Instructions

ejourneys

Instructions

ejourneys
(From the Community Caregiving Journal 3-word prompt Job, Book, Yours.)

In my fantasy, a page ripped from a spiral-bound notebook tumbles in the updraft, then floats down onto my soul's outstretched hand. A disembodied voice says, matter-of-factly, "That one's yours."

There's no fancy book, no illuminated ledger. No big white podium, no pearly gate or angels strumming harps on clouds. No throngs of other souls milling about, waiting to become flesh.

Instead, I'm mist, shaped into something that tries to be a body. My soul's hand doesn't have a life line on its palm yet. It doesn't have nails or fingerprints.

Now it has a sheet with some scribbled instructions on it in ball point pen. The sheet is wide-ruled with pale blue lines, and where it's been ripped some long fragments hang down.

I ponder a bit that the closest thing I've seen to heaven acquires spiral-bound notebooks in bulk.

So this is my job. The instructions look cryptic. It's only one page, with angular script in black ink. It must be some kind of shorthand.

Out in the world, I've spent decades trying to decipher it. Surely there must be rules, clear language, some semblance of order. Something one might read in a children's book, where the plot is simple and the message clear.

I remind myself that ordinary job descriptions often aren't what they appear to be, either.

I've decided that the instructions aren't meant to make sense. They're meant to get my attention. Taken by themselves the scribbles are stylized, an abstract drawing in pen and ink.

I don't know anything about art, my soul jokes, but I know what I like. The ball point scratches, pale blue rules, dripping fragments are all pretty enough for a frame. It doesn't matter which side is up. What matters is the appreciation.

Maybe that's my job. Appreciation. My life purpose scribbled on a ripped-out spiral notebook page.

Really, they could have just fit that one inside a fortune cookie.


Paper eaten by insects in our garage.

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