Posted by Pistol Pete
Another week of thrills,chills and excitement
A fable of unknown origins retold by Chrissy the Hyphenated
There once was a traveler who came upon a building site that seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. Near the road, a number of stonemasons were hammering away, so he stopped at the first one and asked, “What are you doing?”
The first stonemason didn’t even look up, but snarled at the traveler to move on, because he had too damn much to do and it was too damn hot to be answering damn fool questions from damn fool strangers. The traveler moved down the road a bit and came to another stonemason.
Again, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The second stonemason stretched his back and wiped the sweat from his brow.
“Well,” he sighed. “I’ll tell you. I’m a stonemason. Basically, all I do is smooth the sides of big blocks of stone, so they can be used for building. It’s hard work and not very creative. Sometimes I think I would like to have been a sculptor, but that takes years of training and my father couldn’t afford that much schooling for me. And I can’t be pining after that sort of thing now I’ve got a wife and kids to keep. I’m just grateful there’s paying work here, not too far from home. As you can see, this is a big job that will keep us all employed for a long time.”
At this, he picked up his mallet and chisel and returned to his work.
The traveler thanked him and moved on again. This time, he came to a stonemason who was not just hammering away at a block of stone, but also whistling as he worked. The traveler stopped and asked, “What are you doing?”
The third stonemason didn’t answer at once. He put his tools down and ran his hand over the block in a way that seemed almost a caress, then looked up at the traveler with a smile that was so pure and filled with joy that the traveler could only call it beatific. Then, he jumped to his feet and beckoned eagerly to the traveler. “Come, I’ll show you!”
He led the traveler through a maze of stone blocks, wood beams, and tools of all sorts. Everywhere there was a chink of metal on stone, the rasp and chunk of metal on wood, and the scrape and thump of moving earth. Over it all rang the murmurs and shouts of dozens and dozens of workmen.
Finally, the stonemason stopped and, smiling broadly, gestured in a grand fashion at what, for all the traveler could see, was nothing but a gigantic hole in the ground.
Puzzled, the traveler said, “What?”
The stonemason said, “It’s what I’m doing.”
“But what IS it you are doing?”
“Why, can’t you see?! I’m building a cathedral!”
If you liked this, you might also enjoy https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/my-morning-prayer/