michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 28)
it is essentially impossible to trace silence in words; to trace silence in emotions, when you live in a place which does not cherish it. tonight, a friend said it best: in speech there is freedom, but in silence there is not.
this is why i write these things to you teacher... it's not just to you, but to communicate to others how i feel. but how do i communicate silently? if i did so people would tire of me, and think i was being difficult. it was quite evident in the heaviest aspect of the grieving stage for you. i felt impatience coming from various sides, prompting me to accelerate this stage, so i can laugh again. so i can 'be myself' again. i spend so much of my time in the presence of people, this is usually the only time i have to share with just you. and i am choosing for others to see it. i am hoping you don't mind.
i woke up with another one of these dreams... i didn't know who was coming or going; i didn't know where things began or ended. there was no connection as to any occurrence of events. everything seemed inconsequential, therefore unforgettable. i just woke up, looked at the clock and my body jolted because i had to get up to go to work. these dreams have been happening since you left. the dreams with you used to be so vivid; everything you did and said were so distinct. now i'm just trying to figure out if you can hear me at all.
it is officially one month exactly since you... transcended. i still don't know what to think of that. i have been saying this to people all day. some people knew exactly what i was talking about, and some didn't. one person said to me that he's lost track, because so many others in his life are transcending as well. we spoke a bit about the cycle of life; where one physical life begins when the other one ends.
as i said to you, your transcendence created a sort of birth for me. i spent two years with you; i had to have faith and figure out what decisions needed to be made in your physical absence. i'm still trying to figure some of that out, but at least i know the opportunities of options exist.
and music (YOUR music) continues to be either a source of rumination or sadness... and others' music continues to reflect my feelings on your absence, and what you represent to me.
'the wiz' kept popping into my head. inevitably it's because the film is playing in the cinema next week, in honor of you. whoever wrote the description of the event noted the film's "sheer insanity". to allude to a piece of art as insane is to find absurdity in it. i find the film to be an excellent representation of the diversity of black life, and the freedom which comes with that diversity. i wrote an essay on this film not too long ago; i don't need to expound any more on it. i do think you were excellent in your role as the scarecrow though, and i think you portrayed the character with a heart, brains, AND some courage.
the scene where you (as the scarecrow) are introduced to the audience is my favourite scene in the whole film; but it is not the song you sing that i've been thinking about. indeed, it is one of my favourite songs in the film- you have embodied the histories of the blues in your veins. however, 'you can't win' was not on my mind. because even though that may have been how you processed yourself at the time, straight until your transcendence (was it?) there was so much of you that also strived to be the best at what you did. there was that part of you that always strived to seek the truth in love.
and so, in the middle of working i wondered about you and where you are now... did you feel safe? did you feel loved? did you feel at 'home'... did you enter a place with 'flowers and butterflies', and could i look for the rainbow in the sky, to know you were okay? and i began singing to myself, and i began to cry. i had to find a place to be alone and cry.
with all your human weaknesses and flaws, teacher, you were, and are, a lion. if we all acknowledged our weaknesses and vulnerabilities we could also strive to be lions. we could all be present in the face of adversity and personal attacks. the idea is not to be perfect in this journey; the idea is to just try to live as free as possible, in a place which does not encourage freedom... to always ask questions- to remember the child in ourselves. you defiantly found your child-self as a result of not living it in the way you felt you could the first time.
all your assumed outer 'failings' do not negate the strengths you have had. in your own way, you're a lion. maybe since you're not on this plane anymore, you could see that a bit clearer.
how do we measure success? by how we've reached others? by how much we've obtained or physically accomplished? i think by this standard then, you can say you've succeeded tremendously. still, i wonder how you're faring... when you left us you appeared to be in some sort of deep emotional and physical pain. in my open curiosity i spoke with natalie (who has met you when you were physically here) and she says you're doing alright. she says she has made connections with you in the world you are currently in, and that you are in a much better place. she said you have people who care about you, there with you. she told me not to worry about you because you are in a much better place than you were when you were here.
she also said that you knew who i was. she said you were aware of everything i am doing, and i that should continue this. if this is true, that you're alright; this makes me very, VERY happy to know you are safe, and with people who love you. it brings a lot of relief to know this. if this is also true that you are aware of my existence, this would be amazing, to say the least... i am but one small being on this entire planet, and you know about ME? what about all of the fans who love you, do you know about them as well?
still... i would love to be assured you are okay. perhaps i will have a dream sometime, a DEFINED one; where you let me know. or, i could look to a rainbow, see a pretty butterfly. or meet a wide-eyed child. and i will know your spirit is there.