An old man lay upon his death bed.
In between the dreams, and hallucinations,
he had the opportunity to reflect upon his
long years. He noted that although he had
worked hard all his days, committed no crime,
and provided for his family without complaint,
his life had been unremarkable. He was an
unknown; had contributed nothing worthy of
note to society, amassed no fortune, or built no
lasting monument for ages to marvel at. He
wrote no great prose, fed no masses, or cured
any diseases. Surely, he thought, he deserved
but few words to be uttered over his bones, and
wondered to whom would they be addressed anyway?
Angst settled over his feverish brow.
When at last his body became still and cold, and
his soul moved towards a bright, distant light,
it was revealed to him that the time, in his youth,
when he plucked a fledgling sparrow from the grass
that had fallen from the plum tree in his backyard,
and placed it back into its nest, and the time, many
years later, when he handed a dollar to a panhandling
teen in Berkley, that he had fulfilled his destiny.
That those two unrelated, mundane acts somehow
made all the difference in the Grand Scheme, and
were all that were ever required of him. Their completion
was the sole reason for his existence. Everything else,
it was further explained, the joy, the pain, the hunger,
even the sin, were gratis. He wished excitedly, for an instant,
at that moment only to return to tell someone.
Anyone. But he could not.

By Ishmael

© 2004 Ishmael (All rights reserved)


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