Sunday, August 2, 2009

michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 33)

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people will never let me forget...

for some people i will forever be associated with you. someone said to me today, "when i heard the news i wasn't concerned about michael, i was concerned about YOU!" his concern for me, like most people who have approached me in this way, seemingly may be related to the slight hope that i did not become so distraught that i hurt myself over you. body and face language; and tones are important to determine cues which are not so vocal. i was also the first person he thought of when he heard the news, he said. i am still receiving this commentary, teacher...

it looks like i'm stuck with you... i may be having these conversations with you for a while.

i keep thinking of your eyes. those phenomenally beautiful eyes. and i just thought of an exercise i learned when i was training to be a yoga teacher some years ago: a meditation in trust, where you just stare into someones eyes for a period of time. when i first learned this exercise i cannot tell you how extremely difficult this was to do. but if i was to be a confident teacher i had to test myself. looking into someone's eyes, and having them look into yours with full attention (and intention) is difficult because it requires that we maintain some level of vulnerability. this is a huge aspect in trust.

you know the test where you fall back to see if the person behind you will catch you? i'm sure you know about that one, teacher. you have to be vulnerable enough to allow yourself to willingly fall, and trust you will be supported. the eyes are the same way. you have to trust you are able to be vulnerable with someone who will not steal your soul. it took me a very long time to look into someone's eyes for long periods of time in conversation. i have not done the staring meditation in years (and i have not taught yoga classes in years). no other classes i have been to do not utilize this form of meditation.

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in a world (and sometimes familial situations) which consistently deprives of of reaching our full potential (and in the process ravages the soul) it always feels safer to look down, eyes fixed on the ground. as a popular figure you stared into the camera's gaze. you trained yourself to look at the interviewer. however, there are many times where you were lost for words or you were uncomfortable- these are the moments your eyes dart across the room, remain locked to whatever object you can stare at... or you just wore sunglasses. and occasionally took them off "for the girls in the balcony".

i look into your eyes all the time, as much as i can. is it a trust issue with me? not necessarily, as we've never met in person. but i can say i learned a lot about my vulnerability through looking at you. looking into your eyes has given me a better ability to look at others... because i have been talking so much about your transcendence. when i look into people's eyes i can feel your spirit there. i cannot say that you are always there, but i know you are speaking to (and through) people in some way.

the person who shared his concern with me mentioned how disturbing it was, that there was a poetic beauty in the 'good dying young'... he opined that those who were inherently good left this world violently; the beauty/irony of their 'deaths' lends even more to their goodness.

later on i see a message from a friend of mine, stating that he just heard your song, 'they don't care about us' for the first time... it seems as if from his writing this statement he never saw you in a political context (only a popular culture one), so he never really examined the impact you made, on all ends. i responded to him that you are underrated as an artist, and that your political voice has been severely overlooked/disregarded. you may not have considered yourself to be a political person, but you have made such an impact on others (including my friend) with songs like 'they don't care about us'. you continue to open eyes with your messages every day, even after your transcendence.

every day i look at you with new eyes; they are open and ready to learn some more. and i will never forget.

your humble student,
jamilah

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2 comments:

just a bunch of thoughts said...

i loved this post.
ur so right... we avoid staring into other's eyes to avoid being caught or looked at deeply...
i rarely look at ppl let alone look them in the eye for a long time!

it amazes me that u can get to stare at his eyes not in the direct way (as u never met) & get all that... really wonderful. but do u stare at pix only or do u watch videos as well? which do u get the most out of?

& one more important thing...

U TAUGHT YOGA????????????? @@!!!

& u havent told me yet? hee hee :P

the one woman apollo! said...

i look at both the moving as well as still images; and i look into his eyes. they are such sad, beautiful eyes. the only time they seemed to be truly happy was when he was around children. but sometimes his eyes were very sad then too. i think i get something different out of all of the images. but one thing i get out of all of them is beauty.

yes, i actually taught yoga classes for four years. i guess i never said anything because it never needed to come up, hee hee...