The Glassblower had been working at his artistic craft nearly thirty years and was renowned throughout the land. His creations amazed the many regular customers he had cultivated over the years. His mastery of color and shape elevated the glass blowing craft into the realm of spiritual mystery and holy significance. The patrons often remarked that viewing the gallery of glasswork in his shop caused deep longing and deep satisfaction in the same instance. There was no doubt this man was the greatest and most imaginative glass worker the people had ever witnessed.
The Glassblower received an invitation from the Brotherhood of Glasscrafters to attend a competition to determine the most creative glass artist in the known world. Twenty respected and revered craftsman had been chosen by the Brotherhood to submit a new piece for consideration. The Glassblower was proud and excited for this opportunity to showcase his gift among his peers. That evening as the Glassblower slept he dreamt of the most elaborate and inspired piece that he had ever conceived. Upon waking he quickly set off to make his vision a reality. He worked tirelessly, yet gleefully, until it was finished and every twist and hue was in perfect harmony with each turn and color. As he stepped back and gazed at what he had wrought he thought that, surely, this was the singular purpose for which he had lived. He carefully packed his creation and set off for the competition.
After several days the Glassblower finally arrived to the Great Hall where the exhibit would take place. Each artist was given a well-lit area in the gallery to display their entry. As the Glassblower unloaded his piece a hush fell over the other artists working at their stations. The unearthly glass greeted them like a beacon. It was all at once an expression of peace and turbulence.
The week-long event was full of life and celebration. The crowds offered praise and congratulations to many of the artists and their creations; the Glassblower most of all. They crowded around his magnificent vision and whispered that they had never seen such an amazing sight before. The consensus among the public was that the Glassblower was clearly the most deserving to win. The Brotherhood remarked at the many wonderful displays of talent assembled in the Great Hall as they compiled their judgments. On the final day of the event the Brotherhood gathered all of the Glasscrafters together to announce the winner. To the surprise of nearly everyone at the event the Glassblower was not awarded the title. The stunned and dejected Glassblower left the competition with empty hands and a heavy heart.
When the Glassblower arrived home he gave away all the beloved works in his gallery to the townsfolk as he had determined in his heart during the journey back. He concluded that creating beauty for the mere sake of beauty was a vain and meaningless pursuit. He began to lovingly craft plain and useful items with skill unmatched. He channeled all of his despair and energy into this new direction and soon had a store full of common tools for daily use. The people in the town bought all of new items he had created and asked for more because the quality was greater than any common items they had ever seen. Drinking wine and tea from his glasses and cups made the liquid more flavorful. Eating from the bowls and plates granted the food a life-giving essence. This pleased the Glassblower to no end and his reputation in the region reached new heights.
Many years later the old Glassblower lay in his final days deeply satisfied with the turn his life had taken after the competition. Just then a messenger arrived from the Brotherhood of Glasscrafters and delivered a letter to the old man. The Brotherhood wrote that during the event long ago they conspired against the Glassblower and awarded the title to a lesser artist to satisfy their jealousy of his gift. They have since enshrined his entry into a place of high honor in their most exclusive member’s gallery. The letter was an attempt to gain forgiveness from the old man before his passing. The old Glassblower considered his reply for several days.
In the end he sent a package of his common glassware to the Brotherhood with a simple note proclaiming, “There is nothing to forgive.”