Dreams of Death & TransitionNovember 19, 2004
I'm walking through a part of town I don't recognize. It's an economically depressed area with lots of chain-fences, liquor stores and trash blowing around on the broken sidewalk. The sky is like a low gray ceiling -- unmoving and constant.
I walk past an enormous stone structure that looks like church and there is music coming from inside. I notice that there is a huge line of people waiting to enter through the massive wooden doors. The line goes all the way around the building on the sidewalk. I see no one that I know -- I am a foriegner here --- a white man. I feel my separateness, but I am still compelled to stop and ask someone in line what they are waiting for. The man says: "We are waitin' to pay for our service." I have no idea what this means, but I take a place behind him and follow.
After some unmemborable time of waiting we enter through the double doors of the massive church and I notice that we are proceeding to what should have been an alter but looked more like a judges stand -- a high dark wood desk with a large serious man at the helm. I realize that when people get to the desk, they are reaching into their purses and pocketbooks --- paying varying sums of money and then continuing on to the back door of the church where I see the glow of a fire.
Somehow, I have figured out that we are in line to pay for some type of service to be performed and my sense is that it is a funeral service. When I reach the man behind the desk, he asks me what I am worth --- I try to say that I am not here for myself, but for my father. He says you can only pay for yourself. I do not know how much I give him, it is unclear, but I move to the back door.
In the back courtyard there is an enormous bonfire and a man splitting firewood to feed it. Apparantly, the price paid equates to the number of sticks that you will throw into the blaze. The man hands me three pieces and I carry them over and stand before the flames. Others are crying, some are smiling and some have no expression at all as they throw their logs into the fire.
I pitch my wood into the fire and watch it incenerate almost instantly and become one with the red glowing coals of the others, feeding the greater flame. I awake.