. What is unusual about the book is that Mallard approaches events from the perspective of the practical wisdom and insight inherent in Zen, Taoism and Advaita Vedanta. In Stillpoint he has fashioned a love story to the great mystery of life, it is definitely a novel worth reading…more than once. A great story with a stunning conclusion.
Colin Mallard played in bomb craters and bombed out buildings as a child in England during the Second World War. Perhaps this was the origin of his interest in peace. He attended University in Boston between 1961-1971 and was deeply involved in the Civil Rights and Anti War Movements. Trained for the Unitarian Universalist ministry he attended the same seminary as Martin Luther King and later served in both a rural and inner city parish. His church was firebombed and destroyed because of his and the congregation’s stand on Civil Rights and its opposition to the Vietnam War. It was his interest in exploring spiritual matters that took him into the ministry and later took him out of it. For the next 25 years he worked as a psychologist. This included working in Hawaii with families of abused children. He has also had different jobs such as magician’s assistant, mountain guide, taxi driver, tree planter and street counsellor on Vancouver’s skid row. Behind the things he did was a consuming interest in the nature of peace and who or what we are as human beings. This led him to a lengthy study of Taoism, and Zen and, latterly, the Advaita Masters, Ramesh Balsekar and Dr. Jean Klein. Mallard lives on Vancouver Island, where he writes and teaches about the wisdom and insight found in Eastern Philosophy. He is also an avid soccer player and photographer.