Saint of Mt. Koya
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"Resigned to my fate, I decided it made little difference when or how I met my end, and so, putting one foot in front of the other, I went forward, determined to see at least the edge of this vast swamp of mud and blood -- a scene so terrible no ordinary person could imagine it. Having reached this resolve, I went forward oblivious to the disgust I had experienced earlier. I picked off and discarded the leeches that still clung to my body like fat rosary beads. Walking rapidly and flailing my arms, I proceeded on my way in a sort of mad St. Vitus' dance.

"At first my body felt puffy and swollen and the itching was unbearable, later I felt gaunt and wracked with pain. I was being assailed on all sides; there was no respite.

"Already my sight was growing dim and I felt on the verge of collapse; I had reached the limit of my suffering, and yet, paradoxically, it was just at that moment that I caught a faint glimpse of the distant moon, like the light at the end of a tunnel, and presently emerged from the forest of leeches.

"Coming out of the darkness and finding myself under a blue sky, I flung my body violently to the ground as though I wished to crush myself to dust. Not caring whether the ground was covered with stones or needles, I rolled in the dirt to rid my body of the leeches that still clung to me. At length, trembling violently, I got to my feet and continued on my way.

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