The Dog Days Are Over

There’s a plethora of songs I have memories attached to. There’s a plethora of songs I will have memories attached to. I wonder what our lives would be like with music. I wonder if God has composers making scores for our lives. Do they play when our lives flash before our eyes? Not saying I want to find out. I’m just a tad curious, that is all. I wonder what music angels play when we fall in love when we’re sad, stressed, under tension, and exhilarated. Give me a good week and a monster energy drink and I could compose the score of my life. I’d say coffee but I’m not the biggest coffee fanatic. 

You might or might not ask why I’m bringing this up. I couldn’t help but think about it after watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3. Maybe not necessarily the music but the moment and how the music fitted into it so perfectly. At this point, I’d like to believe everyone has watched the movie so I won’t bother with the spoiler warnings.

As the movie ends, we find the characters settling down to take a moment to breathe and accept the events of the day. As the trilogy comes to an end, they all feel it’s time to move on. Peter Quill steps down as leader and passes the music player over to Rocket. We can’t help but shed a few tears watching this crew of hooligans that we’ve known our whole life break apart but in a good way. Rocket takes a moment to sit down and go through the player looking for a song to play and lands on one. ‘The Dog Days Are Over’. I can count the number of times a song fitted so perfectly into a moment that I was emotionally triggered. I like to believe I’d never cry in a movie, heck, I didn’t cry in Jojo Rabbit. Yes, I know, I’m a monster but maybe if Taika had better taste in music, he would have broken that last barrier and let the floodgates open. 

Maybe it’s just Florence, but let’s not go off track too much. The Dog Days Are Over is a song about letting go and accepting the past. Surprisingly, the title was inspired by a sign by the artist Udo Rondinone. She would see the sign every day on her way to central London. She said it was a reference to the Dog Star, Sirius. When it was closest to the Earth, all the animals would get languid and sleepy and when it moved away, they’d wake up. Sirius is the brightest star in Earth’s night sky. The term dog days refers to the time when Sirius would appear in the sky just before the Sun which was believed to mark the beginning of the hottest days of the year somewhere in July. In other cases, this period was also associated with bad luck since the heat brought about thunderstorms and droughts. In looking at the song as a separate entity, you could say that there might be a slightly different meaning to it. Still, not so far off though in context to the movie, it becomes a little more relatable especially if you’re a student just finishing up their exams.

A lot of people have tried to interpret the song differently. Some see it as a love song about a woman and an abusive partner and the ‘dog days’ being over is her finally being free of it. Others see it as Florence describing the feeling of sobering up and getting over her drug and alcohol addiction. Regardless of what they saw it as the context is all the same, the damned dog days are finally over and you see it, well not see but rather feel it, in the movie and yourself. They all just went through something, some more horrific than others and this was the end of that chapter. But the thing about moving on from the past is that you’re not just moving on from those events, a fresh start tends to mean letting go of everything old and sometimes we don’t want to let go. 

Pécs consists of a fairly large number of international students. We come here one day, we’re gone the next. I can see myself on a train staring out the window wondering how those days passed by so quickly. I can see myself holding back a tear wishing they’d lasted just one more day. No one wants to think about the end. We only want to exist on the days between the first and the last. But as the Sun sets on one graduation, it rises on another and we’re constantly reminded that our day is coming, when the Sun will set on ours too. On our exams, our Friday nights out, our fights, our game nights, our group trips, our late nights, on the group chats … on all of us. It’s not a very welcomed thought but a necessary one. The next time you go out with your friends, keep it around, don’t chase it away. Let it remind you to value every moment

At the end of the movie, we watch all of them dance to the song. Everyone’s happy, everyone’s glad that they’re done with the worst of it but some cry. Sure the days were bad but they had each other. They held each other through the dog days and now they have to let each other go, but they keep dancing. They have to dance, they have to cry, they have to smile because what else can they do? They’re sad because it’s over, they’re happy because it happened, and so they carve them…

every memory, every face, every night out, 
every fight fought, every fight lost, they carve them
Carve them into their flesh
Carve them into the land
Carve them into the sea
Carve them into those they love
Carve them into those they hate
They carve them
They carve what they feel 
They carve every encounter onto us
And I guess maybe we should do the same.

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