I had a quite extraordinary dream last night, which I wasn’t sure was all a dream.
We were watching TV, and they were showing the discovery of a large alien spaceship. The intrepid spacemen who discovered it knocked on the door, and, on getting no response, tried to break in. Eventually they did that by the expedient of shooting through the doors. This broke airtight seals, and so allowed air to escape.
We remarked at how thick they were to do this, and Jethro, or someone in the film, said there were plenty of other sealed off parts of the ship, so it was only making a small part uninhabitable. At this point we began to enter the film, whether fiction or news, I am not sure. Eventually, after breaking through three or four doors in a long metal corridor, they were trying to film through a glass panel one of the remaining ones, and had a picture of a frightened little boy, about 4 years old, dressed like one of the kids in a 1940s concentration camp, and in black and white, like an old photo.
I never dream in black and white, so I thought I was still watching a film. Then another little boy, a bit older, came round the corner on riding a tricycle, followed by yet another child, and the shooting stopped. Eventually a way was found to open the doors, and make contact with the kids, who turned out to be human, and there were several others, all black and white, all dressed like they came out of the 1940s. At this point I became aware that I was dreaming, but I was dreaming about a film I had seen on TV.
Then someone came with the news that the spaceship had come from earth — they had explored round the outside of the ship, and discovered it was proudly sponsored by Coca-Cola, and there was an ad for Coke on one side. It appeared that it was a kind of children’s reformatory, except that there was no adult supervision. The children were sent out in the spaceship and abandoned.
At one place there were crosses and symbols in the floor, in a kind of garden, and that was for children who had died. A new one popped up, with an Orthodox cross, and they said that that was because another child somewhere in the ship had died, or was about to die. She was a girl of about 9, a little blonde girl with a bunch of hair on the top of her head tied with a ribbon, again in a 1940s style, in black and white.
We were looking at a photo of her. Then someone discovered a box like a coffin, with a handwritten note in it “Take to Kitt’s” — and it seemed that this was evidence that Kitts were a firm that was used to transfer children to the spaceship.
Then I woke up, still not quite sure if I was dreaming about a film I had actually seen, or whether the whole thing was a dream.
Towards the end several anomalies were becoming apparent. Why were the children dressed as if they were in the 1940s. If they had been sent to the spaceship in the 1940s, why hadn’t they grown up? Were they sentenced to perpetual childhood? The bit about the graves popping up automatically did seem to be inspired by the film of “The hunger games”, or the book.
About 15 years ago there were quite a lot of web sites dedicated to diaries and journals, including online journals that eventually got absorbed into blogs. Some recommended the keeping of “dream diaries“.
I’ve kept a diary on and off since I was 11 years old, and sometimes I’ve recorded dreams in it. About 20 years ago I began keeping my diary on computer, in a database program, and made a field for recording dreams, or such fragments of dreams as I’ve remembered.
From this I’ve concluded that dreams are mostly insignificant. When you use a computer and run lots of different programs, they are supposed to clear the memory used by each program to make that memory available for the next program without the clutter of data from the previous program, and I’ve generally come to think of dreams like this — the brain getting rid of clutter.
The dream I described above seemed different, though. It was a story, one that I first thought was being told in a film, but which I later entered and became part of. Perhaps it could be developed into a kind of science fiction story, and I might do that one day. The illustrations are not what I saw in the dream, of course. They are just to give some idea of the flavour and the period in which the dream was set.
One thing that upsets my theory that dreams are a kind of memory collection and clearing device device is that I have dream locations that recur in several dreams, but are quite different from the actual locations on which they are based. I have a dream Durban and a dream Pretoria, which have a kind of internal consistency, but are quite different from the real world Durban and Pretoria.