It reminds me of a story I heard once. I have no idea if it is actually true, though. This guy is walking along a beach in Spain. In the distance, he sees another man drawing a picture in the sand with a stick, using deft, authoritative strokes. As he approaches the drawing, at first it seems like a random assortment of shapes and lines. But then he begins to see other things in the picture. He begins to realize that it is a masterwork, a work of art unlike anything he has ever seen. He turns to ask the artist a question about his sketch, but he has already begun to stroll off down the beach. Finally, the man recognizes the artist's profile: it's not just any artist, it's Pablo Picasso, and he has created a priceless work of art! But now the tide is beginning to come in; already some portions of the bottom of the image have started to wash away. The man looks around in vain for some way to preserve this great work, but he has no camera, no means to even make a sketch of what he sees (and even if he could, it certainly would bear no resemblance to the great work before him).
His mind races... perhaps a plaster casting could be made of the great work... or he could build a dam out of sand to stop the onrushing tide... but even as he thinks, another great wave washes out the bottom third of the work. As wave after wave slowly erodes this masterpiece, the futility of the situation becomes more and more monolithic. Even Picasso's footprints in the sand begin to wash away in the onrushing tide, as the man's tears form tiny craters in the strip of sand that remains.
Okay, so I'm not Picasso.
But it's still damned depressing.