Childhood is a time of frequent and intense dreaming for many people. Often these nocturnal experiences from early life have a dark hue--children are especially prone to nightmares, sleep paralysis, and night terrors.
Many years ago a student told me a story about her childhood dreams that still haunts me. It's not a happy story -- in fact, I find it incredibly sad -- but it's kept me thinking about what we know, and don't know, about the potentials of dreaming.
At least once or twice in life, often in childhood, most people have a dream that strikes them with unusual power and intensity, a dream so realistic and otherworldly that it burns a lasting impression into their memory.
It's the middle of the night and your child suddenly wakes up, startled into awareness by a series of strange images and powerful emotions that seemed entirely real just moments ago. She's confused, and a maybe little scared. Questions fill her mind. What just happened?