Tag Archives: the tale of the bamboo cutter

The Tale of Spiritual Enlightenment

I have always loved Studio Ghibli movies, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is not my first love by any means.  But every now and again, in any entertainment medium, I come across a song or a quote or a scene that moves me beyond words.  This particular Ghibli movie had one of these songs.

It’s honestly been so long since I’ve been overwhelmed by feeling enough to compel myself to write here for any reason other than keeping up my humanity.  And this entry probably already sounds half ludicrous as it stands that I almost feel a fool putting this feeling I have into words, but… here it goes:

The Procession of Celestial Beings.  It’s a song that plays towards the end of the film as the celestial people of the moon come to reclaim Princess Kaguya among their ranks.  I think that the movie intended for the song to evoke a certain level of exalted grandeur to muddy your feelings of hopeless abandon.  At least that’s how I would describe my relationship with this song.

If you wanted me to quote my brain verbatim from the moment the sounds of percussion interlude into a splendor of symphonic winds, “This will be the song played at my funeral” is what I would say to you.

I stood up clumsily and surprised my cats–one sprawled on the floor and the other pawing at the fish bowl on the table.  And then I began to dance.  Suddenly my head was adorned with a crown of sprigs and my wrists were slaves to the bells.  My living room transformed into a breezy field with the sun beaming ringlets of light around us as one cat stretched across a mossy patch of stone next to a pond where the other cat played and pounced at the fish.  I spun and twirled and flipped my hair.  I smiled and I looked upon them between turns and embraced myself.  For the first time in what feels like forever I felt my spirit break free from my skin and the two of us… the two of us just “were”.  I was simply me and for a blip of time I enjoyed an eternity of spiritual enlightenment.

Someday maybe I will find myself there for real, and until that day I have the Procession of Celestial Beings to guide me.