'The world is still as beautiful as ever.'
This is a quote from Hayao Miyazaki in the episode of 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki ; 'Ponyo is Here.' It follows him opening the curtains to his studio and looking out upon a dewy sunrise following a storm. In some ways it is a throw away shot, just to give context and texture to the larger narrative and it is probably apocryphally mistranslated. There's just something in his voice, and in the context of everything else he represents...it struck me. I'm not accustomed to those moments but I have to say that I found it quite affecting.
Generally, I would say that I take a reluctantly realistic view of the world. Not nihilistic by any means but I have, especially in the last few years felt the pull of society towards a general distaste for the ephemeral and found myself, though drawn to the indefinite, having to make compromises toward the finite reality of my life and work. It just doesn't feel like joy, or art and it makes me maudlin.
Miyazaki, later in the episode, says that we should all aim to be 'optimistic realists' when we create. I interpret this to mean that we don't have to be untethered from the material in order to find wonder, we just have to accept the wonder before us. We have the choice to see the tragedy of what is before us, expecting it to whither as all things do, or; we can choose to celebrate it for its existence and expect it to endure, even for a little while. Both viewpoints are essentially true...but one is just more fun.
Following the comments on the documentary through twitter shows this in bizarre synchronicity as you will see some comments to the tune of: "I love Miyazaki's work, I can't wait to see what he does next!" while other's lament: 'I love Miyazaki's work, it will be a shame when he dies!' Optimistic realists I think lead a far happier life.
I look out and I see the same banal wonderousness of our everyday world and of late, can't help but think; 'Oh super, this again, only more so.' I look out and I see a world moving further away from its own joyous wonder.
Miyazaki, a man who has seen three times my years worth of this world, can still look out and think; 'The world is just as beautiful as ever.'
I am so relieved, I just needed someone to point it out .
Here is a link to the episode.
What do you think? Is it just a throw away line? or is it just as revelatory for you?
Let me know in the comments below.
Now, I'm going to the lake, to draw a duck.