I was feeling spectacularly unique today. That’s until I read an article that explained why we dream about losing our teeth. “There’s nothing out there left to be discovered” I thought. Somebody has already invented alcoholic ice creams and painted the exact same silhouette you sketched last week. And I know, it feels like wearing the same dress in a wedding. How can it be that we’re doing the same stuff, yet no two people are alike?
It’s easy to become obsessed with this idea. How many people in the world are currently writing a post? Or reading one? Or having sex in the exact same position? I'm pretty sure you've asked yourselves those questions at least once. That led me to a brand new concept: The science of complex systems (for those wondering, I am not the subject of study). This field is all about understanding how things work when lots of different parts come together and interact with each other. When all of these puzzle pieces cooperate they can create something new and unexpected. The highlight being that in complex systems, tiny changes can have huge impacts, and it can be hard to predict what will happen next. But like any other discipline, it needs patterns to unfold truths. And that’s basically how we can disclose what it means to dream about losing your teeth.
I still remember vividly the best dream I’ve ever had, even if it was many years ago - God I am old. The scene was the park near my parents’ home, where I grew up, where I learned how to bike, and where I now occasionally walk my dog when I come back home for the holidays. Little “me” was walking alone, unaware of her surroundings, absorbed in her own thoughts. Suddenly and for absolutely no reason, I started leaning towards the floor, facing the thick sand, exceedingly slowly. Like clock hands striking from three o’clock to quarter past. I took my time. Till I was floating, completely horizontally, just a couple of centimeters separating my body from the ground. My hair was folded in two funny braids, the ends of which were caressing the sand. The thought of touching the floor with the tip of my finger was tempting, then unbearable. So I did it. And then, I started to move. So unhurriedly it gave me a sense of safety. I could even decide where to move next, as if the dream was designed for my absolute pleasure. It was extremely satisfying, my figure lighter than a feather, my soul freed from the now old fears, untouchable. Those few centimeters, for a few minutes, it’s all it took to make me feel powerful, soaring through the air. Every kid’s one and only dream, I guess. I was flying.
By now, I’ve dreamed pretty much everything that’s on the menu, but never again succeeded in feeling that same strength, not even close. To be honest, we might be far from having a complete understanding of why we dream or what it means. Dreams can be fabulous or they can be confusingly strange. Either way, someone in Tokyo might have just had the same dream.