In this episode we see if Craig can make a new friend during lockdown.
Between mid 1990 and early 1991 I had a recurring dream (Grades 11 & 12 at Lake Ginninderra College). I’m sitting in the shallows of a lake… I’m unnerved because a near drowning a few years earlier means I don’t swim. Thunder, lighting and wind convulse the water into a wave that propels me from the land. I’m lucid, but can’t control the dream. In a second, day is now night, I’m at the opposite shore at a bonfire party of friends (current, future, past, lost). I’m greeted heartily as I make my way to warm near the fire. I know them all, but recognise none.
A friend hands me a glass.
I scan the crowd over his shoulder.
‘We lost her at the beginning.’
‘Where have you all come from?’ I ask, but wake before he answers.
In the first month of 1991 a friend tragically drowns while swimming in Lake Ginninderra. I’ve not dreamt that dream since.
My 2020 dream occurs the week I’m flying to London, and is set at Lake Ginninderra College. I’m speaking to a friend, known but unrecognised, when one of his mates steals my wallet. Despite knowing the culprit, I pretend to canvass the whole school. My friend’s in a gang, so when I get to their hangout, everyone, except my friend, crowds me until I leave. I repeat the process — dreams within dreams? — until, in time, I find my friend alone. We search the place and discover every artefact that’s ever been stolen at the school, collated and stored. I wake before I find my wallet. Within a month of arriving in London the world is locked down. I’ve not had any ‘covid dreams’ since.
These two premonitory dreams — thirty years apart — are indelible. I have counter-intuitive relief. Sure we have no idea about the virus’ long-term implications, health or otherwise, but the world’s frame has never really made sense to me, so now that the system’s fragilities are so obviously laid bare, we see what we’re up against, and we know how to win: radical empathy, compassion, connection and friendship.
Opening & Closing Credits by Unregistered Master Builder
Background music, ‘Touching Moments’ by Ketsa (Free Music Archive)
Background music, Markus J Buehler Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)
BBC SFX Archive
Information & contacts for the people and organisations featured in this episode
London Renters Union
Mutual Aid London
Radical Empathy Podcast
Hill Talk Facebook: @hilltalkshow
Maame Blue Writes and Headscaves and Carry-ons available on Spotify
Contacts details below