Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Analogy of Returning

Inspired by a conversation

A broad meandering river flowed in a slow curve around a solitary mountain.

A scoop of water was taken from the river in a glass bowl. The hands that held this bowl carried it along the paths that ascended to the mountain's summit.

From the summit of the mountain, the water in the glass bowl was held aloft, and viewed a panorama unlike anything the river had passed. Distant horizons, other rivers, more mountains, and a vast sky dominated the open landscape. It was tremendously beautiful, and seen from a perspective the broad, meandering river could never have offered.

After a few moments in the intense sunlight, the hands carried the glass bowl down the far side of the mountain. The path finally stopped when it met the river again, and here the bowl was emptied into the still-moving water.

The water rejoined the river amongst exactly the same fluid it was taken from. Both waters had once flowed along the same concourse, and continued to flow together again inseparably. The only difference was that a few drops from the river had now been fortunate enough seen the view from the mountain's peak.

Of course, the brief sojourn of that one lucky bowl of water never affected the ceaseless flow of the powerful river.


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