it's been almost 10 years... i listened to that speech (or as you said, "lecture") again, with tears in my eyes. the profundity, the gentleness, the sincerity; these are all things i saw previously, in watching your lesson at oxford. and of course with every listen (or read) i get a different perspective.
in listening to it just now, i grapple with you not being here, as your message was so timeless... which really means you haven't left at all. i go back to the comment about your age though. you were 42... you were just here... that you gave one of your greatest lessons to the world at the age of 42 is testament to your quest to move inward, in order to gain a better grasp of the world surrounding you. to admit, overall, the process of self-discovery is one of the greatest things a teacher could do. as so many have considered you the sweetest person on earth; for you to admit the struggles you've had in forgiveness (in terms of your father) lends to that drive to connect us all. the acknowledgment that there are even issues you need to deal with before you can truly forgive anyone else is again, what connects us as 'children of the earth'.
what moved me so this time was listening to you cry, when ruminating upon the relationship with your father... this always moves me; this time i began to think of the relationship with my own mother. as you know we have also had a pained history... when i spoke with her for the book it ended up being the greatest conversation i ever had with her, and it was the impetus for a long journey of healing with her. when you spoke of forgiveness in relation to your father i simply related this to my own desire to forgive my mother, and know that she has struggled as well.
that moment with my mother was the summit- it was the key which opened the lock on our emotional housings... we both closed off because we have both been hurt. you were the gate which was the bridge between us in which to open. it was you who bonded us.
and listening to the lesson/lecture for another time was the apex to a long day... where i met a girl named harmony . she was taking photographs of a recently-run over squirrel... it looked as if he was hit, then decided to drag himself over to the side of the road to live out his last seconds. he was definitely in a better place. it looked as if his eyes were missing... as if they sunk into his body. it was a sad moment. harmony also took a picture of the little michael doll on his little bicycle. we then began to speak about captain EO and such. she appeared ready to embrace your teachings. i have been having a lot more of these moments of spontaneity as of late...
there isn't a lot of video footage of you at oxford that i have seen... there is some. it's interesting, because despite the message of hope in the lesson, your body language and face read the contrary. you looked absolutely drained and distraught in the images i have seen. i could imagine the great concern you had, hoping that others will hear your message as opposed to vying for a piece of the character they knew of as 'michaeljackson'(tm). also, to present this aspect of yourself in this way is to be truly vulnerable. would people recognize this if they are simply screaming out to you?
the thing to do here is meditate... meditate in order to not physically confront the numerous energies to pass your day. meditate to bring yourself back to the centre.
michael, this is our 77th conversation... and just as in the 7th month of your transition, there have been revelatory moments. according to st. augustine, the number 77 represents the "last limit of sin" (or 'the perfection of sin'); will all the events which occurred recently now open up to an energy of love?
looking into some interpretations of this number, i found some not-so-positive things: how u.s. highway 77 is the site close to where many unfortunate events occured (such as the oklahoma city bombing (and incidents leading up to, and after the bombing). however, i also see the number 7 described as having spiritual connotations. in this case, the number 77 represents "spiritual awareness; ...spiritual conduit and an agent of change" (according to allexperts.com); and according to numberquest.com, this number represents the "wise counsel, body as temple, mystical powers in action, purity in mind, body and spirit, master mystic, loving detachment, holy emptiness, turning away from the masses and towards spirit, presence, conscious union with God, mystical marriage, electricity of awakening, universal intelligence."
there's always these symbolic moments which prompt stark realizations. where is it that i want to be? this may sound funny, but i see you. i stare at your images, not as an aspect of fantasy; what i observe are ripples of energy. photographs are simply captured in seconds; they can never be based in an absolute reality, as there are many realities for many people. photographs are brief replicas of a specific event; which can be modified, according to aperture, film stock or studio work. our interpretation is only as far as our vision. one thing which cannot be transformed is energy.
the second a camera recognized your face, there was a focus on the face. it's always said that photographs steal the soul, but i believe the contrary. simply because the focus is usually not on the soul.
just as the focus of the industry you were involved in was not focused on the soul. a person whose soul transcends an environment conducive to destruction is bound to forever remain, whether or not the industry remains. i stare and stare at your images; i stare into your beautiful, forlorn eyes, and with just that i feel thankful to have you in my life. what attracts me to those photographs is your energy.
needless to say, i became acquainted with you (in an incarnation relative to now) in a year ending with the number 7. a coincidence, possibly. still, everything happens for a reason.
and when i read what i did, it re-confirmed my belief that the soul cannot be stolen, if it's already permeated our psyches.
"how you gonna release michael jackson when michael jackson ain't here to bless it? ... that's bad."
these are the words of a certain will.i.am, in response to the 'posthumous' releases of your teachings. the fact that he said this gives me a respect for him i did not necessarily have. the respect lies in the fact that he is set to gain, financially, a substantial amount if the songs he worked on with you were to be released; and he is consciously rejecting this notion out of respect for you. it's also a relief to know that i am not alone in my vocal opposition to the capitalization of your teachings. he considered those who plan to release your works posthumously to be a set of "parasites". "now that he is not part of the process, what are they doing? why would you put a record out like that? ...so what? how much can you suck from [michael's] energy? ... what's wrong with what he already contributed to the world? he wouldn't have wanted it that way."
this is what i mean... your soul resonates with those who choose to see it. those who capitalize on your teachings, i don't believe ever recognized its crucial presence.
i see you. i recognize you. i feel a quake in my spine, straight into my belly. this, a simple photograph cannot do. this, a simple song cannot do, unless those notes are recognized as a series of vibrations... when music becomes life. when music converges with image; born from a series of atoms. those atoms split in order to reveal those universal narratives.
with this, i suppose there is such a thing as sucking one's soul, just as there is such a thing as depleting the earth's energy. however, no matter how much you make attempts to eliminate and camouflage/suppress truth (and THE truth of love), it's always lurking...
and you can't suppress what you already contributed to the world.
my muscles still ache somehow... it seems to be worse than yesterday. i can only imagine how you felt, performing night after night on stage with arthritic joints. your arches must have been ravished. all i know is that my shoulder and neck are killing me. a little arnica should assist in the healing.
i do wonder if, the older i get the more emotional pain could be intermingled with the physical... or is it just a sign of getting older? i'm at that age where i could still be considered 'a baby', and yet the social expectations for me to have 'a spouse, a house, children and a career' hover, ever so near. i am at a crossroads, and my shoulder is informing me of this fact. i must make the decision to heal what aches.
the same goes for my heart, and my spirit.
i realized, right after i spoke with you yesterday, where i needed to be. i suppose i was alluding to this yesterday, but it became so clear to me: i want really bad to be a parent. i also intend for this little one to be raised by someone other than myself- a companion. a person i can share my life and experiences with. however... i am not looking for a 'mate'. this situation is not as contradictory, or as complicated as i think it is.
a companion is something i have searched for my whole life. the desire to entertain the trappings of a romantic relationship was never as large a priority. it was easy for me to make the two interchangeable though, because i figured that was the way to be the closest to someone, and consistently remain close to them over the years; so many people i considered friends- people who were at least a decade my senior- were getting married and having children. even at such a young age, i felt left out. at this age, due to my minimal experience, i came to the conclusion that falling in love guaranteed instant rejection. in a funny way i took comfort in that, knowing i wouldn't have to deal with the 'trappings of romance'. still, the hurt in rejection was extreme, where it occasionally isolated me from the world outside. i pursued and pursued until i made the decision to remain silent on my feelings for someone, to the point where there are no feelings at all. it may have not been the most pro-active thing to do, but at least i avoided rejection...
...all this to get to the place i am now. perhaps i have willed myself into avoiding rejection so much that i hold no stock in 'romantic' relationships at this point. i'm perfectly okay with being the 'kid sister' to my friends and acquaintances, as they still marry and raise children of their own. HOWEVER i realize, this approach i am taking does not warrant an action from me, to deal with my own growing desire to be a mother. people raising children together outside of romantic relationships is far from a novel idea (that is certainly something you did in your own life); my lack of experience in this is prompting difficulty in my knowing how to approach that.
even though the life i live is contrary to how i (and many others) was conditioned to respond to social situations; i do wonder if there is something to be said for the social relations between the genders... i keep hearing "this is how men do things, and this is how women do things". acknowledging that the concept of gender is in and of itself socialized (and that some people don't even consider themselves to take part in these constructions); i wonder if, the older i get, these constructions have taken root, even for the people in my life who for the most part reject most major (mainstream) social structures.
and then... i refer back to you. it's like, "it worked for michael! he wasn't affected by these constructions! he rejected so many of them!" and then i jump back to reality and realize that in many ways, you have not. and neither have i.
your experiences, just like mine, have definitely prompted you to question a lot of these constructions. how you view relationships; how children were a crucial aspect of your life's philosophy... your work ethic. but then, you desired to be with someone. you longed for the feeling of companionship. to be touched, to be loved. this is something which is inescapable it seems. all living species need companionship; and to another extent, all living species share the need to reproduce and see that their accomplishments have left a better impact than they.
these are things i have fought for the longest time, and now it's all catching up with me. as diana ross (as dorothy) lamented in 'the wiz': "is this what feeling gets?"
it's an arduous thing sometimes, to have feelings. you concealed yours quite well sometimes, behind glasses, layers of jackets or emblems, or on a stage. but sometimes, when you allowed yourself to be unadorned- when those glasses came off in 1984 ("for the girls in the balcony"), when you looked into children's eyes at orphanages; and yes, all those times you stood next to diana ross- you revealed so much more than you perhaps wanted to- or will ever know.
yes, to have feelings means that exposure (or nakedness) is inevitable. and that includes a possibility of rejection. "looking around in the lost and found of the heart". thus, the catch 22. where do people like us fit in?
sometimes you scream. sometimes you cry. sometimes you hit things. sometimes you withdraw. and ALL the time you just chalk it up to being a part of life. people will never understand you. oh well. such is life.
but is this really to be? everything has the potential for change, right?
i ran into a good friend of mine, as i was coming home from work. we walked together a bit, as she was also on a destination. we both revealed what was going on with the both of us. what ended up happening; she will never know how grateful i am to her. in speaking with her about her own struggles i saw the potential for my own ability to see light.
i see so much light in her (and in others), but don't always see it in myself. "you have so much love to give, you have so much love within you" she said. it was when she said that, it really hit me. i realized that part of this lay in my not wanting to give love to just one person. i want companionship, but i do not want to be tied to one person, in terms of how we are conditioned to view companionship. i want to give the love i have to share to the children, to the cats, to people who are hungry. to others who are struggling emotionally.
i love my friend so much. she has been there for me in my darkest hours, when i lost the desire to just get out of bed (and live). we had some struggles in recent times; and when i saw her i wanted her to know that everything was alright. i was there for her (as i always had been). i wanted her to see her own beauty, her own light. we embraced in the street for the longest time.
that is all i want: is to know that others see their potential to see light. this is mainly what companionship is to me. she said that she saw the light in me. she told me that it was you who really assisted me in getting there. THIS IS WHAT SHE SAID. so many of the doubts i had about myself in relation to my dedication to you just slid away. i didn't feel like such a crazy person.
still... i don't always see this light in myself. i struggle with what i could do, how i look, how i relate to others...
"before you judge me, try hard to love me." really, i must say this to myself. i have so much love to give to others, but i don't find enough time to give it to myself. the truth is, i don't know how to get there. i don't know how. and that hurts.
when i got home, the pains subsided... i couldn't tell if it was the food i ate, or gas, or something else. as i got ready to get into bed to rest off the pain, i felt most of it subside. it was here i attributed everything to nerves.
i know this may appear monotonous, but at this moment i realized how much my connection with you does affect my relationships. this is not saying that you prevent me from forming relationships with others; from that moment we formally met (back in february) though, i became extremely sensitive to the energy around me. i am working through a lot again, in terms of finding comfort within myself to deal with others. i go through periods where i want to withdraw from the world around me... lately, i have a need to connect with others.
i always wonder if those i connect with will grasp my dedication to you. or if my dedication to you is a hindrance. because of the person you are and the absence of your physical state it may be interpreted that my sense of 'reality' has diminished. of course, your teachings are eternal; but since we are conditioned to focus on the physical form the concept of me having a relationship with you could be deemed 'nonsensical'.
at times, this leads to the core of my recent sadness. i have moments where i find great difficulty in dealing with 'the outside world'. but my relationship with you consists of different dynamics. because we are now dealing with vibrations. this is something i don't always know how to vocalize; therefore i feel isolated even from those who say they love you. much of our relationship requires little to no words. it is these moments where i just feel you, and i know you're there, observing this plane in which you were violently taken away from.
i still do feel bouts of great sorrow when i see you; not necessarily because your brilliant spirit, which perpetuated sowing the seeds of positive global transformation was expunged from our immediate physical consciousness- this is nothing new; this consistently happens to our brightest spirits. it's not even necessarily because we've never met when you were physically here.
it's because when i speak these words to you, i do not know what words you speak in response. i cannot hear your screams, your tears, your laughter. all which physically manifests itself is the past. i do my best to look towards the future, but all i do is stare at your many images, to get a sense of the possibility of what i imagine to be a corresponding set of declarations.
all i can do is tell you every day that i love you, and hope you don't find my own declaration to be insincere. all i can do to do my best to present to the world what you have taught me.
as i write this i spend a significant amount of time observing your looks over the years... despite the changes your facial structure has not altered much. whether or not you choose to admit it, your genes are distinct. even though, like many of us in this country you come from mixed heritage; your beautiful african features have remained... these features define more than physicality. you can hear it in your cadence, you can detect this in your actions. you represent the universal nature of us.
most of all, you are able to witness all this in your eyes, bearing lifetimes of our struggles and joys. through those eyes you have connected generations. this is one of the reasons i know i mustn't focus on you not being here, to the point where i am unable to live... you have been a lifetime of grandparents, friends, lovers- teachers.
i feel the same way about your hands... i love to look at them. i find them to be more interesting than my own (i suppose i can say that a lot about myself, as i find a lot of things about you more interesting than myself). to see them is to see a narrative in not just how you lived in this life; but it's also a narrative, again, of other lives. i see a man, hardened by life on the road (be it the railroad, construction or even the stage), rarely having a chance to sit down to a hearty meal. i see the hangnails and the brittleness, and it makes me think of my stepfather's father. he was so kind to me, amongst everyone else's cruelty. he was the one who, whenever i burnt the toast (and i did it a lot) told me that burnt toast was good for you. he was the one who let me watch him build things in the house, as he patiently answered my questions.
those large, brittle hands of yours are comforting to me. the age spots and the puffiness are comforting to me. i recognize that how your hands looked may have been a symbol of poor health. but i also enjoyed the contradiction in them- just like your shoes. there were times you dressed regally, when the shoes you wore were worn down. this is important to note, as you always wanted people to watch your feet as you danced. your hands were a symbol, that you were just as vulnerable as the rest of us; if anyone were to truly believe you were immortal, they'd be forced to confront the inevitable cycle (which escapes no one) by looking at those great palms.
i find comfort in the magnitude and the coarseness of your hands. these are hands which built a landscape of possibilities. when i hear your hands being used rhythmically in a piece of music i know that you are in tune with the spirits. with your elders, your ancestors.
i knew upon reading your autopsy, they would never do justice to those hands. i cannot say if anyone ever did.
and of course, i woke up today, with my right side in pain. i rested with stomach pains and greeted the next day with muscular pain. after running a few errands around the house i took a long nap, awaking to do even more errands. in the course of this i wondered what you thought i meant to you, and what i actually meant to you. and what you mean to me. can this sort of relationship we have last, in an environment like this? what do others actually think when they read these conversations here? do any of these questions actually matter?
still, i begin to feel like i am crazy sometimes, because i wonder how much of my current relationships with others happen to be guided by you. i wonder how much others tolerate my dedication to you. will there ever be someone in my life who fully accepts this?
having experienced panic attacks over several times in my life (they began in adulthood, as far as i know), i sense a lot of the current physical pain i am feeling to bear some sort of relation to anxiety. the funny thing is, with my emotions surrounding the desire for children as well, i think about the phenomena of pseudocyesis, which is, 'false pregnancy'. i don't think THAT is happening to me, but i feel myself changing in ways which make me think about it.
i'm feeling anxious about going out in the world and relating to people in this way. is it 'time' for me to find a 'mate' to raise children with? is that necessary? how is this even possible, when it's hard for me to even get close to people enough for that? the thought frightens me.
the idea of making myself totally available to someone is absolutely frightening. as i mentioned to you before, when this happens it usually ends up in rejection. i refuse to let that happen again. there is a certain point where i close myself off to people. i don't know who is going to make themselves totally available to me either.
am i really at a point in life where i have to make a decision? i'm still so young, but at the same time life is passing me by. as i said the other day, i am the same age you were when you began to openly discuss this moment in your life as well; namely, in the leaked telephone conversation you had with someone named glenda. unfortunately, the tapes were leaked. yes, i did hear them. but when i did hear them i felt i was not alone.
"I want to be with someone... I want to know what a relationship is all about before I die... I never had... I know, I have never had a real relationship, my brothers have been married... My brothers have had girlfriends I really haven't had that... I just ... wanna know what its like... to have a real relationship with someone who doesn't want me for me.... that I don't, I don't have to look over my shoulder all the time... that doesn't question me.. I mean... I don't... and, and.. like La Toya said in her book.. she said, either I am going to have to find somebody who doesn't know who the heck I am... or deal with somebody who's career is equally as important, or equally like mine..."
granted, i suppose i actually HAVE been in a 'real' relationship, with someone who actually DID want to marry me... and i admit that i did initiate that relationship because i was frightened that i would never know what it felt like to be in one (prior to this relationship the same things said about you were said about me- that i was gay, asexual, etc.; and frankly, even AFTER that relationship the same things are said). in the course of that relationship it became abusive- the cycle i saw with the rest of my family continued, so i decided to cease the experience. and so now, the fear i had in getting close to people prior to this specific relationship has returned, triple-fold. as i mentioned to you, i don't want to experience love as a form of domination.
and like you, i want to know what it feels like to feel 'real love'. we are encouraged in this society to find it in the arms of someone we don't know. this is where i choose not to be. as i said, in terms of people and relationships, i have very little knowledge. even if i HAVE been in a 'real' relationship at some point in my life, it's still a world i am not used to. because really, it didn't seem real to me.
but i feel trapped, because my desire to have children is killing me... and i do not want to raise a child alone. and yet i hold no true desire to find a 'mate'. it's like, if it happens it does. but really, even though it would be nice to know what 'real love' feels like, i realized that the fine line falls between you and that person who can fully accept my dedication to you. and i'm not sure if another person could accept that. i mean, it's not just you; it's a lot of things which color my reasoning which have absolutely nothing to do with you- some of this has to do with how i feel about myself, and my experiences. still, my dedication to you does drive a lot of this. "if you love me, you have to accept that michael will be there too."
i've accepted years ago (after this particular 'real' relationship) that i may never experience another. with that, i have chosen to focus my energies elsewhere (and i met a wonderful cat in the process). and i WAS doing that... of course, in the midst of all this i happened to meet YOU, in the incarnation i did. and my life took on a vastly different journey. the contrast in many ways was startling.
and with you, this is the journey i choose to continue to take. it's been a long road, and there's a whole lot of work which needs to be done (and a lot of loads which need to be lightened); but i am doing the best i can with what i have. i thank you for travelling with me and holding my hand (with your own beautiful, large, brittle, hangnailed ones).