Life | Man’s Best Friend

At about three in the morning I stumbled across a gem:

A short film on the relationship between a man and his dog has been circulating around the internet. It is one of the best things I have ever seen. Watch it below:

“There was this really smart scientist guy who thought that people could learn a lot from dogs. He said that when someone you love walks through the door, even if it happens five times a day, you should go totally insane with joy.”

 

 

Ben begins the video quoting someone he overheard in passing, demonstrating a truth rather than just telling us it exists. The person quoted complains of minor inconveniences within upscale life that makes them sound petty and lacking in perspective. While a cliché criticism of our world’s pettiness to some, Ben opens up our minds to the possibility that our values are prioritized incorrectly so that we can accept the incoming story that is sure to pluck our heartstrings. He achieves with this single quotation the impact that the video has as a whole: the real truth is that life is precious, adventurous, and bursting with emotion and color, a truth that is no better demonstrated than by “man’s best friend” and the beauty of nature. With that preface, he pulls us into Denali’s world immediately and the rest is one of the best exercises in stunning visuals and touching narrative that I have ever seen.

Seeing the experience through Denali’s eyes brings us a refreshingly simple and benevolent worldview. Only through the foil to us that Denali provides can we see life from another vantage point and, in fact, with greater clarity. Only by humanizing Denali do we experience the intended catharsis, but still being the viewpoint of a dog, it maintains its uniqueness. The simplicity of a dog’s worldview, to some ‘unintelligence,’ isolates raw emotion that every human can relate to. The quote featured at the top of the article says it all: in the age of cold rationalism and cynicism perhaps what we need is a reevaluation of what is truly important and no vehicle delivers that emotional pivot with greater or simpler truth than man’s best friend.

Apart from the relationship with his dog, Ben leads a truly inspiring life that is rich with detail and adventure and just as vibrant as his amazing photography. I stumbled across Ben’s video at three in the morning when I had to get up at six, already sleep deprived, two Red Bulls deep, snacking on junk food, in the heart of midterm season. A former triathlete and avid outdoorsman, I found myself an unhealthy corpse living in the city taking classes I didn’t care about and meeting people I didn’t like, unstimulated intellectually and with an understanding of free-time that had been reduced to watching an occasional YouTube video between assignments. In short, I didn’t feel alive. Dramatic, perhaps, but nonetheless true.

I was at breaking point when Ben’s video popped up on my newsfeed and I decided to click it though I usually never do. Though the video may prompt a reevaluation of oneself for others as well, it had enhanced impact on me based on the fact that I used to live and feel fully as Ben shows us we should, but I had somehow lost all that along the way. In a sense, I lost myself and two years down the line I’ve finally noticed. At least for me, the richness of this story ripped the wheels off of the bus I didn’t know I was on. But that bus got a long way away from town and to get back, I’ve got to start walking. I hope you join me.

 

For some more amazing photography, check out Ben Moon’s website:

http://benmoon.com/

While all previous posts on this blog have been creative writing pieces, I’m starting a series called Life. These posts will be occasional, but incredibly meaningful. Their purpose? To examine Life as an experience.

Check out the article on the Jeff Bridges ‘Sleep Tapes’ and stay tuned for a discussion of the film ‘Secret Life of Walter Mitty.’

– JS

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