Thursday, 28 November 2019

Dream journal: Twelve

This is the twelfth in a series of posts chronicling dreams I have had. As usual, the date shown is the date the dream was captured. This is always the morning after the night the dream took place. You can’t wait very long before capturing a dream because it soon disappears from memory.

3 November

Dreamt I was in the Yamatake building (in real life I worked in Tokyo for the company from 1992 until 2001 but in the dream the year was 2019) and all the staff – including me – were moving to another office building. I had been handed a poster that I had brought to the place at the time when I had arrived there to work. It was a poster showing a work of art by an Australian artist. The artwork was a portrait of a novelist and the poster had since been folded to make it more manageable, for storage purposes. I was given to understand now that I should take the poster home to Australia, and so I carried it through the open-plan offices where people were busy packing up.

There were lots of people around. Then I was with my daughter and the building had changed into a department store. In the dream as I was experiencing it she was aged about four years (in real life she had been born the year our family relocated to Japan). The two of us were walking up a stairway that looked exactly like the stairway in the office I had just been inside; in fact the building was the same but its purpose had miraculously changed along with the year.

From one floor to another the two of us made our way up until we arrived at a floor where I heard voices. A group of Aboriginal people were gathered around a speaker who was talking to them about what had happened to them in the past, since the arrival of Europeans on their continent, and at the time that applied in my dream the old animosities between the local community in Australia and the Aboriginal population were still present. I walked up to where the speaker was talking and I felt the need to cry but I didn’t say anything. My face crumpled like a Coke can but no tears fell from my eyes. I wanted to participate in the gathering but I felt like an outsider as I stood there listening to the speaker and to people in the crowd adding their comments so, suddenly, I turned around and left.

Then, how I do not know, I became separated from my daughter and so had to find her. I thought to myself as I was dreaming that everything would turn out ok – we were in a department store so surely someone could find a small girl and then someone else would find me and reunite us – but still I felt rising panic as I searched the floor of the building I was on. I saw a girl of about the same age as my daughter and, thinking it was her, called after her retreating figure but the girl didn’t turn around. I went after her and when I had caught up with her I looked at her face  but as I glimpsed it I knew that it wasn’t who I thought it had been even though I had no memory, on waking, of the face that I had seen.

10 November

Dreamt I was helping the prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, conduct a diplomatic visit to America to meet the US president. There was a security screening apparatus I was feeding documents through on a conveyor. I kept having to put the documents – about two dozen sheets of A4 paper in a stack – through the apparatus time after time. I don’t remember why.

Then I was explaining to Donald Trump why Morrison was being so polite. I said that you have a billion people in Australia, that’s why. Then I realised my mistake and blithely corrected myself, saying, “There are 25 million people in the country. The is about the same population as Texas but Australia is much larger geographically.” I went on to explain about the desert in the middle of the continent. Trump was listening politely and looking off beyond my shoulder every now and again, in the direction of Morrison, who was standing behind me near the machine. There were other parts to the night’s dreaming but I didn’t remember them in the morning. When I woke up I thought to myself that I should have said that Queensland alone is about the size of Alaska.

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