Perchance to Dream
I’d be willing to bet most people have experienced a recurring nightmare at some point in their life. This week I ran across a news article analyzing the most common nightmares. It made me remember the dream that woke me with a pounding heart and closed off throat with alarming regularity when I was a kid.
The beginning of the dream was always innocuous and always different so I’d never know the nightmare was coming. I’d be playing outside with my sisters and friends or sitting around a kitchen table with my family with nothing out of the ordinary happening. Then out of the blue, a wolf would appear–lean, feral and focused on culling me from the herd. I’d flee for my life. I’d try to hide, but the wolf could always sniff me out. It was terrifying.
My only escape was to wake before its fangs closed on me.
Then finally one night, the dream took a different turn. My father intervened and killed the wolf with his hunting knife. I have never had that nightmare since.
After I began writing, I wondered if that dream was the start of my fascination with heroes. Sometimes, we just need someone to come along and rescue us, though I suppose there are those who would argue that since it was my dream, I directed my own rescue and simply chose to put my dad’s face on my hero at the time. All I know is a slavering monster used to live in my subconscious. My relief over its death is still palpable no matter whose hand wielded the knife.
Have you ever had a recurring nightmare? Or a dream so beautiful you wish it would recur?