Archive for June, 2012

Birthday Tribute to 47 years

Posted: June 24, 2012 in Life

“Is someone different at age 18 or 60? I believe one stays the same.” – Hayao Miyazaki

Stepping into the Ghibli Museum, one is not only transported to a special moment in one’s youth but one is zapped of the passion that film director Hayao Miyazaki exudes in every nook and cranny of this place – the labyrinth of rooms have no entrance nor exit, the helix of staircase spirals without a beginning nor an end, the grottos sinks in one instance and bulges out the next; concave and convex all at once. Such is Miyazaki’s passion, fluid yet firm, flowing yet sticking to fundamentals. Here and there are strewn the labourious efforts that fuel the passion – drawings after drawings, story boards upon story boards, reference materials piled one on the other, used crayons and pencils of different hues intermingled in metallic canisters, cigarette heads lining the ash tray betrayed the countless waking moments when he hunches fastidiously over his meticulous sketches.

Through it all, be it navigating the miniature stairways, traversing the bridge to nowhere, gawking at the many stained glass murals hovering high above, entering a seemingly magic garden on the rooftop with a gargantuan robocop in Laputa standing sentinel-like as though guarding the Gaudian-like museum , one seems to be led deeper and deeper into the Miyazaki’s forest of passion with him bidding us with this message printed on the entrance ticket – Let’s get lost, Together.

And I did.

I soaked in the moment, sapped all its whimsicalness, strapped myself to the flight of fantasy and snaked my way where my imagination carried me to a lost childhood – to see only what a child, untainted by the ways of the world, can see. I spent my 47th birthday as though celebrating my 7th, allowing my mind to wander, no holds barred, to the wonderment of a wide eyed youth:

At 47,

I saw my worries of growing old crumbling like sand to the ground
In their place, hope sprouted on the mound
I saw fears of living in an ageist society dissipating in thin air
Replaced by a waft of healthy optimism that all will be fair and square
I saw insecurities stripped away as I near the retirement bank
And chose instead, to cross over to the other side, where new opportunities flanked
I saw debilitating aches, stiff muscle joints and physical ailments miraculously healed
Picturing myself with lissomeness, doing somersaults, handstands and cartwheels
I saw lingering doubts of running another full marathon smothered
By a renewed commitment to train for an ultra, which is even farther
I saw concerns of not having my own family to pass on the lineage cast aside
Visualizing instead the extending arms of friends and their family, far and wide
I saw receding threats of lines and wrinkles crisscrossing the facial terrain
By repeating that “physical beauty is temporal , inner beauty’s not” refrain
I saw clouds of anxieties of not having enough time to do the things I want blown away
And focused on doing whatever I do passionately, unflinchingly, holding sway

At 47,

Others might think it’s time for the setting sun
I discover what it is like to a child again, getting lost in the run
Others might think it’s time to slow down, take stock and unwind
I discover, on the contrary, there is still so much to do, so many treasures left to find
Others might think that Laputa, Totoro and Porco Rosso encapsulated their growing up years
I’m not ashamed to admit, I discovered them when about half a century I neared

Standing in the Ghibli museum, on the threshold of having another year added, my first encounter with the old school 71-year old animator and director, Hayao Miyazaki, was nothing short of sheer magic.

– dedicated to my partner, my bestest friend, for arranging this trip 🙂 –