This was a text message my daughter Alyssa sent me while I was having dinner with my husband and youngest daughter at Chili’s. I was shocked. In disbelief. Tears came down my face as I began to ponder the reality. I really hadn’t thought of Michael Jackson since he left the scene, and was a little surprised by my sadness, and then I knew….
When I got into my car to go home, they were playing his songs on the radio. A DJ came on, and put words to my sadness, “You never forget your first love.”
Yeah, maybe this sounds silly now, but Michael was my first love in many ways. I wore his buttons up and down my jacket sleeves. I bought the white glove, and the Thriller jacket. I had his posters on my wall, the one where he wore yellow and white (above) was my favorite, with his jerry curl glistening, and his bright eyes smiling. Michael, however was soon replaced by Prince, but he started my mental and emotional love affairs with soulful, black and talented men.
After Michael died I went to Chicago to visit relatives, and was caught in their company so I didn’t think about Michael much. Then when I got home it was back to work and life as I knew it. I talked to my mom, and he was all she could talk about. She had been watching the news coverage for days. I felt very out of touch, until my husband (Chuck) and I were playing some of his videos on You Tube.
I connected again with his talent and presence. He was truly gifted. The last video we watched was Smooth Criminal, and when it shut off a deep grief surfaced, and I cried again. Chuck handed me a tissue like he always does when I cry, and asked me: What’s the lesson?
It is a good question because I know there is one, otherwise the intense grief would not have surfaced. It is not absolutely clear right now why I was crying, but it had something to do with pain and the loss of innocence. I had compassion for him, and all of us really. Life is difficult, and it seems like it tries to kill our innocence. For those of us, like Michael who are especially sensitive and vulnerable we want to maintain that innocence, but sometimes it seems impossible amidst all the hardness.
We can all admit most of us thought Michael was an odd individual, but I guess only odd when compared to what we as a society deem as normal. For all we know Michael was a prodigy; a genius only here briefly to show us our next evolution for mankind. Whatever the reasons, it seems obvious to me Michael had trouble being here, which maybe many of us do, but again those of us who are particularly sensitive take life much harder.
I am thinking right now of the movie, Powder. If I remember correctly, this boy who was called Powder was struck by lightening. It turned his skin white, and his head bald. It also made him particularly sensitive to the thoughts, and energy of others. In fact, he could even hear the thoughts of others, which was difficult for this innocent soul to accept because the thoughts he heard were often vile and mean.
If you listen to some of Michael’s interviews, he often says how mean it is what the media says about him. It’s not very nice, he would say. When I watched his interview with Oprah, I sensed he felt her agenda, which maybe for her at the time was for her career. I believe Michael was sensitive to the agenda’s of others, and it hurt him to feel it. He wanted to dull himself to the pain and agony of life- to create a world filled with children and innocence and fun where he could be free of this.
When that seemed to fail, especially after the molestation allegations, I guess is why he seemed to self-destruct. Lisa Marie wrote, that is if this really came from her blog- that Michael was an incredibly powerful and dynamic person, and when he used that energy for good, he did really good and when he used it for bad, he did really bad.
Quincy Jones spoke of his self-destruction, especially as it related to his cosmetic surgeries. He said, when we can’t ground our talent, it makes the success of that talent very hard to handle. This is a strong message for any of us who choose to express our talents.
In the end, Michael, like Powder became very white, and thin- almost as a friend said, as if he wanted to disappear. And now he has.
But his music will last….
There is a lot here for me to learn and process, and his “teachings” will continue to unfold, but for now that music is bringing me joy and energy. When I went out for a run, and wasn’t feeling it, Billy Jean came on my ipod, and my energy changed. Soon I was moving to the rhythm, and my face was smiling.
His death has reconnected me with the two other entertainers of my youth and their music: Madonna and Prince. And I have been watching movies from the 1980’s. What all this is doing is inviting a piece of passion that has been lost in the grind of adulthood. As I continue to piece it together, and integrate, I appreciate the 37 year old woman that I am with the wisdom and experience I have gained since my adolescence, while I merge with the freedom and less-restricted joy of my teen-age self. And maybe as I continue to process, I will reconnect with my innocence at a much deeper level.
I thank Michael for this. He came here to do his thing, and to me this is what matters. All of us who are are here right now, are here- so- How are we showing up in the world? Are we expressing our talents? If adulthood has taken out the fun, can we reconnect with a younger self, while maintaing the wisdom of our older self? Do we allow ourselves to be sensitive and vulnerable?
We are here for a short while, as the person we are right now. What are we going to choose to do while we are here? How can we contribute to the vision he shared, which all of us hold of- “We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving.”
Some quotes of Michael Jackson:
“I feel compelled to give people some sense of escapism. I think it’s the reason Im’ here.”
“I know who I am inside and outside, and I know what I want to do. And I will always go with my dreams.”
“I don’t force songwriting; I let nature take its course.”
“Fun inspires me. Out of bliss comes magic, wonderment and creativity.”
The Soul Reporter