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A Village in Eastern Europe

March 17, 2010

I was staying with a family who lived in a small village located somewhere in Eastern Europe. They hired me to plan their daughter’s wedding. One night after I finished the final decorative touches to the reception hall, the father came to me. He said that after many months of living with them, I was considered family. He spoke in a husky Slavic language I understood, but could not speak. He guided me out into the snow and told me to remove my shoes. He led us to a fire where the whole family was waiting. Darkness was everywhere. He pointed to the path before me. It was covered in snow and dirt, with large spear-like objects sticking out through the dirt.

I understood that I had to cross the entire half mile of pointed spears in my bare feet. Even though lucidity began very early in the dream, I looked at the sharp end of those spears and hesitated.

“You are strong,” he said. “You will succeed because you are family.”

The first few paces were easy. I cheated and stepped around each spear, still concerned about my physical body and its threshold for pain. I focused and took swift breaths as I moved forward, allowing the spear to pierce my heels. The sting was only slight. I continued, gradually maintaining a balance between mental and physical awareness. I felt brave when I looked down and observed the ease in which the razor-sharp point tore at the flesh. One foot after the other I reached the end of the passage. The family was there, huddled together with smiles on their faces.

Initiation was over. I was a member of the family. They held me for awhile and whispered prayers to me. For the rest of the dream we feasted by a warm fire. I looked at my feet under firelight. There was a tiny scar. I ran my fingertip over it, amazed by the level of detail.

The fire glowed into the hours of darkness.

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