Here’s the seventh and final installment of my Ministry Series:
I had searched long enough – too long – and was ready to give up on my quest for the Great Secret. Life without Meaning was too painful to endure, and I determined to go home and end my life by my own hand. I was parched with thirst, in a semi-delirium and near fainting. I only entered the government building to find a water fountain, to quench my thirst and find the strength to make it home. Inside, I asked a security guard where the nearest water was, and he pointed to a nearby door. I entered, slaked my thirst at the water fountain, and turned to leave.
A man in a trench coat and a slouch hat walked up to me. “Been looking for the Ministry of Mystery, have we?”
“But . . . how do you know?”
“Doesn’t matter. See, the thing is, it’s never in the same place twice. Finding it is . . . a matter of attitude. Just follow your nose, Bub. And believe.”
And then he was gone. I looked for him out in the hallway, but he was nowhere in sight. Only then did I notice the sign above the door: The Secretariat of Serendipity.
My head was suddenly, miraculously clear, my heart pounding: alive, alive, alive. I may have lost my Meaning, but I again found Hope. Back out on the street I felt the heat of the sun; studied with quicksilver awe the upturned faces of the members of a Cloud Counting Club as they stumbled past me on the sidewalk, unaware of their surroundings; followed my nose to a bakery, where I bought and ate a small cinnamon loaf; listened to the clang-buzz-tweet-roar-shuffle of city life. Looking as if with new eyes, I looked up and there it was: the ministry of Mystery – in a place where I had often looked and it had never been. I went inside.
There was only one person in the sparsely-furnished little office: a circus clown in full regalia, with a custard pie balanced on the fingertips of one hand. He beckoned mischievously with the other, and I crossed the room to face him. Beneath the face paint he looked – amazingly – like myself!
“Welcome, K.” he said in a voice just like my own. “I’ve been expecting you.”
“Expecting – you have? Who . . . who are you?”
“I am,” he replied, “the Truth.” He went on. “One day the village idiot was seen riding around lickety-split on his donkey, frantically looking for something. When people would ask him what he was looking for, he would reply, “I’m looking for my donkey!”
“What you are looking for, bozo, is what is looking.”
The clown looked deep into my eyes, soulful infinity in his gaze. “Remember,” he intoned, “who you really are.” And with that, he threw the pie in my face.
Food for thought.
And on that day I left Centre City, never to return. Up until then I had never really thought about the wider world wherein I now wander. I carry my few possessions in a sack, over my shoulder: wandering, working where there is work to be done, sojourning here and there when invited, getting to know new brothers and sisters, and loving the living of life. Pursuing the paradox now plain as the nose I follow throughout Homeland, singing my simple new song:
“My life is a quest, there’s a Grail I must claim. (The Quest and the Grail are one-and-the-same.)” ————————–
I’d love to hear from some of you who follow my blog what you think of my Ministry Series, and if you’d like to see more fiction on my blog. I’d thought the series to be complete, but am working on a new installment, “At the Ministry of Merchandise.” Thanks for reading!