Someone read this story at the end of a paper in a final class today:-
In her book, “Women Strength” Sr. Joan Chittister began the last chapter,
Future of Benedictine Women, this way.
The Sufi tell a tale that may have a great deal to say about the future of
religious life. The story is about a flowing stream that ran into a desert.
This stream, the story teaches, worked itself across the country for ages
and experienced little difficulty. It ran easily around the rocks and quickly
through the mountains. No obstacle, it seemed, was too much for this
fresh and life-giving water. Then, suddenly, it arrived at a desert. Just as it
had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one, but it
found that as fast as it ran into the sand, the waters disappeared. After
many attempts, the stream became very discouraged. It appeared that
there was no way it could continue the journey.
Then a voice came in the wind. “If you stay the way you are, you cannot
cross the sands. In fact, you will only become a quagmire. To go further,
you will have to lose yourself.”
“But if I lose myself,” the stream cried, “everything I have ever been will be
“Oh, on the contrary,” said the voice. “If you lose yourself, you will
become more of what you were meant to be than you ever dreamed.”
So the stream surrendered itself to the hot, drying sun. And the clouds
into which it was formed were carried by the raging wind for many miles.
And once it crossed the desert, the stream poured down from the skies,
fresh and clean, and full of the energy that comes from storms.
Anacreon: PMG 358 William S. Annis Aoidoi.org∗ October 2010 This poem comes to us via Athenaeus (13 599C), who claims that the poem is abo...
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