Whisper of the Reality-Struck Heart

Of all the great Studio Ghibli works, my favorite is probably Whisper of the Heart.  Smaller in scale than almost any of the others, it’s a very personal story about a young girl, a boy, and their dreams.  Because most of us remember well the days we were young and had dreams as big as the skies, this little story makes the heart stir for many of us.

Whisper of the Heart
Art by きいじ

As you get older, first bursting into the confusing time of adolescence and then into the world of adulthood, you realize that dreams and reality don’t usually meld well together.  Even for those that pursue their dream relentlessly, the results don’t always match their hopes.

For me, I’ve seen most of my childhood dreams fade away – some because of what you might deem as circumstance (though I would call it divine intervention) and some because of my personal choices.  And though I admit I sometimes feel a sense of loss when I think of what might have been, I’m quickly brought back to reality – to a good type of reality, knowing that I’m meant to be where I am right now, and that I wouldn’t exchange the circumstances of my life for a chance to live the dream.

The older I get, the more I realize how little I know – both of life and of myself.  I thought I knew what I wanted and I thought I knew how the world worked, but God consistently shows me that He knows better.  He holds my past, present, and future in His hands, and the melancholic pains I may feel now will have a different context when I see the results of going down a path I hadn’t intended or wanted.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the mundane routines of life, and to even become saddened or depressed by seeing our lives turn into something we wish it hadn’t.  But faith tells us that something great is in store for us – even if it’s not spectacular by the world’s standards – and that God is working through us to do something we might not be able to see right now.  And I believe we’ll see the fruit, maybe soon or maybe on down the road, of staying faithful and trusting that He is bigger than our dreams.

And in a world that seems to exist to crush our dreams into harsh reality, what’s more comforting than that?

5 thoughts on “Whisper of the Reality-Struck Heart

  1. Most of the things I wanted when I was younger I’m either glad I didn’t get or I look back now and think they’re silly. It makes me hold the things I think I want now with more of an open hand because they may not be good for me anyway.

    1. I’m pretty much as you are. That reminds me of Paul’s verse, though out of context, about putting childish things away.

  2. Whisper of the Heart was a great reflection on the artistic process. The writer in me danced exultanting. I really loved how the film emphasized the need to test out what you’d like to do. When you find something you love that you have talent in, pursue it like mad. That’s what I’m trying to do right now, scoping out whether I should write or teach.

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