The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzales Foerster - TH.2058


Paint the Planet

By Robert Masters

I had a dream last night that i don’t quite understand. Usually when my head hits the pillow i dream about inconsequential circumstances that seem to evolve from ideas i have on a regular basis, such as misplaced objects, pressure causing panic, difficulties that i may one day face.

Many would say that when you dream you remember everything clearly or you don’t remember at all which is exactly what seemed to me until this morning when i woke up and had a confused blur sat in the back of my mind. I tried to forget about it and toss it from my mind as if i was giving up on trying to read a long and complex book, but it kept appearing in my wonderful tuesday. It kept ruining moments in what would have been a perfect day.

This morning while eating my especially crunchy granola, the sort that was designed not to go soggy when you put milk on it, i revisited a new world, a type of future that i had never thought of before. It was different to fictional future worlds created in the past. I had not stepped into a brave new world or a metallic adventure full of flashing lights & remotes, and there were no robots destroying the world. These comic book ideals seemed not to have crossed my mind during this dream. I had, of course created it from scratch, because that is all one can do while dreaming. So why do they always seem so real? Why are we tempted to believe them even with the knowledge that our subconscious is creating fairytales.
Who knows, right? It’s not like i’d understand a scientific explenation and i don’t need a witchdoctor to tell me that i’m going to die in the near future due to a terrible disease invented from a pot of ointment.

The world that seemed so distant seemed to evaporate into my cereal and i began to think of things closer by me, such as concerts, coursework, exams and the like. It wasn’t until lunchtime that i once again walked the flatlands of York and the cement quarry that we once called London. Billboards made up of thousands of little LED light bulbs seemed to flash from the ground with everchanging propaganda and as mines exploded all over the ground where monks tried to walk i looked to a world above my head. It seemed strange to think that men of god were stuck on the earth’s surface while common folk wandered up and down steps to a futuristic heaven. Of course this place wasn’t heaven, it was just the place people had gone when the earth became deemed unsafe. I didn’t know why, it seemed my subconscious had no such answers for me as dreams aren’t based upon fact and scientific proof.

The world seemed so bleak and i was disappointed in the lack of beauty left in the city until i walked up those bright steps and saw a world founded upon the roots of electricity, computors and robotics.The steps seemed to go on forever and I felt strangely emotional seeing the lack of personality back on the dark, bare earth until i walked into what i guessed was a new town centre. There were paintings and photos all over the houses, all seeming to suggest something about the residents. They were suspended on glass cabinets next to the strangely shaped houses that seemed to emerge from sculpted roots. I walked to the centre of the square and turned around to see more of the same types of houses, like metal treehouses they seemed to sink below the steps and hover metres above the deserted ground. I recognised some paintings, but not recognising others i checked the dates that stood on copper plaques. Some weren’t dated and were painted by forgotten family members. One in particular caught my eye with its vibrant colours that seemed to emerge from the page. I was astonished by the beauty of something that was so different to anything i had seen before. I looked at this plaque which was clearly new & shined a brilliant orange. It said: “Inspired hope” and was dated January 2058.

I didn’t think about the dream again until the evening, because i had work to do, but everytime i concentrated on something more important it seemed to swarm back like a moth to a flame. I managed to put it from my mind so that i could continue my studies.

The same evening i sat in bed and returned to my fantastic dream. It was like reading a book for the second time. I was able to analyse it and understand it more than i could while asleep. It was so amazing how quickly it all came back to me. I was looking at that beautiful painting once again as if i had just opened the marked page of a book and continued to read.

People strode past me as if they were just going to the shops and children cried to their parents just as they had done fifty years ago. Hope flickered through my mind and I realised that this place wasn’t so different from the world I had just left. The town seemed to buzz with happiness as if they had accepted their situation and started again with inspiration from the past. I loved the way they all seemed to view life and I wished that everyone could see this wonderful place. Behind me, protected with glass and flooded with lights stood a beautiful tree that reminded me of a park I used to visit regularly and in another of these glass cabinets sat a typewriter with a page from a diary. The trees that we see everyday and take for granted seemed larger and filled me with such joy and the lonely typewriter reminded me of how quickly technology can advance. I decided that such inventions should never be forgotten and I completely agreed with the ideals of these ordinary people. We can only hope that our families, friends and acquaintances evolve into such poets and artists and that our future is as bright and hopeful as the one I had created in my mind.
The planet I had designed was not free of its problems and it is clear that ours will never be, but with all the fears of Global Warming and Devolution that I had read about and had felt myself, ingenuity was what I felt the world needed to survive. I thoroughly believe that we will overcome such problems in the future and I hope that one day the world will be as inspired by paintings, nature, inventions and the power of human thought as I had been last night with my head pressed so firmly against the pillow.
I sank once again into the soft cloth of my pillow and dreamt for such a short time and this time I began to paint the stairs I had taken such a long time to walk up. When I felt that I had applied a sufficient amount of paint to the first ten or so steps, I put a sign up on the side of a dull, metal house. I read it out to myself before walking up to the top of the stairs. “Inspire hope to those less fortunate – Paint the planet!”. I sighed to myself and before I knew it I had reached the top step again.

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