Running with My Neighbor Totoro

I’m rewatching the Studio Ghibli movies on HBO, and yah, being half-Asian watching a Miyazaki movie makes me about as common and basic as it gets and it’s impossible to say anything about this movie that hasn’t been said, felt, dissected, and experienced by millions of others already and I’m not up to the task to do so either but I got caught up with a memory from my own childhood while watching My Neighbor Totoro this time around.

my neighbor totoro running

I’m a runner in that I go for a run everyday in order to say in some modicum of good shape, an act that is different from the pure exhilaration of just running around that Miyazaki illustrates. His is the joy and freedom of not even knowing where you are going, only that you are going and moving and not giving af how you look to on-lookers because you’re still in your own world and not a source of or subject to other people’s narratives. It’s the best kind of self-centered phase where your body is just the means of physically taking you to places so your mind can wander and wonder more.

It’s taking steps you don’t take twice everyday over and over and just wilding out and not having the repetition that often spawns cynicism.

I spent much of my younger childhood in Japan and I remember kinda just roaming around in a way I’d never recommend a kid do so where I am now even tho I live in what is probably one of the safest neighborhoods in the country and it makes me resentful for something lost. I’d literally roll up to other people’s houses and ask them if they could make me tamago gohan (and they would) which seems absurd now but watching Totoro made me recall how rad it was and now entranced I used to be with a brook that ran through my grandparent’s property, a brook I’d probably just walk on by now to get to where I was going.

What a gift this movie is.

Next up is Kiki.

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