Wednesday, July 15, 2009
michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no.19)
i woke up today with you in my dreams, but this time it was strange... it was the first dream i've ever had with you in it where i could not specifically name the event... there was some sort of connection between you and sets of words; some of them i believe were lyrics and some of them were not. it was as if you were there but not really. there was a connection but none at all. the phrases went by so fast, and it felt like a game show.
i suppose this is where i stand in my life right now... where do i fit in here? where do my priorities lie? one of the things i have learned from you (more recently than ever) is to think about where my priorities lie, and my roles in the communities around me... i have chosen to do my best in focusing my energies on doing some sort of personal healing work; part of this is in speaking with you, and not becoming overstimulated with mass amounts of articles written about you... obviously i have a ways to go, but you have to start somewhere. the connection of words in my dream could have been the influx of articles and information presented to me and the world, and the inability for me to process them right now. i still have no 'proper' words for how i feel, and i don't know if i ever will.
life today was a series of unrelated events, yet connected in may ways. just like the dream. i went to the post office, to find a man selling shirts with your likeness (from the cover of 'thriller') on them. there was also an image of your 'trademark'; a sequined glove, with the years of your physical existence below it. as usual, the curiosity got the better of me and i walked up to him and asked why he felt you were important to him.
i was also curious because he was an older black gentleman, and i was fascinated to get an older person's perspective on you; especially if they were most likely familiar with places you knew well- the chitlin' circuit, the apollo... he was quite excited to answer my question. he initially emphasized the entertainment factor of your career... he was adamant that you be respected as an entertainer. isn't that what you wanted, teacher? to be respected as an entertainer?
the thing is, you once said (in 1983) that you don't like when people limit themselves. and so i can never think of you as simply, an entertainer when you've represented yourself to be so much more. one who simply 'entertains' could never make the global impact you have. one who simply 'entertains' could never be a seeker of the truth of love, and recognize the work involved with seeking it. for me, there is 'entertainment' and there is 'action'. what you have done was create an arena of consciousness of the heart; people are then able to make the decision to allow this into their lives or not. of course, sometimes you've accepted this consciousness into your own life, and sometimes you did not. but i think you acknowledged the opportunity was there in some form.
nevertheless, when this gentleman was emphasizing the entertainment aspect of your life i wanted to ask him more about the social factors... nothing too deep. i simply wanted to ask him what you've taught him. but before i could ask him anything he dives right into complimenting your strength. he spoke of how you remained present even as all these forces were out to get you. as your resilience was honored by this man i was deeply touched. i saw a bit of his histories come out. i'm sure you know what i mean... it's another one of those things that are so hard to explain in words. you just have to KNOW. did you get a chance to hear him? he was proud of you.
he then looked down and saw the button i have of you (which someone gave to me so long ago) on my jacket lapel and he said, "oh i see you loved him. he must be one of your idols." i didn't want to go into detail about how i don't consider myself a fan and all that, nor do i worship you. all i told him was that you were a teacher of mine. he did not have much to say to that, but his face displayed his recognition. he then told me he could see that, as i sounded like you. this came as a shock to me since i don't think i sound like you; even when i try to. however, in front of him i did my best vocal impersonation of you. this made him smile.
i then had a very stimulating conversation (more on the socio-political mixed with wonderment) with chris; someone who i always run into and have laughs... i recall us only having one significant conversation, and it was not as deep as the one we had today... we spoke of the social impact of your music (and how we both felt HIStory was your artistic moment of truth), as well as your connection with the world, yet perceived (to us) isolation here in the states. it all began, because he showed me a tribute magazine that 'right on!' put out for you (i was not aware that magazine was still around; cynthia horner still writes for it apparently)... do you see the connections you bring into this world? never limit yourself, right?
never limit yourself. i have to remember this.
thank you again, teacher.
your humble student,