Saturday, June 27, 2009

michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 1)


two days later... I. CANNOT. STOP. CRYING. i am making myself eat, i do not have an appetite. it is taking me a long time to get to sleep. my head and my eyes hurt from wiping my eyes so much. i am having difficulty formulating any clear statement, other than realizing that his lyrics speak miles about how i am feeling. i expect that that was what he wanted in the first place, to forge his place in popular culture as being appreciated for his art.

all i know is that i am speechless. i cannot even say his name right now, more or less look at it, because whenever i see it, that OTHER word appears next to it now. i haven't read any news articles, unless it was something someone sent to me. there are the well-known five stages of dealing with issues of transcendence (i REFUSE to call it 'death', because his spirit will never leave us). i am wondering how common it is to experience both the first and the fifth (denial and acceptance) at the same time- because that is EXACTLY what i am feeling. when i first saw the news (after hearing it from a house-mate and not necessarily believing it, because you know all the rumors that fly), the first thing i did, amongst a flood of tears, was to say 'no no no no!!!' and still, looking at his pictures, it's still as if he is still physically here.

BUT, the second i came home last night (the night his transcendence occurred) from doing an impromptu tribute for him for the radio, rivers just flowed from my eyes... i could not look into his eyes; those eyes i always so lovingly look at. he has the most beautiful eyes i have ever seen in my life- these deep, dark, LARGE brown eyes of sadness... and occasionally they would glow with pure joy. and i found that i could not look into them. this was my realization, my acknowledgment that he really, really has become one of our ancestors now... and STILL through this acceptance, i just kept saying 'no no no no...'

moments before i heard this news, what was i doing? listening to his music, of course... just like i've done every day. i have invoked, i have spoken his name every single day. and now i cannot speak his name. not without choking up, or drowning in rivers. maybe tomorrow, i'll change my mind, and i can say it with the same conviction as i had before... all i can do is stare... i lose focus... i had to work today, and all i could do was cry.

i have to keep going, despite losing a part of myself... i have spent EVERY SINGLE DAY, FOR TWO YEARS in the consciousness of this man. or he in the consciousness of me. i don't know if he will ever know how much he has meant to me, and has taught me about myself. these words i write now can never convey how i felt about him. his impact as an artist certainly did hit me (i did grow up with his art). but he has taught me so much about the way the world works. he has taught me so much about the gift of acceptance.

i love him so very much, and it is difficult for me to express this here. those who have known me throughout this consciousness shifting in these two years know how much he has affected my life, and how much i love, respect and appreciate him. and how much he has become a part of me.

just like my stepfather at the age of 50 (who i did not really get on with very well), this 50-year old man (who i have not physically met, but we have met in my dreams, and my subconscious) left this earthly plane with a broken heart. i sincerely believe he asked the ancestors to finally give him peace, and they respected his wishes. he had so much pain in his heart, and in his spirit, and he may have felt he could never be fully healed from that in this lifetime. he is in a much better place now. i have accepted that, but it still hurts me to no end.

it hurts me to know that he never felt he could reach his full potential (he has openly said that he was afraid of fulfilling this). it hurts me to know that despite having three wonderful children in his life (i can only imagine how they are feeling right now)- children who were the loves of his life- he may have been in more pain than they could have even foreseen. it pains me to know that he never knew how many people truly did love him.

and it especially hurts me to know that i had a feeling this was coming... when he turned 50 i had this deep feeling in my heart. i thought it was gonna happen sooner than it did. i was in denial, because i did not want to put this out in the universe... but it stayed with me. it kept haunting me right around his 50th birthday. when he DID turn 50 i had an extensive sigh of relief- but the feeling was still there. i had hoped that he would spend these years NOT in performance, but with his children. i had hoped he would spend these years into the age of 70, 80... rocking in his rocking chair, telling stories to his grandkids by the fire, with graying hair and some love handles...

...and then the 'THIS IS IT' announcement came... the dark feeling came back. i have written my feelings on his speech announcing the tour somewhere on this blog on another date... but when he announced doing ten dates for this tour, i instantly got mad at him- BECAUSE I WANTED HIM TO STAY HOME AND FINALLY STOP LIVING IN PERFORMANCE. i had sincerely hoped he would stop performing/touring, because he emphatically said he was not going to live like that, most recently in the december 2007 issue of ebony magazine. he's also been quite public about his dislike of touring. and there he went, accepting a 10 date tour, which extended into 50 dates. i actually was quite livid at the situation. but i did make attempts to get a ticket for one of these london shows. because, he was so adamant about this being his last series of shows. but of course, there was talk of the tour extending BEYOND LONDON if the london shows did well enough... the cycle begins again...

thus, he never, in the 45 years of his life in perfomance, he never, ever got a chance to just be a PERSON. this is what i was hoping for... but when i saw he was doing those concerts in london i knew that was never gonna happen. this is what hurts.

the development of this consciousness occurred as i was in the process of writing this book on him, where the goal was to make the connection between he and the rest of us- to humanize him. i have been distraught over whether or not i am to finish it. everyone i know has told me to finish it; but ultimately i am asking him for guidance. i am looking to his spirit for guidance in this.

i was told i should write what my feelings are surrounding this situation every day. so let this be the first day.

michael (oh, dear god...), if you are reading this (with your beautiful, large dark brown eyes) just know that i love you very much, and i am so, so happy for you now... it hurts me so much right now, but know i am happy for you, that you are no longer suffering in this life which gave you so much heartache.

and i know you are shining upon us still, because on the day of the... news, i saw four dogs sitting in one of those british mini cars, all staring at me, wating for their friend to come out of the sandwhich shop (that's your humorous side); and yesterday on my way to work (still grieving) i was on my bicycle and saw a group of kids (about 7 or 8 of them) learning how to ride bicycles (that is your caring side). there are still rays of sunshine amongst the clouds.

i love you so very much; and may you finally be at peace with yourself, and with the world.


just a bunch of thoughts said...

May God be with Woman Apollo...

We can only hope he is in a better place ... thats in the hands of God ... we can only pray...

cicely said...

oh, jamilah--i love you so much. and what a beautiful tribute this post is to him.

the one woman apollo! said...

thank you both for your words...