Monday, 3 June 2013

Parable about Great Gemcutter

Once upon a time there was a good small town in a one far country. This town was named “the Town of Masters”. Every inhabitant of the country arriving to the Town of Masters made at least one purchase there and brought it to his house because the best goods were being sold only in the town. Only in the Town Of Master the potter made the most break – resistant and sophisticated dinnerware, the shoemakers sewed the most casual clothes and solid footwear, the bakers baked the most delicious and flavoured breads, the watchmakers made the most accurate watches, but the jewelers made the most exquisite jewelry. Once a young smiling guy appeared in the Town of Masters and directed to the small shop belonged to a famous jeweler whose works were known throughout the country.
-Good afternoon, honorable master, - the young guy said making bow to the master. – I have come to ask you about the opportunity of apprenticeship. I am able to work with gold and silver, but I am not good at gem cutting: a gem doesn’t play in such colors I want to. Don’t refuse me, teach me this craft.
-Well, - the master answered, - I can teach you. But I warn you in advance: it is a very complicated work which demands lots of patience and thoughtfulness. You can spend many years until you will be able to feel the gem and cut it in such a way so that all its mystery will be opened and multiplied in a gorgeous setting.
-I am talented, - the young guy said impatiently, - I can easily master any skills.
The master shook his head:
-Quickness in any work doesn’t bring good fruits, but in order to find out all secrets of craft – all life time will not be enough.
The guy began laughing:
-You are kidding, master! There is no better jeweler in our country than you, it means – you are a true expert of your business.
-Your truth, - the master answered sorting out the uncut gems, - But the genuine master must improve his knowledge all life long…But if you have such a strong desire to get skills of cutting of the gems, then stay here and learn!
So, the pupil stayed at the old jeweler’s house. Two years have passed, but the guy continued living in his house and learning this complicated craft. He cut more than hundred gems, but he was not satisfied with his work: the gem doesn’t play in different colors by a magic light, it doesn’t reflect the rainbow rays under the sun beams, it doesn’t flicker mysteriously in the moon light. The pupil was angry with the master, he started thinking that the master doesn’t want to tell him the main secrets of gem cutting, so he decided to find other jeweler who can teach him this craft faster.
-You are a brilliant master, - the guy started saying, - There is no better master who cuts the gems so fantastically than you, right?
-This is not quite right, - the master smirked kindly, - There is one gem cutter who exceeded any gem cutter by its skill.
-How come! – the pupil didn’t trust his ears. – Why haven’t you told me about that before?
-You haven’t asked me, - the master’s eyes flickered cunningly.
-What is his name? Where is he living? – the pupil was impatient to get the answers to his questions.
-His name is Great Gemcutter, he lives somewhere on the north, I don’t know the precise location. It was good news for the pupil, and he made a decision to leave his master at the earliest convenience and to go in search of Great Gemcutter. The opportunity came up very soon:
-If you wish, - the master said as if he read his pupil’s thoughts, - You can try to find him. Ask people around, someone must know where he lives.
-Well, I will listen to your advice, - the pupil was in the seventh heaven of happiness. – I will go right now. You had said he lives somewhere on the north?
-Yes, - the old jeweler confirmed and sighed. The pupil said goodbye to the master and went directly to the north for seeking of Great Gemcutter.
The pupil of the jeweler was going to the north during many days asking in every village about the place where Great Gemcutter lives. But people shook their heads and shrugged having no idea about Great Gemcutter. The guy continued moving and didn’t notice how the dusk came over. He paused and looked around – there was a small bonfire in the distance. “I am not alone on the field” – he was happy to see the fire and directed towards. There was a man sitting next to the bonfire, he was drinking wine from a flask, and time after time was throwing up dry brushwood into the fire.
-Such a wonderful night, isn’t it? – the jeweler’s pupil greeted a stranger. – Let me spend the night next to your bonfire?
-Good night, - the man answered, - No problem, you can sit here and have a warm.
The guy sat next to the bonfire, got bread out of the bag, and gave a piece of it to the stranger, then ate a bit by himself and began asking him about the place where Great Gemcutter lives.
-Well, I don’t know about the place he lives in, I am searching for him by myself.
The pupil of the jeweler was surprised hearing that, and wanted to ask the stranger what for he is searching for Great Gem Cutter, but the guy couldn’t finish. Suddenly there was heard a loud thud of hoofs in the field: three fiery red horses are running towards them. Their manes were waving, the ground was moving under the feet, and it seemed that the horses were about to tromp the men sitting next to the fire. The guy was scared and caught the stranger’s arm:
-Come here! Faster! Somebody’s young mad horses escaped to the field! They will tromp us!
The stranger didn’t move. He threw some more branches into the bonfire and answered calmly:
-Don’t be afraid. These are my horses.
-Yours? – the guy surprised. The stranger nodded:
-The name of the first horse is Impatience; the name of the second horse, who wants to chase and bite the first one, is Arrogance; and the name of the third horse, who widens his nostrils and hoofs the ground, is Pride.
The guy took ease and grinned:
-Your horses have the weird names.
-The names have been given before and I call them by these names, - the stranger answered and had a look at the dark sky. Somewhere not far a cicada started singing.
-I must go, guy. Good bye.
-Good bye, - the pupil of the jeweler answered, - Don’t forget to call your horses!
Having said no more word the stranger went through the field leisurely. The morning has come, the guy moved further searching for Great Gemcutter. He passed many villages asking people around about the place where Great Gemcutter could live but no one knew about that place. The guy doesn’t lose hope, and continued moving ahead stubbornly, his desire to master gem cutting craft was very strong. One day a wide river blocked the guy’s way. The bridge was still not near, and by hard adventure, it was beginning to get dusk. He decided to search for a place for the halt, he went along the bank and by his own surprise he met the stranger again.
-Hi, stranger! – the guy exclaimed joyfully, - Such a meeting!
-Good evening! – the stranger smiled, - Are you still searching for Great Gemcutter?
-Yes, I am – he answered sadly, - Without a result. Have you met him?
-No, - the stranger shook his head.
They made a fire on shore, sat to get warm and to have dinner. At that moment there was a sudden noise behind their backs. The guy turned around and saw three horses, not the fiery red ones as it was in a previous time, but the grey ones. The horses were quietly going to the river. The pupil of the jeweler had a surprised look at the stranger.
-These are your horses?
-Yes, they are mine – the stranger answered looking at the white fog which was lifting over the river.
-What are their names? – the guy asked smiling.
-The name of the horse, who drinks water from the river, is Sorrow; the name of the horse, who stands by side, is Loneliness, the name of the last horse, who creeps, is Strengthlessness.
The guy glanced at the stranger, and it seemed that the man’s back is not so straight as in a previous time and there is more grey hair on his head.
-I have never heard before people give such names to the horses, - the guy was puzzled, - Where are your fiery red horses?
-I let them go, - the stranger said calmly. And somewhere near the cicada started singing.
-I must step along. Here you have fire and bread. The warmth and food will be useful for you. I must be on the opposite shore before the dawn. Good bye.
-Good bye, - the pupil of the jeweler said, he was very surprised by the stranger and his weird horses. At sunrise the guy directed to a bridge, passed the river and moved further to the north. He went through almost all country and still has not found Great Gemcutter. One dull day he was strolling sadly thinking: “I have went through all country, but I didn’t meet Great Gemcutter. Maybe the old jeweler cheated me? I have asked everyone, no one knows or has ever heard the name of Great Gemcutter… I am not lucky. Suddenly, the sky became dark, the thunder cracked and the rain started pouring. The guy could not think what to do. He stood under a foliage of the big tree, but it didn’t save him from the storm: from above the water was flowing inside of his shirt. Then he saw a small hut at the edge of the wood glade. Without thinking, the guy ran to the shelter, but when he got into the hut he gasped: there was the stranger sitting on the ground, it was that same stranger who he had already met. But now he could be hardly recognized: it seemed his head was covered by frost – there was no a single black hair, his face was cut with wrinkles, and his shoulders were stooped as if a heavy burden was laid on them.
-Hi, old friend! – the guy greeted the stranger looking surprisingly into his eyes. – I haven’t expected to meet you again!
-Hi, guy! – the stranger answered, -Why didn’t you expect? Although, we choose different ways for searches, we have a common goal, that’s why our ways are crossed. Haven’t you met Great Gemcutter?
-No, - the guy answered sadly, - I have doubts about his existence. I have crossed all country from the south to the north, I asked people around – no one even heard about Great Gemcutter. I think it is a pack of lies…
Suddenly the thunder crashed as if the heaven is torn apart, and the rain began falling as if someone threw a deep river down from above.
-Such a disaster can kill us, - he said being frightened and sat closer to the stranger.
-No, it will not kill us, - the stranger said quietly, - Now my horses will go away and the storm will be over.
-Where are horses? I don’t see them…
-Look there! They stand next to the bushes, - the stranger answered being tired.
The guy looked out of the hut and saw: three black horses, having hung their heads down, stand next to the bushes without any movement, only water is flowing from their long manes down.
-How many horses do you have, stranger?
-I don’t have them anymore, these are the last ones, I let all go away.
-What are their names? – the guy asked quietly.
-The name of the first horse is Loss, the name of the second horse is Grief and the name of the third horse is Emptiness. You don’t need to call them, sooner or later they come themselves.
The pupil of the jeweler sneered as in the first time, he was not surprised by the stranger like in a previous time. He looked silently at the depressed horses, and his heart was filling with sadness. The horses remained a little longer, then walked back into the wood. The pouring rain became thinner, the thunder blasts became weaker, and through the rustle of the rain the guy heard the cicada was singing. It was very close. The guy looked at the stranger and asked being surprised:
-Cicada? Where did it come from? Or …, - a guess flashed upon him, - It is your cicada, right?
-It is mine, - the stranger answered simply, - it is always with me.
-Does it have the name? – the guy blinked cunningly.
-Yes, it has – the stranger answered, then paused a bit and continued: the name is Belief. By the way, I have found Great Gemcutter, - the stranger said unexpectedly.
The guy was overwhelmed.
-How come? Where have you found him?
-Right here. One hour ago he went away, - the stranger said, - As it turned out I was following him, that’s the news, - the stranger smiled tiredly, - But fortunately, there was the storm, and my horses were tired. I stopped in the hut in order to wait out the storm, and he at once caught up with me. We sat, spoke, then made farewells and left. I thought you have met him, too.
-No! I haven’t! Where is he now? Where has he gone? – the guy was in despair.
-He went to the north, he doesn’t go the other way. His house is located where the snow, cold sun and north light are… For me it is time to go home, guy.
-Home? – the guy asked sadly, - It means that you got knowledge for which you were searching for Great Gemcutter?
-Yes, - the stranger answered, - When I was young as you I had a dream: to build the highest house in the world so that it could touch the sky. I didn’t know how to build such a house. One old man prompted me that only Great Gemcutter, who knows all answers to all questions and who can teach everyone any craft, could help me. My desire was so strong that I set out in search of Great Gemcutter. It was not easy to find him, and I spent half of my life for searches.
-So now you know how to build sky high house? Did he teach you? – the pupil asked enviously.
-No, - the stranger answered quietly, - And I don’t need it anymore…You know, guy, when I was young, I was the best at cutting of the willow pennywhistles. My pennywhistles produced the sounds of different birds, they were in each house where the children were being born. While I was searching for Great Gemcutter, I heard the rumours that a city where I lived became larger and a lot of people lived there, and a lot of children walked there. But no one knew something about my willow pennywhistles. No one could make them for the children. So, I will have loads of work in the city and I am in hurry.
The stranger arose and held out his hand at parting.
-What about your sky high house? – the pupil of the jeweler sorrowed.
-It will be built by someone else, - the stranger answered flakey, - Maybe it will be built by you.
-I am not a builder, I am a jeweler, - the guy lifted his hands in dismay.
-Nevermind, -the stranger answered, - The main is belief in your strengths. If you have it you can make everything: you can build the sky high house, you can become the great gem cutter or best cutter of the pennywhistles.
With this the stranger jammed the hand into a stash pocket of the shirt and pulled out the little cicada.
-Here you are, I don’t need it anymore, - the stranger said smiling and offered to the pupil of the jeweler the odd gift.
-Why? – the guy asked at a loss.
-I have learnt its song, this melody will always sound in my heart. It will be of some use to you. Take care of it! And remember – whatever you want to reach to – this cicada must always keep singing in your stash pocket.

The stranger touched the guy’s shoulder friendly and got out of the hut. There was the sun shining in the wood, and the transparent pills of the pouring rain were flickering like the small rainbows…

© Copyright 2013 by Kseniya Malakhova
All rights are reserved.
Unauthorized use is prohibited.

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