A doll of salt, after a long pilgrimage on dry land, came to the sea and discovered something she had never seen and could not possibly understand. She stood on the firm ground, a solid little doll of salt, and saw there was another ground that was mobile, insecure, noisy, strange and unknown. She asked the sea, “But what are you?” and it said, “I am the sea.” And the doll said, “What is the sea?” to which the answer was, “It is me.” Then the doll said, “I cannot understand, but I want to; how can I?” The sea answered, “Touch me.” So the doll shyly put forward a foot and touched the water and she got a strange impression that it was something that began to be knowable. She withdrew her leg, looked and saw that her toes had gone, and she was afraid and said, “Oh, but where is my toe, what have you done to me?” And the sea said, “You have given something in order to understand.” Gradually the water took away small bits of the doll’s salt and the doll went farther and farther into the sea and at every moment she had a sense of understanding more and more, and yet of not being able to say what the sea was. As she went deeper, she melted more and more, repeating: “But what is the sea?” At last a wave dissolved the rest of her and the doll said: “It is I!”
Source | Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Living Prayer ,
(Darton Longman and Todd, 19 66) pages 105-106
a slightly different rendition
A salt doll journeyed for thousands of miles over land, until it finally came to the sea.
It was fascinated by this strange moving mass, quite unlike anything it had ever seen before.
“Who are you?” said the salt doll to the sea.
The sea smilingly replied, “Come in and see.”
So the doll waded in.
The farther it walked into the sea the more it dissolved, until there was only very little of it left. Before that last bit dissolved, the doll exclaimed in wonder, “Now I know what I am!”
Source | Anthony De Mello, Song of the Bird
(Image Books, 1984), page 98
- I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. | Galatians 2:19-20
- What is it that you need to give and what is it that you need to receive for a better understanding of who you really are?
- What do you think is the relationship between you and the other, you and the rest of creation, you and the Other?