But on Day 1 of the promo trip here in Tokyo, I was settling in at Studio Ghibli, getting ready for my first interview, when the Producer of the film, Yoshiaki Nishimura, came in and asked, "Are you ready to meet Miyazaki-san right now?" And that was that! Moments later, we were walking to Miyazaki-san's office (a beautiful wooden house, on a quiet, completely unassuming street in a residential neighborhood). Before I even had time to register what was happening, there was Miyazaki-san, standing in the doorway, inviting us in. We shook hands, and I bowed as much as I could, and said the 3 phrases I memorized in case I should ever meet him. Then we sat down at his work table and talked so casually about a project he just finished for a Nutcracker exhibition, about the kids at the Nursery next door who come over and run around his office (He built a beautiful Nursery next door, for the Ghibli Staff members' children), about the 200 year old tree outside. I say we talked "casually", but really I didn't say too much. There is just too much I would say, or too many dumb things I would ask. I didn't want to embarrass myself or bother him, hehe... so mostly I just listened and smiled and laughed. I'll never forget our meeting though, and the calmness I felt there. As we left, Mike said he loved him and wants to be like him when he grows up. Me too.
Then this morning I watched the film, "When Marnie Was There" for the first time. It is sooooooo beautiful. Truly, truly. I've read the book now, 3 times. So I knew the story well enough to follow along and know pretty much what was happening. That being said, I wasn't able to understand the dialogue word for word, so there's still a lot I missed. And yet, I was able to feel so much, just by seeing the film. Hiromasa Yonebayashi is such a beautiful Director. He really captured the subtle essence of these characters and their personalities and emotions. There were so many moments that made me want to cry during the film. And then when my song started playing at the end of the movie... a huge, powerful wave of emotion washed over me. Not just because the film is so moving and emotional, but I thought of all the lucky events, and unforgettable people that led me to this place right now.... watching a Ghibli film with my song playing in the background. I struggled so hard to keep the tears from rolling down my face. I was truly overcome with deep, deep gratitude.
I hope you all can see this film, and I hope it touches you as it did me.
Anyway, I just wanted to share these 2 big highlights of the trip (and of my life) with you.
Goodnight from Tokyo!