I wanted to do Justin Bieber, but he’s going to have to wait. Today is Incubus’s Dig.
The animation is really interesting. Incubus laid out a contest for their fans, and incorporated the best animation for the video into the official one. The artwork captures the tone of the song perfectly. Somber, melancholic. The tree is all but dead, the man exists inside the hell of his own mind. He looks out at the world and sees nothing but desolation. He created this state of affairs, but he’s lucky in that he has a partner that can help him see his way out of it.
He has to die. Or, more accurately, his old self has to die. But he doesn’t see this yet, so helpless he is. Enter his hero. An old friend of his, perhaps an old lover, someone who’s known him a long time. They seem to share a long look, but she can’t see him looking back down at her. She just sees a huge wooden (ivory) tower. He wants to go down there and meet her, but he’s long sealed off the way down.
The genesis of the tower, the whole reason for its being, is the pierced and wounded heart, sealed off inside his chest, where nothing can get at it. He built the tower because his heart couldn’t take another arrow.
She had to wait until he was completely dead before going in to save him. The ivory tower is, when you move in, a pretty cool place to be. There’s nobody else to bug you, you’re perfectly safe. It’s entertaining, for awhile. But the reason you build it ends up being the very reason it imprisons you. Some people see the prison for what it is, he didn’t. He’s miserable and he doesn’t know why.
How does she get him down? Does she dig to the root of his problem? No, that’s not it. The digging is symbolic. She can’t tell him how to get down, she has to show him. She can’t even see him; she takes it on faith that he’s watching, and starts digging so he’ll get the idea. She’s his “clever medicine.” She digs for awhile, all throughout the second verse. She takes a break, and keeps on digging, hoping he’ll finally see.
The tree shakes, she sees that she’s gotten his attention. He’s suddenly awakens. He looks back, towards his heart. He knows what he has to do. But he suddenly has a moment of fear, and the trap door slams shut and locks down. Unperturbed, she goes back to work. This is what convinces him to go back and re-integrate with his wounded heart. His head’s dead now, he’s truly lost. He goes back to sleep, a peaceful sleep this time, his head falling off his shoulders. But he’s no less dead. Left like this, he’d start rotting. He can’t, by himself, get out of his head.
He can’t function. It’s up to her. And she knows just what to do. She destroys what’s left of his tower, pulling his soul out, so they can start over.
It’s powerful, romantic stuff. Would that we all had such a friend to show us the way. The world’s a forest of these empty trees, wounded souls hiding away, protecting themselves. But you don’t need to wait for her, you can be her.
So find a tree, and start digging. You never know what you might find.