Sunday, August 9, 2009
michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 37)
it usually happens when i am alone... i hear someone calling out your name. it's with more frequency now than when i was in the midst of heavily writing the book. now, i hear it about every other day or so. it happens when i am sitting here typing, or at work, or riding my bicycle. sometimes it's a soft whisper; other times it's just a flash, and i can't figure out what voice it is. i know that when i was writing the book and heard your name it definitely was not you calling me. but now, i am wondering if it's you (saying your own name?). or was it the ancestors the whole time bringing you to consciousness, in order to further connect with you. was it them guiding the vivid dreams i had with you, or was it simply the fact that you've weighed so heavily on my mind for two years? the dreams don't happen now; and when they do they are inconsistent in their content. but your name is still there.
there is so much contradiction and confusion as to how i feel about you now. this could be why your name is being called at a more consistent rate now- to get me to focus. ultimately, i am actually at the point where i can say with conviction that i am truly happy for you now. in my heart i know you are at peace. i know you are free from all the troubles of this plane. but there still lies a sadness so deep. there is a sadness which is paralyzing, in a way. i still need to hear from you in order to truly feel better. i need to know that writing the book is okay. i need to know your children are okay. i need to speak with you, just like that last time you spoke with me for that moment, and told me that i will 'know what to do'...
the root of my sadness is even deeper. yesterday, as i was thinking about how happy i was for you for being on a more peaceful plane (after having another stimulating conversation with natalie) i saw a friend of mine who i recently had a difficult time with. we got so close so fast, and we shared an intense friendship over time. but the paths in terms of where each of us desired the relationship to go crossed. i desired more commitment, and she felt she needed more space. this created a distance in our relationship, to the point where the range hit between silence and civility. things are more or less better between us now, but things most likely will never return to how they were. we are on friendly terms. i love her and if anything were to happen to her i'd be heartbroken, because i value the experiences we've shared, and she means a lot to me. all i can think about now though, is that i don't want any sort of intense relationship in my life; because i most likely will end up feeling rejected or abused. i have issues with trust (i acknowledge that), and if i meet someone i feel i can trust enough i will commit myself to my half of the relationship. my frustration is that i don't feel that i get the same commitment in return. so it makes me withdraw and refuse to make any deep connections with others.
one of the things which has been said about me is that i am a person who most likely uses logic; i am a person who relies on the head and not 'the heart', as a reaction to how i feel i have been treated in my life, particularly my childhood. there is some validity to this: whenever i open my heart really deeply i end up feeling rejected, simple as that. i don't want to appear vulnerable to 'the outside world' because i don't want the world to take advantage of me. i felt your pain when you shared this sentiment. you opened yourself up more to that vulnerability, more than i think even you imagined. one of the ways people who lived with some kind of trauma or abuse is to stay guarded. you did this for the most part, but by nature of you being one of the greatest public figures you opened yourself up. in your own way you've made yourself accessible. i don't think people caught on to this while you were physically here; and so now people are asking, 'what was he like? what DID he like?'
this is what creates the conflict i have with you. we have shared a type of relationship so instantly; a relationship which can appear to be one-sided to anyone outside the relationship. the more i learned about you; the more i became connected with you (through the connections of how we grew up), the closer i became to you. some may view this psychic relationship as bearing no weight (as we did not physically know each other). but in learning more about you- paying attention to your words, and the silence of your body language (and your eyes) i began to truly love you. and the love i felt for you coincided with this anger i felt for you (and the anger i felt for myself). it was may of last year where i openly acknowledged that i loved you, yet i was still exploring the depths of that love.
my love for you was so deep that it did consist of the intensity that either a parent, a child or a partner has for someone. you were my companion for two years. i have shared so much with you. now that you have travelled to another plane i feel like i can never share that experience with anyone else. i feel like i can never love again. this most likely will sound ridiculous to many- 'what are you talking about, you didn't even KNOW him'- but it's entirely difficult to explain. the tears i shed were not for you as 'MJ, the guy who made thriller'. it was for the person i shared my life with for two years.
and the root of my conflict in finishing the book is not only in my desire to not be part of the onslaught of books capitalizing off your name now; but it is also the fear in sharing with others what i have shared with you, in context of your transition. there are so many people coming out and saying they now recognize your humanity. but i don't want what i write to be lost in all of the 'sudden revelation' stories... i don't want my experiences with you to be trivialized. one thing i could do is just finish it and keep everything to myself (i WOULD NOT feel right about that; i'd rather just not finish it). the other option is to finish it and share it with people who already were aware of the work i was putting into it. with this, i could be missing out on connecting with others who have shared similar experiences as you or i.
the option i feel which is left is to just finish it and publicly release it. i have great reservations, due to what i just mentioned- i don't want to capitalize off of your name. this is why i consistently ask you for guidance in this situation.
i want to make sure that future generations are able to take from what you have taught me, and can progress to find ways to heal from generations of the cycles of abuse... i want to be sure that kids like the ones i met yesterday are able to continue their search for wonder, even in adulthood.
at my work there were these kids running around- there was one kid who obviously was the dominant one in the family. he is six years old. he went over with his sister, to the 'alter' (for lack of a better term) i have for you, and he was amazed... the kids are usually the first ones to see it. they recognize the child in you, i think... he says (not even that loudly) 'i love michael jackson'. my 'MJ radar' went off, and i said, 'i do too!' he looked back at me, surprised to know i was listening. he then talks about all the dolls, and the pictures. his mother comes over and is also amazed by the alter. she mentions her son's love for you, and how whenever he hears your songs on the radio he wants to know everything about them. he had all of these questions, and i answered them to the best of my ability. he and his sister were standing there for a good 20 minutes to a half hour, talking about you.
when they were getting ready to leave, he and his sister were still standing near the alter, but he ran up to his mother (as if on cue) and asked her if you've ever been to jail. she looked at him curiously, and i answered, 'no.' i think there was a look of relief on his face, and she mentioned that i had a lot of answers, and that if he had a question he should get a hold of me. i hear that from a lot of people... as they were leaving she thanked me for sharing information.
i then realized that you had briefly been to jail, after you were arrested on the first charge in 1993, i believe. the kid's excitement lead me to say no, because i had either blocked out that moment or forgotten. subconsciously i may also have wanted to not shatter his love for you. but somehow i did not remember you went to jail. how could i have forgotten that, i asked myself.
after my response to him and i realized my error, i looked at this situation logically (there's that old logic again): you may have been handcuffed but you did not get charged with what you were arrested for, so technically you were not in jail. but does that make sense? because you did indeed get arrested. and then i began to feel bad because even if i did so on accident i gave that kid the wrong information. i don't want the kid to come back to me and think i was lying to him, because i wasn't. my intention was not to lie. i don't want that kid to hate me. i think a response which came out of this was not to worry too much about it, because that kid should not be subjected to that sort of news. still, i don't want the kid to think of me as a liar. and i don't want to inspire the pattern of lying for this kid either.
i really hope i get to see this kid again, so i can correct my mistake. we can't bring the past back but we can correct mistakes.
so still, my days are filled with the momentary contradictions of sadness and happiness, at times merging with one another.
every day is a new opportunity to learn. and even in your transcendence i learn.
your humble student,