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I finished reading Christopher Moore’s “A Dirty Job” this morning. Stayed in bed until 10 a.m. to do so, all nice and cozy while it was snowing outside. The basic plot of the book is that Beta Male Charlie Asher suddenly becomes a Death Merchant, which means that he has to collect soul vessels from people who have died or are very near dying and keep them until they are retrieved by a person who needs a soul. Soul vessels are physical objects owned by dying people into which their souls go as their bodies slip away. Soul vessels glow red, but only the Death Merchants can see them, well, and a few others in the book, but I’m not going to give more away.

What I find intriguing about soul vessels is that there is a real life parallel. I believe that we imbue the items we use often with our energy. It’s easy to see how we put ourselves into items we personally create, but I don’t think it ends there. By using a personal object regularly, we affect that item in a way that only we are able to. We put wear marks in our favorite tools, thumb through and mark up pages of special books, scuff the toes and shape the soles of well-loved shoes. That evidence stays with the items long after we are gone. My experience with museum artifacts tells me this is so. While the artifacts I deal with on a daily basis don’t glow red, I can often feel the presence of the souls of their owners.