Sister Melody sang from the moment she awoke until she closed her eyes to sleep. She sang ballads, love songs, sonnets, marches, folk, traditional, blues, and spirituals throughout the day and night. She couldn’t help herself. It was her nature.
Though she had a beautiful voice, her singing could be annoying during times of quiet meditation. Nobody had the heart to ask her to stop, but many of the Sisters approached the Abbott and asked her to do something. “I’ll see what I can do,” the Abbott always replied, but did nothing.
After a few years of inaction, the Sisters took matters into their own hands. They told Sister Melody that the Abbott had asked her to sustain from singing another song.
Sister Melody was heartbroken, but complied. She became increasingly depressed and morose. Eventually, the Abbott noticed and asked her what had brought on such a state in one who had previously been so joyful.
“You surely know,” Sister Melody replied. “Without song, there is no life. I am dying.”
“Why aren’t you singing?”
“I was told that you forbade me to do so.”
“I did no such thing.”
The Abbott shook her head. Sister Melody immediately broke into song. Her face beamed with delight.
“As a result of their lies, I will have the sisters who told you I’d asked you to stop singing join you every day and have you start a choir. You will practice from ten in the morning until two in the afternoon, daily. You are the director.”
“Thank you Abbott,” Sister Melody sang. “You are the sunshine of my life.”
“Tell me,” the Abbott frowned. “Who is it that told you I’d forbid you to sing?”
“I heard it through the grapevine. I can’t name names.”
“In that case, the entire community will join you. We will bring the same vigor and insight we bring to our meditation practice.”
“Oh happy day!”
Many tuneful stories at: Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.