Dreaming about detritus

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?


12 thoughts on “Dreaming about detritus

  1. This is a fascinating dream. It’s as if you were unpacking your subconscious, and the more you dig around, the more there is to find. Perhaps you feel sad because these are mementoes of your own childhood (even if they aren’t the sorts of toys you would have played with). Some toys the child loved and cherished, and some she never used. The poor girl never played dress up with her princess jewels. I wonder why? I’ve always thought the talk about an “inner child” was so glib and shallow, but I think there is something to it. We lose that part of ourselves, we even kill it off – the passionate, curious and vulnerable child, and what we have left are the cast-off toys. I think we mourn that loss in our own children, also, as they grow up.

    How appropriate that you should wake up congested – you are filled up with all these items.

    Do get to the doctor. The last thing you need is to develop pneumonia.

  2. Thank you for sharing the dream.

    I have a couple stress related recurring dreams- return to high school and driving from the back seat.
    Why is it only the bad ones recurr??????????????

    Too bad to trade towels for toys.
    Sure seems like childhood.

    Reckon I never left.
    Got an email picture of a snowman today from my niece,
    12 years old.
    I noticed it was sent to me and about 5 girls in the 5th grade.
    My wife says that is no surprise.

    So sorry your sick.
    Multi colored capsules to cover a whole rainbow of diseases!
    You cant lose.


    • Thanks Mark. Multi-coloured gunk coming off my lungs now too. TMI, I think!
      I have a fairly large number of recurring dreams, which I have categorised slowly and can recognise where they fall.
      Staying young at heart is good. I still love soft toys(I think you call them stuffed animals) and have a fair few. My desk ones are funny, including a flying pig that grunts and a real Tribble that squeaks. I suspect I have never quite grown up but new towels that are still soft are a sensuous treat for child or adult…
      peace to you too, my friend!

      • TMI ha – I prefer bright orange blood speckled but that is just me.

        dont want to put you out or nothin but next time you go to Iota Geminorum IV could you please get me a Tribble.
        (I knew what it was but wasnt sure where they came from) 🙂

      • The Tribble was a birthday present from my brother some years back; I think he haggled for it with a very strange trader…. so I am not as well travelled as I may appear!
        I think you can buy them from a website; shall check with my brother…

      • Oh ,dont go to any trouble.
        I just thought it was cool you had one and called it “real”.
        I am certain I couldnt afford to feed it if I had one 🙂 .

  3. I agree that it appears as though you are being directed to sift through abandoned and denied youthful energies. This is definitely stuff from/about the unconscious. Perhaps the ill health and now the antibiotics are all about slowing down and taking time to be with your “self” before returning to the busy world of otherness.

  4. As I thought about your dream, what came to mind was the discarded magical bag of toys of a deceased Santa Claus; of a lost enchantment, a faith betrayed, a childhood long past. It struck me as full of lost innocence and the lesson of impermanence as all of today’s most precious things, including ourselves, are tomorrow’s detritus. Then, awakening to a chest infection is the mind partnering with the body, delivering a message of “detritus” buildup in the body to be treated, gotten rid of.

    You wrote: ” It was like the remains of a life, stuffed away and then forgotten and sold as nothing.” I thought, sold as nothing because they were nothing. It is in emptying the bag tat we find the “Pearl of Great Price.” Thank you.

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