Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Great Stadium

My elder brother died on Christmas Day, and I think this dream is a reminder that life goes on.

I dream I am in a great and magnificent stadium. It is more extensive than any stadium I have ever seen. There are places in the stadium for multiple activities: a skating area next to a parkland; a swimming area and areas for multiple sports, hurling, football, hockey and so on. There are also cafés and restaurants, theatre areas, concerts, folk groups. There is even a church: a traditional, light-filled, neo-gothic church; but the congregation is outside the building, sitting at café-style tables. Sitting, yes, but also moving around from table to table, smiling and conversing and exchanging ... ideas. They listen to each others' opinions, smile and laugh and shake hands.

Over the entire stadium there is a great dome of a roof. Up there near the edge of the dome there is an extensive platform, and on it is ... my neighbour "Emmet." He is standing on the platform with the nozzle of a hoze in his hands, and with this nozzle he is spraying the ceiling of the dome. He points the nozzle towards the ceiling and sprays a thick stream of cream-coloured paint onto the ceiling. When the stream of paint meets the ceiling, the paint spreads out evenly in every direction. The roof is very large and wide, but Emmet's stream of paint is so strong and copious that it quickly spreads the cream colour over the entire ceiling. The stadium is, however, continually expanding, and, as it expands, the cream colour is stretched and thinned and ultimately begins to crack into a network of little cracks. "Not to worry," says Emmet: "I have it covered," and true to his word, he quickly re-sprays the dome, restoring its lovely cream colour. In all this spraying not a drop falls on the people beneath.

It is clear that "Emmet" is working under the supervision of his brother. No, not his brother "Barry," but his international financier brother that only exists in my dreamland.

Then focus shifts to other people in the stadium, surprisingly ordinary people that I know. But as focus shifts to each one in turn, I see that each featured person has an important function to carry out. A theatrical performance, for example, has a stage-designer that really sets the atmosphere for the performance, besides a stage-manager that keeps the show going like clock-work, in addition to the front-of-stage performers. Sports' teams have trainers and jersey-minders. Throughout the stadium there are myriad people working away, all independently, and all necessary to the smooth operation of the stadium's activities.

Emmet's financier brother does not seem to interfere in anything, yet, in some mysterious way, has a pervading oversight over all.

Oh, oh! Focus shifts to me. What am I supposed to be doing? I stand, up to my waist, in soft potter's clay. I am trying to apply the clay to the moving walls around me to create forms and shapes. A potter normally stands beside a rotating table and, with his hands, shapes a pot from a ball of clay as it rotates. I seem to be inside the rotating thing, trying to shape it from the inside. Well, not entirely: I also  seem to have an external view of the creations. I am using the clay more like a sculptor than a potter, I think. A microphone is placed in my hand, and I am supposed to address the crowd in the stadium. What am I supposed to say? I say:

"Who am I? Well, I was a civil servant and I retired. I was a Chief Examiner of Titles and I retired. Then I became a consultant, a Land Registration Consultant, and then I retired. What am I now? I am trying to be a ... modeller, perhaps."

I saw the eyes of the multitude looking at me approvingly. I had a flash of inspiration. I extended my two arms, palms towards the crowd, and declared: "I am one of the  creators."

At this point I woke up.