Sunday, July 19, 2009
michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 23)
i sit here in quietness, except for a squeaky chair, wondering if all the news about you has passed... wondering if things are safe for you now. i know your spirit will never be at peace (in a true sense) for some time, but the quiet time sure is nice.
i find myself just skimming through words of magazines given to me, of documents sent to me. i am still amazed that i have no real interest in this right now. i try to read some things, and the first sentence begins on a high note- then quickly declines... all those labels come rushing forward like a river, and the publications are the dams holding it all in.
so what do i do? instead of attempting to grasp words which make no sense i just stare at your pictures and look into your eyes... eyes which, to me, captured the wonderment of a child or the vacancy of an old man who has known grief his whole life. either way, i have never seen total happiness in those eyes, for longer than short periods of time. in particular i stare at an image of you, taken in 2005, some time after your trial. your light make-up contrasts with your dark hair (wisps of it obscuring your face) and turtleneck sweater (or shawl). the prominent eyeliner contrasts just as much. the one thing which interests me more than anything in this photo is the vacancy of your eyes. your devastatingly beautiful eyes. in my estimation you look as if you'd just seen a ghost- or a reflection of your own soul.
that is one of the most beautiful images of you. it captures so much in its silence.
does it really take such a tragic experience to find this type of beauty in a person? i doubt it, but in stillness we say so much, without necessarily meaning to. i can only imagine the photographer taking this image and presenting it as some sort of document of your 'downfall'. but it's not difficult to find 'tragic' images of you all throughout your life: i can see it when i look at photos of you with your father, when you are on stage on the 'victory' tour; in 1993...
but this image, amongst others i have seen of you in 2005 i cannot help but think this is the point where you truly contemplated your place in life. you had three children who loved you dearly (and you loved them just as much) but this is my understanding (from my own experiences): when you are so much in a fog, feeling you can't escape, there isn't much to bring you out of it, even those who love you. the 1993 trial devastated you (and you were able to revive yourself in some ways) but in 2005 your soul; your spirit/life force was snatched away. this is what i see.
i am looking at these images of you in your practise, a couple of evenings before you... transcended, and most people who have mentioned it to me say you looked healthy. yes, i definitely do think you danced better than the others on stage with you; but i cannot say you looked healthy. i can't say you looked like you were going through the motions either, but i think you looked tired and frustrated. i think your eyes (what i could see of them) looked so vacant. it looked as if you couldn't keep your eyelids open. and this may be a bit controversial to someone reading this; but it looked as if you suffered a mild stroke, and the left side of your face was affected. it was not affected enough to paralyze your face (obviously) but there was something about your face, in looking at your left side it's about to twitch. i don't see your right side being affected at all... just your left.
my stepfather was the same age as you when he physically left this earth; and i found out after the fact that he had a stroke too. this is why i think about this. if you were addicted to as many pills as all these sources say you were, could that be the cause of what happened with your face? all the painkillers relaxing the face?
i'm not exactly concerned with the superficials of your face right now... i will say that even in these last images of you in the physical, your face (especially through those beautiful eyes of yours) told such an astounding narration.
and so i remain silent when people who actually notice the acknowledgement of you that i put up at work (most people call it a 'shrine' as a reference point, though it's not, as i don't worship you) will look in amazement, then make a comment as if they know everything about you, and everything about why i did it. and so i laugh to myself, because no one knows everything about anything. and because in the back of my mind i want to have the idea that people will just give in and open themselves up to just remaining still. and learning.
inevitably there are no words for that.
your humble student,