Tuesday, September 15, 2009

michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 44)

http://barthelonious.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/michael-jackson-james-brown-speech.jpg

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.

http://www.etonline.com/media/photo/2009/06/98607/400_mjackson_090625_dhogan_2746435.jpg

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.

in the end, what really matters?

...

thank you for listening, dear teacher.

your humble student,
jamilah

http://soulbounce.com/soul/assets_c/2009/06/michael_jackson_wings-thumb-473x314-5178.jpg

5 comments:

just a bunch of thoughts said...

another brilliant one, Jam...

im just speechless right now... i have so much i wanna tell u, but my head is just so 'jumbled' as u say, that i dont know what to say or where to begin...

***

Be strong... i keep praying for u & me ...

& us.

the one woman apollo! said...

thank you...

Anonymous said...

Hi, J. It's me, LG.

I've been reading your entries... I have tears in my eyes right now. Now that I'm working (and odd hours, at that), I don't have as much time to devote to online stuff these days. But I want you to know that you're NOT alone in this grieving process.

As "just a bunch of thoughts" said, I too can't articulate what I'm feeling, which is why it's so hard for me to write a cohesive message about all this. As the world will slowly turn their thoughts from MJ and retreat to their day-to-day as time passes, I feel that I'll still mourn MJ. I just can't seem to get over this. I don't know what to do.

In a way, I wish those rumors were true - that he were alive on some far-away island, sipping on a strawberry daiquiri. Wherever he is, I just wish I knew that he were okay.

I hope that you're okay.

LG

the one woman apollo! said...

thank you both for your words...

Anonymous said...

Jamilah,
This is a beautiful tribute. You are celebrating life here and I celebrate that. it is YOUR love that is important here. remember that is the gift that is yours YOUR own love for Michael or anyone is the gift that you will always have. I am learning a lot about myself these days. Things that are a hard sell, like we are Divine beings having a human experience. I believe that. I have to . I have seen too much in the last 3 1/2 months of sobriety. Miracles are a dime a dozen. If you believe it you will see it is my mantra. Michael is just fine, you know. You, on the other hand are ALLOWED to feel the sadness of his loss, you are ALLowed to feel flat, miserable, mad, glad,sad. You are human and that is what we do. Don't forget the joy part, either, the gratitude for just being, baby, the euphoria that may come on you at unexpected times. Expect it!!!! I don't know anything but I expect everything will come when it needs to. Love and thank you for yourself.
(I'm ALIVE)

thejoeshow1963@yahoo.com
(joe goodwin)

ps. i caught the last part of your show last night. I have some ideas about artists' coalition, the idea of sacrificing the lesser good (money, cars, mansions, things, money, money and more money, etc) for a much greater good, namely artistic integrity, identity, art itself, ideas which transcend and give meaning to ordinary existence, you know the drill. It's a tough sell, I know, but that's the drill. Sacrifice a lesser good for a greater good. C'est la vie Ms. Bourdon, no?