Sunday, July 12, 2009

michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 16)

okay, i just want to have a little chat, just you and me... i'd like to do away with the student-teacher relationship for a bit, if you don't mind...

i just want to tell you how much i love you and appreciate you, just as a force in my life. i am extremely humbled by your spirit being present in my day to day. today was a specifically humbling experience, and i wanted to take some time out and tell you how appreciative i am in your reminders to me to just re-examine my role in the communities surrounding me, and beyond...

i just came back from a 'prince v. MJ' event (where it wasn't a battle so much as a celebration of both of your musical legacies), and i was reminded of how much i love you (for all time)... i cried four times there, just as i am crying right now as i write this, as i am listening to your music right now... it's still so awkward for me to hear you. and hearing you makes the tears come back, when i thought they had dried up...

with all these tears, those sunny days seem far away, as you once sang... but i swear though, your spirit was watching over me tonight... i felt you. i felt you move through me like i've never felt before, as i danced in between the tears... your spirit kept me safe, and comforted me all throughout the day. you really did look out for me today... i was at the DMV office, and a wonderful little girl with a beautiful smile and a loving mother stood behind me... the energy was so positive in there, despite the waiting in line. positive- at the DMV!!! and of course, when i was at the thrift shop your song played. it was 'dirty diana'. i found it strange that THAT song would be playing... but stranger that ANY of your music was being played at all! it's like you are surrounding me wherever i go... but everyone was so nice.

i then went down to the radio station, where yugen and i had a wonderful dialog on his show about the template you created, in terms of inspiring us to seek the love in all things. it's a hard road, even you figured that out; but you made attempts to do that as much as you could, thus creating a template for all of us. but more of the humbling happened... i found a note in my box, stating that someone donated money to our community radio station, because they heard the gift of your music on the air, on the day you... transcended. i have people telling me how powerful and moving the show was... but i personally don't know what it was. i just know that it had to be done. there was no way i was NOT going to honor you on the air in the best way i could, in spite of the abrupt nature of the news. my feelings were so jumbled on that day, as they somewhat are now. listening back to the show (to catch why people found it so moving), it seemed so surreal being there. i didn't necessarily feel moved; i just felt devastated. and i know that if no one was in the air room with me, i would have been crying on the air.

and so, we end back up at the 'prince v. MJ' event, where your spirit's movements have culminated from all of the other events of the day. immediately i began dancing for the first time i have danced in two and a quarter weeks (the amount of time since you physically left us). it was incredibly freeing to just MOVE in that way... the funny thing is, i don't feel compelled to move in that way, outside of this little moment. with this little fact i knew you were looking out for me...

but as i dressed like you at this moment (seemingly, the ONLY person to dress up like either you OR prince, as people kept coming up to me all night asking me to take photos with them and such- i wore the 'black or white: part 2' outfit), i recognized what it was like to be you, if only for a fraction of a moment. and i realized i do NOT want to be there. i have had these realizations before, particularly in the course of writing the book. but it all became much clearer during the event.

you moved through me, and i felt compelled to do the dance that accompanies the song 'beat it' just for a little bit, on the stage... in most circumstances i'd be opposed to going on the stage. but you moved through me. you spoke, and i listened. and when i went on stage, let me tell you, the screams were so deafening i'm sure even YOU could hear it... i saw people with cameras in the phones snapping away... i didn't understand what the big deal was; i mean, i'm not YOU...

and throughout the night, even though my heart was aching, i smiled... you know quite well about that, don't you? but in between the smiles, came many tears. i knew i was gonna cry (this event was still too soon, ESPECIALLY after knowing that the crying has not yet ceased, after a few days of dryness) but i was not aware of what context that would happen. i suppose i had some sort of clue... there was a video tribute to you so lovingly made by the hosts of the event... i KNEW this was going to happen and expected it. but when it began i could not even watch it. beside the music i just crouched down and cried. and i saw those YEARS posted... you know, the one where they diagram the birth and transcendence.

and even though i have actually ACCEPTED your transcendence at this point, it's still so very hard to see those words together. the ironic thing about it all is that, in all the statements people have written and said about you in all this time, regardless of your existence on this earth, that is the one factual statement that cannot be disputed... 25 june 2009... do you know how difficult it is to read this date?

i think as much as i acknowledge your transcendence i am still in disbelief about the basics. the factual statement of it. contradictory, i know. but i am a contradictory person, just as you were here on this plane. just as so many of us are.

and so i cried as your images were displayed on a screen to memorialize you... i also cried as your video to 'man in the mirror' was playing, alongside one of your sister janet's songs... i also cried during the song's actual arrival at the end of the night... this was the final song of the night. as i collected my thoughts and focused on my breathing (remember to breathe!) i felt a bit better. but when you began to do your ad-libs at the end of the song, requesting people to start with themselves, the tears blended amongst the drunken patrons who may or may not take the message of your inspirational words home with them. this is the gift you have given us; that which reminds us of how our actions begin with us; and how they could either perpetuate the cycle of abuse or end it.

i also cried when 'i'll be there' came on.

i cried because i knew all the emotions surrounding my relationship to you- the anger, the joys, the sadness, just culminated all over again in this one evening. and once again i realized i truly loved you.... as the ability to allow all of these emotions to happen, then pass, should be rooted in love...

and i am thinking, this person has lived a life that was so full, but he didn't really get to enjoy it... you never had that total freedom which is required of true happiness. i sincerely hope you are free now, wherever you are...

your words resonated with me after the event; where i saw a man i have not seen in a while... the last time i saw him was last august (around the time you were brought onto this earth), when i dressed like you... he was a man who was living at the mission downtown, which provided meals and other provisions for people who are homeless... this man was so happy to see me, and i was happy to see him; i wondered how he was doing. i also instantly thought of christopher, a homeless man i used to see all the time when i worked downtown. i wonder about him a lot; i wonder if he is healthy, or if he is still here on this earth.

i don't feel pity for anyone; still, i would love to find a way to be able to feed everyone, and to know they are okay and are looked after. i think for some folks, a hello is nourishing to them, even... but this man was so happy to see me (and was quite pleased to meet the person i was with), and was happy i remembered him... he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said he loved me. and i told him i loved him more. you spoke to me again, and i said those words.

because i do not play with the word love. and i believe it is possible to love someone as your brother or sister. this is a different type of love than the intimate love, emotional or otherwise... this is a love which senses the goodness in someone's spirit. and i sensed that in him.

and i know i wanted to cease the teaching/learning relationship between us for just now, but you can never eliminate that from the psyche. every moment i have taken the opportunity to learn from you. and no more than tonight did i realize that.

i love you... my teacher.

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