“There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.” – Douglas Coupland, Canadian novelist
Today’s article is about a small miracle that occurred last night. Over the weekend, I fought hard to shake off a negative internal dialogue. A friend had come to visit me and, although we enjoyed each other’s company, the feeling did not go away even then. So Friday came and went as Saturday followed. Then on Sunday, while I was still trying to recover from the weekend, I had a little conversation with God. It wasn’t a prayer: I haven’t prayed since my first week of high school. It was more like a chat one might have with a good friend after being a part for a long time. I felt I had lost a bit of myself over the weekend and so came to Him to understand why.
Oftentimes, I’ve felt a certain connection to God. I’ve heard his voice more than once, through a friend or a song, telling me I was on the right path. So when I talked to him on Sunday, I just asked for a small sign. Something I couldn’t miss as a signal that I was good: mentally or as a person, I don’t know. Maybe it was both. In a world filled with smarter, better people, I’ve struggled a lot in believing I deserve the right to be here. So when I talked to Him on Sunday, the only thing I really needed from God was the reassurance that I deserved to be here and that my path was the right one.
I have heard a lot of people say that God works in mysterious ways. That he often does not answer our prayers in the way that we’d think. Or that he does not answer them at all. In the case of our relationship, God has been a lot more direct: maybe its because he knows I’m impatient. Waiting is difficult for me. Or perhaps he understands that subtlety is not my strong suit and any “mysterious” gesture would be missed. So on Sunday in the depths of my internal struggle, God sent me a miracle that came in the form of a movie.
Not just any movie though. The original 1994 Fox dub of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro. For those that don’t know, the movie My Neighbor Totoro was originally dubbed in English by Fox Studios in 1994. The rights to the dub expired only a decade later, when it was picked up by Disney and redubbed with their star-studded cast. After that, all traces of the original Fox dub had disappeared. So for more than 15 years, I have searched the internet high and low for the original version of my favorite movie. No where; not YouTube or Google or pirated movie sites; seemed to have this version at all. Even my friends doubted the authenticity of the fabled “Fox dub”. At one point, even I believed I might have dreamed it up.
Until Sunday, September 13th, 2020. After having my little pow-wow with the big man upstairs, I decided to take it easy and find something to distract myself from, well, myself. When I opened YouTube, I was content to just listen to music until going to bed. However, the things we lose always come back to us in the end. Usually in a way we least expect them. So I couldn’t believe my eyes when the full film, entitled My Neighbor Totoro (1994), showed up in my YouTube feed. It was the entire film, uploaded without ads, on a YouTube account belonging to Sadie Mormon-Horn. She had no other uploads, appeared relatively inactive, and had uploaded the video less than an hour before I watched it again for the first time in 15 years.
So God sent me what I needed even when I didn’t understand what it is I had asked for. In the briefest of moments, I needed something to hold onto that brought me to a place of peace. As I rewatched the movie and heard their real voices once again, I had a profound sense of connection with the characters I had watched growing up. The movie resonated more with me now than ever: perhaps God was saving it for a rainy day, knowing I would need it. Maybe having me wait for it helped to make it all the more meaningful when it came. Whatever it was, God was sending me a message through Sadie Mormon-Horn’s single post (taken down only hours after it went up.) But thanks to Him and to her, I now have the file to the movie I was searching for for over a decade. To God, thanks for sending me what I needed. To Sadie Mormon-Horn, you are a gift to the Earth: there was no real reason for you to do it, but you helped one person fulfill a life-long dream by defying YouTube’s copyright laws and uploading that video.
Stay safe and hopeful!
If anyone is interested in watching My Neighbor Totoro in the original 1994 dub, I had a chance to download the file in the brief window it was up. It is a wonderful film whose original voice actors add so much depth to the characters that you’ll never be able to watch Disney’s dub again. Message me!