Once upon a time there was a painting of clouds. It was done in an impressionistic style, with every stroke of the paint clear and dark. The painting was enormous, and the painter used his whole body to make a great arc of paint that made up just one tiny portion of a cloud.
The painting was on the side of a building, and it was to be immortalized by placing a great plexiglass plate over the finished painting. It would be sealed from the elements and exist forever.
It was to be the painter’s masterpiece, and he labored long and hard, hanging from a narrow scaffolding for days at a time.
But things happen, and the building needed a new sprinkler system. They cut the painter’s budget and he could no longer buy paint. Then they cut his budget entirely and sent him home.
From his tiny apartment far away, the painter could look into the city and see his unfinished painting on the side of the building. He was embarrassed, frustrated, and finally depressed. Every morning he would look out of the window of his tiny apartment and feel sad and angry all over again.
Then one day someone sent the painter a picture of his painting up close. The rainy season had come, and the paint was beginning to run, to creep down the side of the building. It was the final straw, and the painter fell into deep despair.
As the rainy season progressed, the pain seeped down the building. It crept into every crevice and slid along the slight depressions in the building’s surface. Gradually the paint descended the entire building, forming the outlines of shadows and strange shapes that could have been clouds.
When the painter at last looked out of his window again, he saw that the entire building had been covered with clouds. To this day, all the people of the city call the building the Cloud Building and refer to cloud painting as a masterpiece of nature and art.
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