my dear teacher... i'd like to have a little chat, just me and you; and i don't care if anyone else is listening. i speak with you every day of my life, but i don't know if you hear me... perhaps you are resting now, after 45 and three quarter years of never being able to do that. perhaps you are just making sense of all this, just trying to take it in, and ponder the physical world you left behind.
but i want you to know that in terms of the physical world everything has changed, but not much has changed at all. you are being talked about a lot down here. your records are selling a whole bunch- the top of the charts. that's what you wanted, huh? to be immortal, in some way. to maintain a legacy. even when you're not here to see it, you have revitalized a weakened industry.
even stranger though, is the sudden discussion of you in a socio-political context, by a wide range of interests. i have defended you on this scheme many a time, when only a few were willing to listen. some would even laugh at me and wonder why i've taken such an interest to you. 'because he represents all of us, in more ways than we care to think' i would say. and now, in your transcendence is the payoff... people are finally seeing how imperative you are in the discussion of our social structure, as opposed to simply a song and dance man. HOWEVER! at this time it's not even in my heart to discuss you in this way. all i can think about is how much i miss you, and if your children are okay. all the political discussion right now is secondary. this is shocking (even to me!), as socio-political discussions are what i'm known for having in some circles; and i'm sure if my sister is reading this, she may smile in some sort of mode of ironic victory. you once said that music is much more powerful than any politician... well, with all the discussion regarding you on such a level, i think that's another thing you happened to be correct about.
it's been a week, dear teacher, and it's been so lonely down here... i just saw on one of the many fan websites of yours that there is a sort of internet hotline for people who are grieving, and feeling isolated from everything else. i considered writing to them. i'll think about it. in your sadness and pain, i know the last thing you wanted was for others who love you to be sad and in pain.
everyone i know grieving in the same or similar ways i am live so far away, teacher... this makes it hard for me to deal with the 'outside world'. i just become so irritable, when people ask me questions or talk to me, when i am going through this. today of all days, people had to ask me so many questions... it always feels like when i'm in some sort of depression people want to approach me. but not when i am in a good mood. if i had people around me to grieve with i'd feel so much better. it would be easier to get through.
but you know what? people are STILL coming by to give condolences, and they are giving you things to honor you, and to put on your shrine (it's not REALLY a shrine, but that's the easiest thing to call it. if you have another name other than alter or shrine, let me know and i'll take it!). yesterday i got a handwritten note which said, amongst other things, to "keep believing in magic, and always keep the embers of love aglow." today, i got a card IN THE MAIL at my work, and it was from a woman i met ONCE, and she asked me about the shrine, and about you. she wrote that the conversation we had meant a lot to her, and that "(my) joy is what caught (her)", and that she "wanted to reach out to express care and concern... may the love (i) experience in (your) spirit continue to bring (my) heart joy. thank you for sharing."
my dear teacher... i thought i would be done with crying by now (that is something to the effect of what i wrote yesterday, i thought i would be done), but after reading this i went and cried... i did not realise to what extent i had reached someone with my love for you. you have taught me so much and i really wanted to share that with others. anyone who asked, i would tell them. but really, i didn't realise... i didn't realise how much you have lived in me, until i read this note, from this woman who was a stranger before this one-time incident. and she reached out to me in this moment. she doesn't even know me, and she reached out.
"when someone in the dark reaches out to you
and touches off a spark that comes shining through
it tells you never be afraid..."
i am crying again right now as i write this to you... i knew that i missed you, but i didn't realise how much. i have to go on for you, my dear teacher... i must honor you. and now i cannot stop crying.
"promise me we'll always be
walking the world together..."
i am so fortunate to have met you in the incarnation i did; and i sincerely hope you will continue to be my teacher. if i get upset, please do not be angry. i promise you that i won't remain fixated on this anger. i ask you to guide me in this grief, as i am feeling really afraid and lonely right now. i know it will not last, but still, i ask you to guide me.
"i believe you and i
could never really say goodbye-
wherever you may be,
i'll look up and see
someone in the dark for me!"
i love you very much, my dear teacher... wherever you are, please remember this.
with much respect,
Black History Month special
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