Yoneko is a writer and consultant who writes about culture and human existence.
Every professional writer tells us, amateur writers, to write every single day. “Even when you don’t feel like writing, go ahead and write why you don’t feel like writing,” they tell us.
Sadly, my friends, this is one of those days, when everything seems to go wrong, and even the simplest syntax and vocabulary seem to slip my mind. Today, my mind doesn’t make the difference between good or bad. I have been dragging words all morning. Even the little characters I draw are sitting there waiting for me to give them a story, so they don’t get lost in their existence. The evil witch has already jumped on the opportunity and is marrying Prince Charming. The lovely princess will have to get a job, oh well!! It was about time 🙂
Then I came across a beautiful video, where a lovely Nana recreates the dishes of her childhood during the Great Depression. She has inspired me more than I would have ever expected. Unfortunately, she is not with us anymore, but she has left a legacy of love, courage, and bravery behind her. And maybe that’s what’s life is all about. Inspire others, build something praiseworthy with our lives to inspire even future generations.
Today, in these broken lines I know I am not conquering the world, neither these modest lines will ever win a prize, but I know I’m moving forward because I am conquering my humanity. And that is a triumph. My very personal triumph. And I owe it to the legacy of a lovely Nana, an Italian immigrant who didn’t let harshness define her life.
There she was waiting. I could see in her profile that she was shy.
Once we started talking I could see in her a wise but fragile soul, as she had survived not one but many battles, cried defeats and survived ignominy. She smiled and laughed at my poor attempts at humor. But her laughter, although sweet, was a cover. A cover of what? I don’t know. But I could see in her eyes memories that still hunt happiness away.
Her soul was a pandora box that could mirror the deepest darkest corners of ourselves. And yet, she was fragile. And in more need of protection than anybody, I have met before or after her.
“I have to go,” she said
She just stood up and walk out the door. And for a brief moment, I felt as if a part of me had just left behind her.
As I arrived at Kichijōji station, I couldn’t help but notice little gnomes, faceless ghosts and other “magical” creatures walking around. They all seemed busy and preoccupied.
And although I gave them the best of my smiles, they were not kind because they didn’t stop to help me when I asked them for directions. They just ignored me.
And neither the scarecrow that so kindly helped Sophie in the moving howl’s castle seemed to be carrying out good deeds this morning.
I knew the Ghibli museum was close to Kichijoji station, but all those “magical” creatures were taking the whole station for themselves. The volume of their voices was growing louder and louder. And they didn’t seem to be going anywhere but rather waiting.
But waiting for who, I wondered.
And just after few minutes, my question would be answered.
Because just before me, Mr. Miyazaki himself appeared at the ticket gate. And those magical creatures, his creatures, jumped to attention.
He was wearing a wool checked jacket along with a hat of the same print. He, all of him, was just as colorful, enchanted and fascinating as the characters he creates. And they all followed him on to the next train like obedient and lovingly children. And without him, the Kichijõchi station became gloomy and silent.