The Painter's Wonder

A winter’s night saw a painter gazing vividly at the cold moonlight caressing the snow.  He longed to pick up his brush and make the moment last forever.  But it would not work.  It never did.  His art was always a creation of another moment entirely—of a memory.  And that was a fine thing.  But not wondrous.
            Still, by day, he painted what he remembered, and it was enough that he had his living.  But by night, he stared and mourned and felt keenly the wistful longing.
            Until a day, most pivotal to his artistic life, it dawned on him that the longing was, in fact, a thing in itself.  The moment was not something to be captured, held prisoner, forced to remain suspended in universal objectivity.  His art, a byproduct of memory, was all the more at rest for the nature of his longing.  But what would happen if his longing were fulfilled?  If he felt the desire for permanence satisfied?  No, the longing was a thing in itself.  Something meant to exist without fulfillment, because it could only exist apart from it.  In that way, it was a sweetness.  A gift.  Suddenly, he felt contentment creep upon him, an accompaniment to his longing.  And that was where he found his wonder.

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