Snow, Dust and Metro

I’ve been looking for snow since returning home: snow to play in, to marvel at, to shovel. It still hasn’t snowed, but all the looking hasn’t been or naught: I recently found what looked like snow inside my home (I should say my parent’s home; I’m not sure I’ve found mine yet).

Of course it wasn’t snow, it was tiny specs of skin, bug feces, dust, pollen and fibers, circulating through our living room, living by the sun, brought to life through its rays.

This passage (by Ernest Becker [found in House of Leaves]) and the aforementioned ‘snow  discovery’, brought me to the subsequent video:

“[Animals] lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being…The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one’s dreams and even the most sun-filled days – that’s something else.”

In the video, my dog Metro is sitting in this unseen dust cloud, living in short frames of contentment (on the floor), anticipation (looking out the window, waiting for my father to return) and mild curiosity (watching my mother water the plant). Seen through this lens, he appears to be existing between these flecks of matter, filling a void (his void) in a universe of stardust.

Of course he doesn’t think about this. We don’t think this way when we see the skin particles (the very skin I seek to change, actually influencing the light, the house and the family), we say ‘gross!’.

I understand this micro to macro vision of house dust to cosmic dust, the connection between Metro as a well grouped series of fibers/star dust to the dead skin/hair that will linger after his life, encircling the new owners of the house is a large nod toward ‘transmigration of the souls’, I’m just now realizing how often I have been thinking in this manner of late.

A few more notes on the video:

1) Even if animals live in a series of ‘moments without reflection’, I certainly noticed a lot of love in the way Metro waits for his master to return and follows my mother’s movements. (Metro was found at a Metro link bus station, but I somehow think he was destined for this house…his colors [ocher? yes please?] with the sun, sofa and wood floors (shown even more when the white carpet is out) gives the whole scene a certain beauty that I think heavily relies on the presence of the dog. I did a few graphics trying to understand what made the color combination so appealing, but I am known for a severeness in color deficiency…might not learn anything here…)

Metro on carpet in front of sofa
plan of Metro on carpet
plan of Metro on sofa

2) In fact there is a lot of love in this two and a half minutes, in my mother especially (simply resting or handling the plant). I feel like Sigur Ros is good music for love, so I chose to put the short to their song ‘Festival’. It’s not necessary, the video could be silent.

3) At around 1:30 my new point shoot camera does some funny color adjustment thing that turned out pretty beautiful so I left it in.

When I looked for snow, I found it in a house of Love on Christmas Eve.

Now I’m going to finish cleaning the bathroom, because thinking of all that dust as dust is making me nauseous. Cheers

-matthew

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