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The Stone Cutter

Once there was a stone cutter. He lived a simple life, cutting and carving stone for those who requested it of him. Each and every day he would repeat this simple life. Today was no different from any other day and he woke up as the sun shone through his small glass window in his small wooden home. His back ached from his hard bed but he was used to the pain. He got out of his bed and reached over to his set of tools.

The mountains around him were known for the mountain spirit that was said to inhabit them but he was here for the beautiful stone that lay in its vast heights. Today he had a special rock in mind for a project a local lord had commissioned. He made his way up the mountain through the frigid morning air. Over the many years of work he had learned to resist the cold and he marched forwards to where he knew his stone would lay.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

He chiseled away at the rock as the sun beat down on him. The sun was hot but his tanned skin protected him from the burning sensation that would affect many others in such sunshine. His hands were calloused and made the chiseling feel effortless. It was nice to be strong even in his later years where some of his friends in their age had begun to become weak.

The sun began to set and he made his way down the mountain, down the paths he knew so well. He soon found his small wooden home and settled down his hard bed next to his small glass window.

Once again he woke up as the sun show through the small glass window but today was different from the others. As he got out of bed that morning his back ached more than usual and as he went to grab his tools he felt pain from cracks that now ran through his calloused hands.

He made his way up the mountain but the frigid morning air tore through him like it had never before. He shivered all the way as he limbered towards the stone he had begun work on the day before.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

As he chiseled away at the rock, the sun beat down on him even harder than the days before. His skin felt dry and the harsh sunshine burned him for the first time in many years. His cracked hands bled and the chiseling felt a brutal task. He felt weak, perhaps his age had finally caught up to him.

He thought to himself, as he took a break for the first time in many years, if only I were a lord then I wouldn’t have to do work like this every day.

With this simple thought he felt a gust of wind pass by him. He thought he had heard a voice on the wind, if you wish it then so shall it be.

The sun began to set and he made his way down the mountain, down the paths he thought he knew so well. But tonight was different. As he retraced his path a great many times he could not yet find his small wooden home with its small glass window.

It was dark now and he began to worry. Perhaps he would have to spend the night in the forest, surely he would be able to find his home in the morning. Then two servants dressed in white ran up to him.

“My lord, we’ve been so worried. We had begun to worry you would not return.” They said as they begun to guide him through a winding forest path. He was led to a mansion on the hillside and was taken into a large room with soft bed and table with an extravagent display of food.

The simple stone cutter was confused but he layed down his tools and entered the house.

He soon settled down in his life as a lord. The soft cushiony bed as he woke up each morning that left him without ache; his calloused hands faded as he no longer had to chip away at the rock each day; his tanned skin lightened as he no longer had to work in the blistering sun. He had become accustomed to his new life.

But one day, as he sat on the porch of his house free from worry, a prince strode down the road beside him. The prince held a golden umbrella as he rode by and was accompanied by countless attendants. The prince had real power.

The lord became discontent with his life of luxury and he thought to himself, if only I were a prince then I would be able to have power to affect peoples lives.

With this simple thought he felt a gust of wind pass by him. He thought he had heard the voice once more on the wind, if you wish it then so shall it be.

The sun began to set and the lord settled down in his soft cushioned bed for a night’s sleep. When he awoke in the morning his mansion that he knew so well had been replaced with a large castle. The once lord strode around the castle grounds and he saw his many attendants rushing about, asking if he needed something done, he saw his many horses in the stable, and he saw his golden umbrella next to his gate that led out to the world.

He soon settled down in his life as a prince. Now, he was able to make decisions about his land and those who lived in it. The prince waged wars, changed taxes, built bridges and roads. He had become accustomed to his new life.

But one day, as he sat in his room, while attendants were ready to rush to meet his every whim, he was unhappy. All of his great work was being destroyed as his people starved from a drought. The sun had more power than him.

The prince became discontent with his life as a man of power and he though to himself, if only I were the sun then even I could be more powerful than a prince.

With this simple thought he felt a gust of wind pass by him. He thought he heard the voice he knew from twice before once more on the wind, if you wish it then so shall it be.

With that gust of wind, suddenly, he (or perhaps it as he was now the sun) lingered in the sky. The once prince could now affect the world whenever he pleased.

He soon settled down in his being the sun. Now, he could scorch the lands before him, bringing droughts wherever he pleased. He could choose to be mellow, warming the people beneath him with soft rays of sunshine. He had become accustomed to his new being.

But one day, as he lingered in the sky with the power to scorch or warm, he was unhappy. All of his power to ruin the lands beneath him whenever he pleased was being stopped by a cloud. The cloud had more power than him.

So the sun became discontent with his being of a massive ball of gas and heat and he thought to himself, if only I were a cloud then even I could prevent the whims of the sun.

With this simple thought he felt a gust of wind that he knew so well pass by him. He heard the voice once more on the wind, if you wish it then so shall it be.

And so he was a cloud. He could stop the sun’s scorching heat. Now, he could bring rain down on the lands beneath him.

He soon settled down in being a cloud. To towns that he liked, he brought great rain allowing them to prosper. In areas that he disliked, he brought rain down that had never been seen before, flooding the lands and shaping the terrain. He had become accustomed to his new being.

But one day, as he brought rain down on a singular spot, he was unhappy. For all his power to stop the sun and bring rain whenever he wished a single boulder stood in his way. A rock had more power than him.

So the cloud became distontent with his being and he thought to himself. If only I were a boulder than nothing could affect me.

He knew what would happen next, as he felt the gust of wind pass him by. He heard the voice once more, if you wish it then so shall it be.

Now he was a rock. Immoving. Unchanging. Powerful. That was his life. He could bask in the sun or be coated in the rain but he would remain.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

He knew that noise. It felt almost like a memory from a dream.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

As he looked around him(if that even is possible for a rock), he saw a simple stone cutter. The man had tanned skin and calloused hands. The man did not have absolute power or immovability. The man lived in a small wooden house, sleeping by a small glass window in his hard bed but the man was happy with his life a stone cutter.

For the last time he thought to himself, if only I were a stone cutter.

Once more the gust of wind passed him by, if you wish it then so shall it be.

A note: I most definitely did not come up with this story but am rather retelling it from what I remember of it. When we were in our Tibetan homestay’s this is a story that kept coming up in my head as an interesting commentary and so I thought I’d share it. Oh, and I apologize with the typos that I inevitably did not catch and fix.