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Topic: The Glasswalker's Dream
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Feb 1, 2003 06:27PM)
This is a story about my first glasswalk in September 2002. I was asked to perform at the Garlic Festival at a local outdoor brew pub. There were going to be a lot of people, they would be enjoying beer, and much of my usual material was too cerebral. I needed to go for the viscera. After a bit of research, I settled on walking barefoot on broken glass.

One of the tough things about this was breaking the news to my wife. She took it OK, as we sat there at the kitchen table, she just quietly put her hands over her face and lowered her face to the table. I explained the principle as well as I could, then it was just a matter of whipping up publicity. The news spread like wildfire, and when people asked her about it, she played the terrified wife thing perfectly (Stanislawski Method, I guess).

To help build up the buzz and to save money, I ran an ad in a newsletter for people to donate old Mason jars for a carnival stunt. I got lots of calls and emails, and carloads of glass that people had been meaning to do something about for a long time. People were stopping me on the street to ask about it. Of course, they all wanted to know the trick. I told them that the trick was to prepare your mind.

The show went very well. I figured out that the presentation for this would involve a lot of stalling and false starts. I hoped that the more impatient members of the audience would think that it was a joke, and that it wasn't going to happen. Then I'd do it. That's just how it worked out, I got them up to shouts and heckling. When I went onto the glass, they all went dead silent, and you could hear nothing but the fabulous sound of razor-sharp shards of broken glass shifting against each other under my bare feet. Nothing else sounds like broken glass!

Many people came up to talk to me afterwards, so I got to talk about preparing my mind a lot. Some people said, "So if your mind is prepared, the glass can't penetrate your feet?"

I said yes.

Other people asked how preparing my mind protected me, and I explained that while they could walk on the glass without injury, they would be unlikely to be able to endure the pain (I do call it The Path of Pain). Then we would talk about self hypnosis, which I learned at an early age; it has been helpful during dental work.

That night I got a good night's sleep; the next day we walked around all day at a big fair for organic farmers. That night I had a dream.

I was standing around with a bunch of fiddlers who were putting rosin on their bows. They told me that it would be good on my feet. As I rubbed it into one foot, one of the fiddlers said that it was really amazing that I didn't have any cuts or scratches on my feet. I started to do the other one, and they said, hey look, you've got half a dozen cuts on that one. There were these little cuts, so I went back to the first foot, and now there were big gashes with glass shards sticking out of them on the bottom of my foot.

I said, wow that's weird, I spent the whole day walking around the fair and I didn't feel anything, now look at this. Then it occurred to me: I'm dreaming. So I decided to put the shards of glass in a cloth drawstring bag and bring them back to the waking world.

When I woke up, I had the bag! This is great, I thought, I can show these to my wife. I reached into the bag, but now the shards were polished semiprecious stones. I took them out and dropped them on the ground one at a time as I walked. Then it occurred to me, this isn't really the waking world, I'm still dreaming.

Then I woke up for real. I told my wife all about it right away, but the really weird thing is, you know how if you pull a thorn out of yourself you can feel where it was? I could feel where I had pulled the shards of glass out of my feet. The sensation persisted for several minutes after I woke up.

What did I learn from this?

Everyone knows that you can't step onto broken glass without hurting yourself. That "everyone" includes me. I had suffered a psychic injury, and had to heal myself in my dream to be well again.

You mess around with magic, sometimes it messes back.

You can see pictures of The Path of Pain at:


Sorry there aren't any pictures of my dream!


Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Feb 4, 2003 07:46PM)
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jul 31, 2005 11:16AM)
That was really awesome! I can hear twilight zone music in the background as I type! Man, you didn't make that last part up? it's incredible!
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 2, 2005 06:08PM)
I had a dream the night before my first professional blockhead performance (last week) where suddenly the adult crowd had children in it! I didn't seem them until after I had started the routine The parents realised what I was doing and rushed to drag the kids out and so I paniced. I hammered the nail THROUGH my soft pallette and into my mouth!

I don't think this is actually possible but it was pretty real in the dream.

The thing is that it didn't hurt, it just felt like that gap you have when you lose a tooth. In my dream, I was more worried about my wife finding out. (as only a wife can do!)
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Aug 10, 2005 02:59PM)

No, I didn't make up the last part. I really could feel where I had pulled out the shards when I woke up.

Makes you wonder what psychic surgery feels like if you are a believer, eh?


Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Aug 12, 2005 03:41AM)
Hi DrWislon,

Thanks for posting this I really enjoyed reading your story. Yes, makes one think doesn't it regarding the power of suggestion?