Blessings: An Autobiographical Fragment

Craig, Mary

William Morrow, 1979

pp. 142-43

“There is an old Arab proverb which says: ‘Too much sunshine makes a desert; and the human heart is very often a desert. But sorrow irrigates the desert . . . It is told of Elgar that he once sat and listened admiringly to a young singer with a beautiful voice and faultless techniques. She was good, he said, but not great. ‘But she will be great,’ he went on to suggest, ‘when something happens to break her heart . . . There are truths which only sorrow can teach.’”