He was a driftwood sculptor, and quite a good one at that. But he’d been lacking in inspiration lately, and it’d been months since he’d produced anything of consequence. However, his luck changed one fateful day while walking along the beach.
He spied a piece of driftwood that immediately caught his attention. He picked it up and felt its weight, rubbing his hands along its contours. It was as if it had a certain magic to it, something he’d never felt before in a piece of wood. He thought to himself, “Now this is some good raw material. A little rough around the edges, but I can work with that.” He took it home to his modest home on the beach.
She was a lonely piece of driftwood, adrift in the vast, empty ocean for so long she couldn’t even remember how she’d gotten there. When she finally washed up on the beach, she was gloriously happy just to feel the stability of solid ground. She lay there for a while, soaking up the sun and resting from her ordeal.
Minutes, hours, days passed. She couldn’t be sure how long it had been since she’d washed ashore, but she felt the presence of another. A man. He picked her up and caressed her surface. In his touch she could feel that he was a good man. A calm soul. So when he carried her with him to his house on the beach, she felt calmed and loved. And it was good.
Months passed of living in quiet harmony. She recuperated from her injuries suffered from the lonely months at sea. And the sculptor kept her safe and warm.
The sculptor looked at his precious piece of driftwood, just as he had done ever day for months. But this day was different. This day he saw a flaw that he hadn’t seen before. So he got out his tools and worked at the flaw. It was difficult, for the wood was very dense and hard. But eventually he smoothed it away, and felt much better.
As the sculptor worked on her, she felt sad. Why did he not love her the way she was? She liked that particular knobby place on her surface. It was part of her charm. But she finally succumbed to his harsh tools, reasoning that he’s the sculptor, so he must know what is best.
He continued this pattern of being satisfied for a while, and then deciding something still wasn’t quite right. Each time, he chipped away a small part of her, and each time she protested until she was too tired to fight anymore.
He’d been working on this one particular spot for a long time, and just couldn’t seem to get it right. The wood just didn’t seem to want to budge. But he was determined, and with one final tap of the hammer to the chisel, he freed the pesky lump that had been bothering him for so long. At last, his work was complete. His masterpiece.
What he did not know, however, was with that one blow, he created the tiniest of cracks in the wood. She seized the opportunity and squeezed her soul through the crack and flitted off unseen by the sculptor. She was free, with all of her so-called “flaws” back intact. It was a joy she’d never known before.
And the sculptor was left shaking his head. For the piece of raw material that in the beginning had brought him so much joy when he discovered it on the beach, was now nothing more than a hollow piece of wood in his hands.