Vacuum Cleaner


The scenario is not unique. We’ve seen it elsewhere, and more concisely stated, drawn in the Eastern European style.  Someone is hoovering. It’s a domestic space. First the hoover does its  job as expected then the nozzle gets stuck on something too large – a piece of furniture – which resists for a moment before being swallowed. Next, one by one, the rest of the furniture disappears into the hoover bag. Other things not least those fixed tightly to the floor and walls are subject to the suck, stretched until their fixings come undone. Then the pets, then other family members go the same way. The building’s parts follow, the illustrated background including sky and trees is whisked away. Lastly the hoover itself disappears up its own tube, but not before the hooverer has succumbed. Details vary but the culminating moment is a popping sound a puff of smoke or airborne debris. All the parts of the picture are gone, all that’s left is a blank expanse of white.

What does it mean that the ultimate disappearance of the hoovering mechanism (in which the world is now contained) is marked by a sound and a tiny sprinkle of dust? The latter is no ordinary stuff. It does not fall to the floor – there is no floor.  It does not seem to be carried away on the breeze. Instead it simply vanishes. Each particle has found grace to follow one last curving arc before crossing into other dimensions.

Maybe the world’s departure reveals something about its arrival. The new comes as dust, the dust of the new another world, a world delivered to us in a speck, in its entirety.

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