Another middle of the night inspiration came to me.
The journey of the soul: I saw the soul as a drop of water that falls from heaven onto a mountain top, where it becomes snow, pure and clean, then melts and becomes part of a stream that winds its way down the slopes, gathering dirt and debris, and makes its way to a river, slowed down and muddied; where the strong flow can rid some of the impurities of the muddy stream; which eventually winds its way to the ocean where it joins other drops of water and is eventually purified.
So our soul starts out pure, and becomes stained with original sin - then as we grow and age, becomes darkened by the sins we choose. We make our way through life, still carrying within us that pure drop of water, the life giving soul, created by God; pure and perfect. As we grow in wisdom, we can change our lives to fit more beautifully to God's plan for us, if we but listen to His voice in our soul; as we reach our final destination, carrying with us the residue of our life; although we repent and make reparation we still carry some stain, which can be washed and purified in the great ocean of the Communion of Saints and the mercy of God.
This is the power of prayer and mercy- purification.Our prayers here can help the souls in Purgatory who can no longer work to their salvation but rely on the mercy of God and our prayers and penance and charity to help them rid their souls of the last vestiges of darkness caused by attachment to sin in their mortal life. Once clean and pure they can then be reunited with their Creator, which it has been seeking all through it's journey through earthly life, just as the drop of water eventually joined all the other drops in the great ocean- an ocean of souls, praising and loving their Creator in Heaven.