The Sixth Station

This picture just reminds me of the scene in Spirited Away where the main character, Chihiro, goes on a train ride across the spirit world, to go see Yubaba’s sister Zeniba about a way to help Haku recover from his injuries due to her curse.

I especially remember the shadow people who would get on and off the train. They had no form, and one could not see their faces… one thing I do remember is that they seemed sad. At the same time, there was a resignation to the scene that was the most heartbreaking.

Getting on the train, getting off the train. Getting on the train, getting off and facing desolation. You get the sense that this really isn’t what they wanted.

As if their whole lives were a slow, automatic disaster of falling behind and catching up, and after a while they really didn’t care anymore. Hunched over to keep out the cold, but the cold had already found them.

And then falling into silence…

I wonder if they could ever find their way back, or if they just lived the rest of their lives in silence and formlessness, never being able to find their way home?

Soundtrack here. It’s beautiful. And if you haven’t ever watched the movie, go watch it right now.

Picture is from flickr, Creative Commons license. Used with permission. Thank you for reading and listening.


39 thoughts on “The Sixth Station

  1. I have yet to watch “Spirited Away”. I watched “Howl’s Moving Castle”, and I was blown away. I hope that by watching it, I’ll be able to appreciate your first reference more.

    Lovely post today. =)

  2. I’ve wanted to see Spirited Away for so long. I will definitely rent it soon.

    Your words about the shadow people…so sad, and it’s easy to understand what inspired the idea of them.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Abby.

    i literally gasped and then grinned widely when i saw your post was about Spirited Away. Hayao Miyazaki’s movies are AMAZING. everyone should see them.
    I loved spirited away and am probably should be sick of watching it so much.
    that picture DOES totaly remind me of that scene. i love the scene where Chihiro is sitting eating a dumpling at night and looking out over the water and the trains passing underneath. its such a relaxing and beautiful scene. gorgeous.
    my other favorites of Hayao’s are Howl’s Moving Castle ( did you know it was first a book written by someone other than Miyakzai?) and Princess Mononoke.
    Hayao needs to do another masterpiece of a movie soon. I liked Ponyo, but it was little kiddish.

    you should check out post “Contemporary Insturmental” because it has a LOT of other music kinda like this, all insturmental. seriously, go check it out and you can even download one artist’s music for free. its awsome.

    ahh. your post made me very happy ;D

  4. I always loved Myiazaki, ever since his work for television ( loved Conan from “the great tide”). I would love to see the world as he does, must be a magical place.

  5. Abby,

    I haven’t seen this movie, but I think I would like it. The images here are breathtaking!!

    ps-so glad my sense of humor hasn’t scared you off!!

  6. I cannot thank you enough for your comment. Simple as it was it made me cry.
    ‘Maybe we’re all lost souls, or maybe we’re little stars in the expanse of the sky, guiding each other through the dark.’
    That was so lovely, I cannot tell you how lovely it was, it meant a lot and has given me something to think about.
    Thank you x

  7. Your description of the shadow people remind me of what traditional Greeks believe happens to souls after they die. While the very bad go to Tartarus, and the remarkably good go to the Elysian Fields (think like Hector of Troy good), the majority of the people would go the Asphodel Fields. Here there’s literally nothing, and you feel no emotions. It’s like a day when you’re lazy and sick, only for eternity.

    I’d like to think 1) The asphodel fields are simply a part of Greek mythology, like Hercules or Zeus and 2) Those shadow people, like most people in reality, did find their way home or at least somewhere happier.

  8. Abby,

    First of all, thank you deeply for always commenting on my poetry.
    You don’t know how much I appreciate your thoughts.

    Ah, that first picture really brought Spirited Away back to me. I love works from Studio Ghibli. I was also thinking of writing a story with a train as the setting… hmm.
    Anyways, thanks again.

    With love and care,

  9. Beautiful song, so peaceful. Thank you for your recommendation. I haven’t seen the movie but you made me curious. It’s the type of movie I like, deep and meaningful.

  10. I haven’t watched the movie, but I definitely will- sounds very engaging and interesting. I love that song, thank you for sharing 🙂

  11. Oh gosh, there’s something so romantic and exciting about train travel. It just seems so old school. I took a train trip around Eastern Europe a couple of years ago, and while it was fun, it was nowhere near as glamorous as I might have hoped! It was cramped and boring, in fact.

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