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To Gold

Dreams inform my life. As symbols. As glimpses to the subconscious. As touch-points to what is collectively invisible. There are no absolutes for me in dream interpretation. An entry point to sense-making beyond rational brain is enough. And utterly fruitful. I give myself permission to pick any detail or details from the dream, with the only reason being that it / they have my attention in recall. That’s where I start. I find that when I give my dreams my attention, I remember more of them.

This week I dreamed:

I am an old man, perhaps in my 80s. I live in a village where there is a king (or prince). There is a narrow and steep path of stone on the edge of a mountain that leads from the village up and over a mountain. Each stone is like a shingle, overlapped by the next. Each stone is rectangular, two feet in length and about nine inches wide, and 1.5 inches thick. The king has asked for someone to do an enormous task (I can remember what it was in the dream). As an old man, I tell him that I can’t do that, but I can “paint” each stone from the path that leads up and over the mountain. There is some reward that I will receive if I’m able to do this. The king accepts. I proceed. With each slab of stone, I brush its full surface with at first a cedar bough, that then turns to a paint brush, though there is no paint. I begin to get scared from the height of the path when I am about 50 feet above the village. It is very narrow and it is a steep fall. I can see villagers below and know that I’m in a dangerous place. At first, I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to feel embarrassed or ashamed for not accomplishing the task. However, my fear of the height over takes me. I call out in fear and slowly step down the stone-shingled path, one stone at a time, which continues to really scare me. But then I’m able to hold the slabs with my left hand and slide all at once to the bottom. I feel my failure of not painting the whole path. The next morning I wake to find that each stone that I brushed and painted has turned to gold. The king is wondering how I did it (and valuing it). I don’t know how I did it. I wake.

One of my details in this dream is the alchemical change, which is as good of a narrative as I find to invite depth in human beings together in work, community, family, etc.

Whether you think it, respond with a comment, or reach me privately, what do you touch that turns to gold, even without knowing exactly how it happens?

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