Early this morning I found myself in a dream that is a variation of a dream I have had in several forms for many years. In this dream, I was investigating the inners of a large floor cushion. The cushion had a zip so you could removed the cover for washing but instead of there being an inner cushion I discovered that the stuffing was made of old quilts and clothes, the way sometimes things made in the Third World or China used to be. Initially I was quite pleased as the towels that were inside it were unused and pristine, but as I rummaged deeper, it became clear that not merely clothes and so on had been used. Small soft toys began to emerge, clearly what one might call pre-loved: the nap worn off, the colours faded and slightly dirty. I got the impression that these were toys that had been valued by a child even after they lost the shop smell.
I rooted deeper and other things began to appear, like harder toys and ornaments and it became strangely obvious that the person to whom these things had belonged was dead. I inwardly recoiled but I carried on reaching deeper into this immense cushion that had become as big as a room inside and held all sorts. Christmas presents like a girls’ box of pretend jewels for dressing up as a princess emerged. This had had the cellophane removed but the fake jewels still were affixed to the inner box as if they had never been moved. I began to feel immensely sad.
Other things were found, like boxes for DVDs but empty. A jewelery box without jewels, treasure chests without treasures. All useless. I didn’t even know any of the film titles of the DVDs; and I didn’t make a mental note to try and remember them.
It was like the remains of a life, stuffed away and then forgotten and sold as nothing.
I woke feeling very puzzled and rather sad. I also woke with a raging chest infection, finding it hard to breathe and hard to talk without coughing hard; this seems to have come on in the night, as last night all I noticed was a slightly tight feeling in my chest. I’m going to the doctor’s this morning; I wouldn’t bother except it’s only ten days till I go away, and a week before I am back at work.
What is this detritus of a life I find? I’ve found it in other dreams too, many times, sometimes digging in the earth. Why does it make me so sad?