Thursday, February 23, 2012

Borrowing What We Need

Today I saw Studio Ghibli’s film The Secret World of Arriety. It was just released in the United States and it was not easy for me to wait when I knew elsewhere in the world people were watching it.

The film is an adaptation of the classic book “The Borrowers” by Mary Norton. Borrowers are tiny people, the size of fairies, who live near humans and borrow things to survive. They are careful to borrow only what they need.

The movie was delicious – a feast for the eyes. Would we have expected any less from Studio Ghibli? I think not. What I found delectable was the juxtaposition of east and west. I have a particular fondness for this sensibility. Traditional Japanese art living quite successfully along with western beauty. It’s not surprising that I should like it. I have a passion for Taisho Period art and literature. Takahisa Yumeji is an artist who has captured a place in my heart painting portraits not dissimilar to those of Modigliani. Natsumi Soseki blends cultures in his writings. The cultural tension in them captivates me. Each borrowed something from another culture to make something new and unique. Studio Ghibli nailed this combination.

It is kind of funny to think that yesterday during a romp in the woods with friends, some of our party built a fairy house. It even had a back door! 

Watching the house come together I was reminded of the May Day festivities at Blithwold Mansion last May. 

Discussing the fairy houses that were constructed that day, I was informed of some of the rules of fairy house building.

1.     Take only things that are available from the surrounding area.
2.     You may not pick anything or cause any material to stop it’s growth process to be a raw material.

Today I feel like I would like to be a Borrower. Finding inspiration all around me and taking what I need to make something new, something wonderful and something special to share with the world. Sometimes you borrow to make it through the day. Sometimes what you create helps someone else get through the day. Like Sean in the movie, my heart feels stronger after being inspired by Arriety.

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