La flor en la isla

En una pequeña isla en medio del océano extenso crecía una hermosa flor amarilla de oro. Nadie sabía cómo había llegado allí, porque en esta isla no había ninguna flor aparte de ella. Las gaviotas venían volando para contemplar este milagro con asombro. “Es linda como el sol”, decían. Los peces venían nadando. Levantaban las cabezas encima del agua para admirarla. “Es linda como un coral”, decían. Un cangrejo salió a la tierra para mirarla. “Es linda como una perla en el suelo del mar”, dijo. Y todos venían casi cada día para admirar esta flor.

Un día, cuando volvieron para contemplar la flor, se encontraron con que los pétalos dorados de la flor se habían vuelto marones y secos. “Ay de nosotros”, dijeron las gaviotas, los peces y el cangrejo. “El sol quemó nuestra flor. ¿Quién ahora nos refrescará el corazón?”. Y todos se pusieron tristes.

Pero algunos días más tarde apareció en lugar de la flor una maravillosa bola de color blanco tierno. “¿Qué es eso?”, preguntaron los animales. “Es tan blando como una nube”, dijeron las gaviotas. “Es tan ligero como la espuma de las olas”, dijeron los peces. “Es tan fino como el resplandor del sol en la arena”, dijo el cangrejo. Y todos los animales se alegraron.

En este momento un golpe de viento barrió la isla y sopló este milagro blanco dispersándolo por ella en miles de copos. “Ay de nosotros”, hablaron las gaviotas, los peces y el cangrejo. “El viento ha dispersado nuestra bola. ¿Qué alegrará nuestro ánimo ahora?” Y todos estaban tristes entonces.

Un día por la mañana, al levantarse el sol sobre la mar, allí en la luz dorada matinal relucieron cientos y cientos de hermosas flores color amarillo de oro. Entonces bailaron las gaviotas en el cielo y los peces en el agua, y el cangrejo bailó con sus amigos una danza de rueda en medio de las flores, y todos se alegraron.

(Por Stefan Hammel, traducción: Bettina Betz)

L’interrupteur d’arrêt d’urgence

« Vous travaillez avec la méthode de l’hypnose ? », m’a demandé l’homme. « Alors vous pourriez tout simplement enlever-hypnotiser mon problème ». Il rigolait. Sa femme l’avait amené, il n’avait pas une grande envie de faire une thérapie. Je lui ai demandé « Quelle est votre problème ? ». « Il m’a frappé » a répondu la femme qui était assise à côté de lui. « En plus à ce moment-là j’avais notre fils sur les bras. » « C’était comme si quelqu’un avait appuyé sur l’interrupteur d’arrêt d’urgence » a-t-il dit. « Ca a été une réaction automatique. Cela n’aurait jamais dû arriver ». « Vous n’avez pas besoin d’être hypnotisé » ai-je répondu. « Vous pouvez faire ça vous-même. Est-ce que vous connaissez ces boîtes en verre rouges qui pendent dans les hôpitaux et les édifices publics avec un interrupteur qui déclenche une alerte incendie ? » « Bien sûr » a dit l’homme. « « Pourquoi y-a-t-il un verre devant ? « « Pour qu’on ne la déclenche pas par erreur ». « Et si on prenait une vitre très fine comme une lame porte-objet pour un microscope ? » « Elle casse quand on se cale contre ». « Qu’en est-il du verre blindé ? » « C’est trop épais. » « Réfléchissez à l’épaisseur pour que votre femme ne puisse pas la défoncer. Regardez cette vitre et mettez-la en place. »


This is a story by my colleague and friend Katharina Lamprecht from Bruchköbel near Frankfurt, Germany…

One day an old Sufi master came through a little village, where just previously a big blast had occurred. In the middle of the village square was a huge hole in the ground and stones and lumps of mud and earth scattered everywhere. „Master“, the people cried, “look at the disaster that happened to us.  The center of our village, our village´s pride and joy, is destroyed. What shall we do?  Please, advise us.” „Dig“, the old man answered. „Dig? But there is already such a big hole. Wouldn´t it be better to fill it up“?
“If you have to overcome an obstacle, there are different ways to do so. You can either ignore it, remove it or use it. You never know if there is a treasure hidden”. Pondering these words, the people began to dig slowly, deeper and deeper until they hit upon a natural spring of pure sweet, delicious water which in time brought trees and flowers to their village square.

Everything Else

In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.

Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.

What God has Joined Together …

This is now many years ago. My grandmother told me the following story. And this story had come about when she herself was young and still lived with her parents. A woman often came to her mother – my great grandmother – and poured her heart out. A neighbour who had many woes. My great grandmother was always there for others. She was a good listener, and she had a deep Christian faith. She often advised others and helped where she could.

This neighbour told her about her marriage. It must have been a terrible marriage. Her husband was often drunk. He hit her, he abused her. The woman was desperate. It occurred to her to get a divorce. A brave decision for a lonely woman in a village in Bavaria about eighty years ago. She shared her thoughts with my great grandmother. The latter advised her against it. “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. So hath our Lord spoken.” She should try somehow to make it work with her husband. And so it continued for a while, again and again. Then one day it was said that the woman from the neighbourhood was no longer alive. She had hanged herself.

The Ginnel

I knew a man who told me this story. Someone came to him when he, like you, no longer knew what to do. “There’s nothing more I can do”, he said. “I’m stuck in a dead end”. Then something occurred to him – he who told me this – and he explained:

“This reminds me of the small passages from one street to the next, called ‘ginnels’. You can only get through them on foot. They are not much wider than a man. In the area I live, I know a dead end like you describe. When you go in, it goes no further, as is the case with dead ends. But with this dead end it is different, and I believe there are more like it: When you go right to the end, you find the ginnel somewhere on the side, quite inconspicuous between the houses.”