look, i am going to be frank with you... it has been THREE MONTHS.
in the course of these three months i have been feeling hopeless, depressed, relieved, upset, confused, happy, conflicted... sometimes all in the same day.
but all of a sudden all of these tapes have been surfacing with your voice. i have fought with myself about whether or not to listen to them. but as in everything else i have fought about with you i decided to listen to some of them. the infinite sadness in your voice was so startling... i mean, i knew of some of the things you spoke of, and i even recognized your sadness from listening to interviews with you. but still, there was something which greatly startled me. it could be because some of these things i still see in myself. and i wonder if you did too... i wonder if there was ever a time, outside of being on the stage and outside of being with children, were you ever truly happy.
...and i wonder how, after all these years of being in total control, when you felt you may have lost control...
i feel so compelled to write so much after listening to you, but i am not sure of what to do. i feel this mental cloud that just won't go away. sometimes it still breaks for showers, and every so often there's even a break of sunshine. but overall the climate has not changed. the lack of seasons gets tiring after a while. however, seasons last for three months, so maybe, just maybe...
i am still trying to wrap my head around things still... i can laugh at some things actually (for a change) but you still weigh heavy on my mind. and not to mention feeling alone in this political situation, but that's a whole other story...
i have become quite obsessed in reading the many theories which have been popping up, about you still being physically here. that you are hiding out in switzerland... that you will return in a year... that you are alive and well in a drug treatment centre... that you faked everything because your 'death certificate' was not signed by a doctor (your sister signed it). that the movie coming out is going to explain the whole hoax. there are so many of them, it sort of makes me laugh.
i am still trying to make sense of you NOT being here still, and now this... is it wishful thinking, or supposed scientific fact? why can't people just accept the cycle of life, that your purpose on this earth was not physical immortality. i mean, the theories get more and more elaborate and detailed, as if presenting a transcript for an opening statement for a case or deposition. as detailed as it all looks, it still sounds fairly un-credible.
but still, the curiosity has gotten the best of me. i look into those large, deep, dark eyes of yours (the most beautiful eyes ever) and i still feel you. when i get lonely sometimes, i feel you. frankly i look at all of this, and i just laugh to myself.
or is it wishful thinking?
and yes, with my obsession about these theories, it just furthers the acknowledgement that i haven't gotten over you yet. this is getting to be a bit much... i have never had a grieving period this long before. i walked into a store, and i THOUGHT i heard your voice, with that signature hiccup/scream. but i couldn't figure out what song it could be. and then the music became clearer and clearer. and then i froze up, and i began to sink. i felt really stuck, when everyone else was moving along, doing their shopping. it's like, WHY did you have to be on AT THAT MOMENT!!?? then someone who worked there asked if i was finding everything okay. i'm sure he saw the trouble on my face, but i couldn't tell him what i was feeling at that point. i just don't have the energy anymore to explain any of this to people. when i left the store i just felt kind of sick. it's like everything you've ever done just flashed before me... there was no distinction of time, or of space.
this is the thing: why does love always feel so destructive to me? if i love you, i should be happy for you, right? you are in a better place. but this undeniable sadness is proving to dominate my spirit at random times. if it were actually the case that you were by some chance, still physically here, would it make my sadness go away? probably not. because i still would not know if you've heard me.
i do wonder if you will ever speak to me again, in some vision or dream... or are you so busy making sense of all the other dreams?
yes, i know. i know... it is true. you are not physically here. i keep telling myself this, but your presence haunts me, to the point where you never left. i'm not even sure how to explain this. your presence actually seems more tangible to me now, than when you WERE here. i feel stifled, and i don't really get it. i am frustrated that i cannot move. is this a major aspect of grief that i am still feeling?
i listen to you, and it feels so incredibly strange to do that. i mean, it's stranger than ever before. it's like, the notes are all different or something. it's like, there is something different in your eyes, your smile. i feel this lingering anxiety in all of it, that i cannot explain.
there is this film of you coming out now... they took footage of your rehearsals. they took hundreds of hours of footage and narrowed it down to a couple of hours. i am essentially opposed to this, but what can i do? i feel so powerless at this point, and alone. before i went to sleep my brain was working overtime, asking you all of these questions... how you feel about that, what would you have done... why are they making this film, why are they exploiting you? and as i was trying to get to sleep i heard someone calling my name... and i wondered if it was you calming me. because right after i heard my name i soon went to sleep.
i see you, and i see your smile, and they don't match with anything you are saying. it just doesn't connect. everything about all the magic and wanting to create it; everything about the love and its connection to the dance... i have been looking at so many of your photographs and all i am beginning to see is a reflection of pain. and obviously i wonder if what i am seeing is just a reflection of myself.
i said i wasn't gonna get any of those commemorative magazines to you... whatever those publications do it will be of no justice to you. they could never capture the essence of what you mean to me. but i have been getting them, and finding all of these images- ones i have seen many times, and ones i have never seen before. and in each image i find something new. and i keep telling myself to put you away for awhile. stop looking at these images. distance myself from the grief. i am trying to convince myself. but i can't look away. it's not that i'm trying to face my grief head on- i'm already deep in it. i am just still trying to make sense of this grief for you... someone i never even really knew, but has impacted my life in ways you could never know.
sometimes i get mad at myself and the voice starts going off... and people are STILL telling me, after almost three months, people who have not seen me since all of this happened, that i was the first person they thought about... i just want it to stop. i want the voices to stop. it's becoming hard to take, all the screaming happening in my head. i feel like all these people are screaming at me, and i don't know which way to go.
i just sigh... it's like tears are always on the surface. it's like this never ending sadness. but WHY? and even if i saw the film which is to be released next month of you it would be too painful to watch. because it's like you are there, and you're not. watching videos of you prior to all of this is still painful but i can deal with it... but now... all of this is just so surreal.
and with all these other people transcending right now as well, it just doesn't seem as strange. i recognize the cycle of life; the certainty of physical finality. but for you, even though i have accepted it it's still too difficult to grasp. because it feels like you are here.
lisa (my housemate) came back from italy, and brought me back this special edition of a european magazine. on the front lay a strip which read, "...n'est pas mort." it read that you are not dead. as i don't particularly like the word 'dead' and choose to believe that bodies transcend, i would concur. however i wonder if they are referring to you as a representation of cultural iconography. for me though, it hit me now more than ever with you how the soul does indeed live forever.
i feel you. it's becoming harder and harder to explain, but i do. and i do become frustrated by it, because as i mentioned to you before, i don't feel like i could love another person. it makes no sense, does it? i did not KNOW you. but people will never know the depths of the relationship i had with you. this is why it's so difficult, and frustrating. and it sounds like i am running in circles here.
it's not like if i 'moved on' i'd feel like i'd be hurting you (how could i?). i just feel as if the extent of the relationship i had with you could never be repeated. and, for better or for worse, i cherished what we had and i don't want that to change. as angry as i got with you i don't want that to change. your qualities could never be replaced and i do wonder if there would be someone with comparable qualities. i'm too fearful to find out. because i don't want to ruin anything. i don't want the rejection.
you see? i feel at a loss. with your transcendence, with my still coming to terms with it. with still trying to figure out what our true connection was. with why i can't just 'move on' like everybody else. with what i should do with this book i was writing.
what is it you said? to not take the talents given to you and have them cultivate and grow is "the biggest sin in the world." but tell me, where does this lie with me? how do i take what i have done (with my intention to share with the world) and not exploit you? how do i take my grief and share it with people? where do i find these people to share the grief with? i feel like there's so many things coming at me at once- do this, do that- but i can't tell where they're coming from.
and even through all of the pain in those images i discussed earlier, there is a beauty in you which could never be exploited, no matter how hard people try. this is what i am trying to get to, in the end... but first i need to glide past all the voices screaming at me.
this is another quick one, teacher... there is so much violence in the world. i know you know this, but the older we get it becomes clearer. or closer. the hope of childhood you always speak of, has been replaced with cynicism and power grabs. in learning about you and becoming connected with you i learned patience; and the child in me returned.
i'm sure you are so busy. i know i wondered if you were resting before, right after your transcendence, but now, since your physical is now buried in the earth you came from, i'm sure you'd like to have some time to yourself. you've spent so much energy on this earth doing your best to make people happy. but it was a whole lot of work, because there is so much emotional and physical violence.
but i have been calling you- as i am sure many have- and i haven't heard from you in some time. there is only so much you can handle. but i finally heard your name being called again, whispered amongst music playing at work. once again, i didn't know if it was you or the ancestors who had been doing it before. but it was comforting to know you were still around.
however, i got progressively sadder throughout the day. it was this inexplicable sadness. when people asked why i was sad, i just said your name. i am still extremely heartbroken over you. i am at a loss about everything right now. people ask me what i think about everything- your funeral, the way you transitioned, all of it- and at first what seemed assured now turns into self-doubt. and it all turns into depression.
i need to know. i just need to know.
and all this sadness turned into confusions, seeming miscommunication and tragic events.
do you remember richard, the man i told you about? well, i just found out he has transcended, as of a couple of hours ago... please show him around, okay teacher? i'm sure you will like him, he's a very nice person.
there is also someone i know who was arrested yesterday, just for taking photographs of an arrest. the irony about this is that just a week ago, i was with alan, and he was snapping pictures of an arrest (with a flash!) and nothing happened to us. i already told you about that. nevertheless, chris was arrested, and had his phone and camera confiscated (and i'm sure they have pulled up numbers on his phone)... he was in jail for 12 hours, detained and handcuffed. when he asked to drink some water, they pointed to the toilet. these people get trained and paid to dehumanize and abuse people.
and to top it off, i saw a video of a martial arts/karate class gone violent... karate is translated into 'empty hand', yet some folks are filled with ego. in this video (which apparently was from 1984) a senior black belt student literally beats up another man until he is bleeding from his head or ear (he kicked the man in the head), and they drag him away, like a pig or cattle at a slaughterhouse. the man ended up succumbing to the injuries- brain damage, i am sure. i was not expecting this to happen in the video, and i ended up feeling sick after watching it.
so right now, i need some positive thoughts... good thoughts. the one really good thing which happened was at work. i saw these three girls (one looked about 6, the other two looked around adolescent/pre-teen age). all three of them were extremely dark, with velvety-smooth skin. their skin was absolutely perfect. their beauty just stopped me in my tracks. they were these three young girls who were most likely running an errand for their family member or parent; just going about their day. i felt compelled to openly admire their beauty, and i did. i told one of the girls (she seemed to be the 'head' sister; the most assertive one) and she thanked me. her tone made it seemed like they were complimented on their beauty more often than not. i should hope so.
yes, i do realize, teacher, than out of all the sadness comes a ray of light. still, you must admit that it is hard to maintain a smile all the time. i had to find a space to cry at work... i have to remember , "life is still worthwhile..." i fight for peace of mind, but i also want to fight for the end of the cycles of abuse.
i ask you to be there with me in this fight, my teacher.
with everything that is going on, my heart does not sit well... sometimes i find myself talking out loud to you, asking you questions, never knowing whether or not you hear me... i have a growing need to know how you are... i need to be assured.
i did NOT watch your burial yesterday, i refused to. i can only assume it was televised, as some people have commented that your funeral was making them cry. i would rather just have what we shared in my heart, without being influenced by a camera's perspective; putting you away like the end of a chapter, frozen in time... but a song you once sang made me think of you in this time, this time the lyrics have changed a bit though:
"your physical is truly gone/but know your love survives, with this you live forever..."
will your soul finally get to rest now? will the form you took on in this plane finally be left alone? are you just shaking your head in confusion and wonderment, or just knowing fascination? my heart is heavy and i feel so confused right now. this is all i have to say today... i mean, there is so much more, but what i would say would just sound convoluted. i'm just waiting to hear from you...
hey, one more thing... if you ever see someone named richard (he was my colleague in radio) please tell him hello for me... he had a heart attack recently and then his brain collapsed too... his family took him off life support because he was not really responding, and struggling so much. so teacher, if you see him within the next days, weeks or month or so, please tell him i say hello, and thank you.