When my husband played me this heart-wrenching song, I got a little nervous. “We’re okay right?” I asked jokingly (and rhetorically). And rhetorically, he asked if I would make a video for it. Yes! Of course! Making videos is what I do…Its what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid growing up on MTV in the 80’s.
Living with a songwriter means hearing riffs and melodies being noodled in the house constantly. I get to hear songs being crafted day in and day out. Hearing the finished versions of the songs I’ve listened to in fragments over the course of days or weeks is like watching a song be born. And its a unique experience. Its part snake-taming magic, part architect precision, and part sculptor flow. Taking in a finished song for the first time is like finally understanding an engineer’s rendering of an electrical system and then walking into a dark room and turing on the light. Click. The mechanics melt away and you’re left with (be)holding the light.
When I hear a new song, I get an immense sense of gratitude that this song now exists. No one knows they (or the universe) needs a song. Until they hear it. Its like you’ve discovered a new color or ice-cream flavor. This song is one of his more stripped down selections. Its bare and exposing like the sadness it embodies (to me).
He wanted the video to feature our 12 year old dog, Belle. She came to us from a home of where her owner couldn’t take care of her (see also: neglect). She came with lots of anxiety. She made lots of mistakes that would test our love and commitment to her. We never gave up on her. After a couple years she settled in and her mistakes were few. She faithfully bonded to us (and especially to Matt).
Any dog owner rationally understands that the life expectancy of their canine family member is much shorter than their own. Choosing to share a life with a dog knowing we will outlive them is embracing the choice to love; and to accept all ups and downs that come with it. Because a human who shares a life with a dog knows their lives are better, their hearts more full, with a dog than without.
This video takes a look at end of life from Belle’s perspective. She visits the path where she has walked with Matt a thousand times. He’s there, and then he’s not. She keeps looking for him. She doesn’t give up on him. She is old, tired, limping and lumpy. She finds him, she finds herself alone. She walks the path she knows. The path to her favorite swimming hole, knowing Matt is not far behind.