It was a thing of beauty. The image in the sculptor's mind was so clear, so vivid. Every day, every waking hour, he worked to bring this beauty forth from the clay; a loving caress with his drawing tool here to remove a sliver, some gentle kneading there, to attain the desired shape, he worked tirelessly. And slowly, over time, the mass of clay began to take shape under his caring, skilled hands. Bits and pieces gently rained down, away from the sculpture, and what remained was carefully molded to begin to match the vision that seemed to have come from his very soul, or even from God himself.
But something was wrong. Without realizing it, the sculptor's vision was evolving. The beauty he had so easily seen at first became more and more twisted, and the beauty sloughed away like so much dead, diseased skin, till what remained was a horrific parody of the original sight. Unknown to the busily working sculptor, the clay was becoming marred and deformed, till what remained was a ghastly parody of what was originally to become.
Suddenly, the sculptor looked upon his creation, and realized what he had done. The beauty he had envisioned before gave way to terrible ugliness, and it's aspect was horrible beyind imagining. In a fit of furious grief, he took the sculpture, and dashed it to the floor, marring the work further, making it even more of a mockery to him.
And the sculptor, beside himself with sorrow for what he had created, knew that he had done something horribly wrong; not just in the making, nor in just letting the original vision of beauty to slip from his sight, but in taking the emotions he had suddenly felt and turning them against the clay upon which he had labored. Was it the fault of the clay that this had come to pass? Was the blame to be assigned to the media in which he worked?
No; the clay held no part in the tragedy which had occurred. And yet he had struck out at it, as if he was passing judgement upon it for some grevious sin. He could not allow the further evil of misplaced blame. He had to make it right. But try as he might, he could not re-invoke the beautiful vision that he had originally seen, nor could he perceive any other inspiration that could transform this poor, damaged vessel into something that would make up for what he had done.
So, sadly and slowly, the sculptor just walked away; his heart broken, dropping his tools as he went.