And after the beginning comes the journey - a learning and growing process, an attempt to reach a destination, that shapes us as a sculptor would an uncut stone. At first, the chisel hurts us as it chips away dross fragments of ourselves we have lived beneath our whole lives. But then, when the sculptor reveals the finished, chiseled remainder of ourselves, we discover precious stones had been concealed beneath the granite, but we had to take this journey to reveal them.
Finally, we reach the end of our journey, only to find our destination still far away. We look back at the pieces of granite chipped away from us, and wonder how we can go on another journey like the one we have just finished. We wonder how anything more beautiful than the precious stones we discovered can be found within us.
But we begin, just the same.
This time, the journey isn't quite so hard; we've been through it before. And as before, the sculptor patiently chisels and chips away at our newly-found precious stones, convinced, as we are not, that something more beautiful lies beneath. And so, once again, we reach the end of our journey. We look back at the precious stones left behind us on the path, angry that the sculptor would allow something so seemingly beautiful to be left behind.
And then we look at ourselves and see what the sculptor has revealed. We hardly recognize ourselves anymore, for there, instead of the granite, instead of the precious stones - are diamonds. We stand in stunned silence for a moment before looking up to see a new path before us. Our destination is still yet to be revealed.
And so, we begin again.