Tuesday, July 28, 2009
michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 29)
right now it's just the small things... right now it's associating images with words. it's about remaining silent, and watching it all happen.
can it be that suddenly the world has moved forward, and i am left behind? has the world finally stopped talking about you, or have i just not paid attention...? the truth is, i can't afford to pay attention, as they say... you are worth so much to me that i don't want to spend the time arguing or dissecting opinions.
but back to the small things... i was in the midst of writing to you yesterday, and i can only think it was you telling me to not write, that i need to take care of myself. that you know how i already feel, and there is no need to fall asleep at the keys in the midst of our conversation. that tomorrow will be another day, and we can continue to chat at that time.
and so i listened to you... still wondering what you must think of me, if you even think about me at all; still wondering about the dreams i've been having, which are getting closer to vividness, yet still too far to grasp.
i wonder how easy it was for you to laugh, and how often you cried. how often you kissed your children's wounds when they skinned their knees, or told them they did a good job when they spelled a word correctly.you know, the little things. that is all i can think about right now. i feel like i can only compose things in fragments. so much of my life reflects this right now: a series of fragmented events, where all thoughts return to you. if i am to return too deeply (as in my dreams) it could be a painful place.
there are still songs of yours i can't listen to right now. songs i have always loved, that when they come on now i have to skip them. they can never be listened to in the same way. even in joy, there is pain. both you and i have been conditioned by the system of pain. admittedly it fuels our art in certain ways. but as i am sure you have seen, one cannot survive off of this. which is why you did your best, in your own way, to seek the truth of love.
how often did the love and pain merge for you? did the pain you felt ever outweigh the love you felt for your children? if they asked you to receive some sort of treatment would you have listened to them as opposed to an adult? i ask you these things because in seeing what people have said about you-before and after your transcendence- there appeared to be the perspectives that you were either immortal (and could live through your pain simply because of who you were) or that your pain was relatively insignificant, due to the fact that your pain was of your own doing. none of those theories takes into account your humanity; there are no connections made in the context of your whole life's experiences. that way it's much easier to disassociate ourselves from the experiences, branding you as either an icon/idol, or another washed-up celebrity.
it's those small things that make life a bit more bearable, so we could get through our day without having to think about how our actions affect everything on this planet. it's like we never stop to notice... ourselves.
and it's me going throughout my day, not realizing the pain is still perched at my side. i can sit and smile and laugh with others now (i'm STILL seeking out that hearty laugh) but the grief is all too real still. i see it when i am alone. i stood and noticed today that i am still at stage one.
i still cannot believe you are not physically here. i have acknowledged your transcendence, but that grief is perched at my side, still in disbelief. i'm still having trouble seeing those 'three words'... at the same time preparing for a radio show in tribute to you. i see your name in rotation approximately 33 1/3 times a minute, just studying the label as you vibrato-filled tenor emanates from the speakers; just to make sense of your physical absence being real. the contradiction just nags at my hem. and so i still cry in hearing certain notes, or words which trigger that pain in me.
when people ask me how i am doing i don't really know how to answer... so i tell people i am okay, but still sad. i feel like i am a bit better at articulating my feelings through writing, if i am even good at articulating them then. but to actually explain, vocally, how i am feeling seems a bit too difficult; especially since there is such an encouragement to 'move on' with the grief. is it too much to ask how you dealt with the alone-ness, teacher? did you just wrap yourself in your work in order to deal, or did you simply cry?
i waver back and forth between alone-ness, because i'm not really sure who i should express it to in person... i must function throughout the day, and i am certainly not stuck in my grief; but who can i go to (short of a therapist), in order to find some sort of comfort? is a therapist the only one?
it's the small things that matter. of course, they may seem small on a larger scale, but it's those small things that make up who we are as people. those small things can make or break us on an emotional scale. your transcendence may be a small thing to a number of people (considering we are just small beings in a large world of people who transcend and come into the world every day)... but as my teacher, the pain of your loss is very real to me.
i don't want to appear as selfish; but i want to recognize myself as having these feelings, without having to suppress them for the sake of 'progression'. i want to find pro-active ways of co-existing and moving through the world with this pain, without wallowing in it. it may seem contradictory on the surface, but that isn't the intention...
i just want to be able to freely be myself. just as you sang in childhood so confidently and defiantly in the face of those who dare limit you, "what else can i be but what i am?"
in these times, those words still ring true.
your humble student,