Jun 23 2012

Remembering Michael: Making space for innocence

Category: Angels,Children,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes,VideosSeven @ 2:20 pm

Michael

Remembering Michael on the three-year anniversary of his departure from this realm, I begin with a poem:

To The Tender
by Kristen Tracy

Midsummer, and along came a hapless jay —

blue and wobbling — flight feathers nothing more

than pins of white. It arrived at the nest’s edge

unready, which was only half the problem.

Crows perched in the oak across the street, alert,

aware of all the world’s worst secrets. Naturally

I rooted for the jay. Oh, but this was life.

After the blue jay fell from the Scotch pine’s terrible height,

it righted itself in the grass and, like a skin-kneed child

after her first bad spill on a bike, cried out for help.

I set down my rake and shepherded the bird

toward my spindle tree. Hopping from

low branches, it pressed toward the center, tucking itself

into my tree’s sturdy heart. For two days

the parents swooped down to feed it.

Thankfully the crows never came, though

I kept my eye on them. I knew their game.

Pirates. Gangsters. Extortionists. Thieves.

But even if the world is half bad, it remains

half good. While some of us sleep, our hearts

lie open,turned to the tender, dreaming up ways

to thwart the crows. Yes, a hapless jay stumbles

into our lives believing it can fly, and we — knowing

what we know — do what we can to make it so.

— From The Sun magazine’s April 2011 issue.

Something that has settled atop the heap of thoughts in my mind lately is the fact that after Michael’s acquittal in 2005, his fans gave him roses. I read somewhere that a couple of the fans stayed up all night removing the thorns from the roses for him. I thought: “this was similar to how the woman made space for the innocent little blue jay, removing the threats or at least somehow protecting the little jay from them so that he could continue making his way in life unharmed.

Michael’s fans, each in their own way, have always made space for his innocence — an innocence we all knew he possessed. It wasn’t just because of the utter lack of evidence against him that so many were certain of his innocence. Much of that certainty came from Michael’s personality itself, long before the extortionists ever targeted him. One read of his book ‘Dancing the Dream‘, written long before any of the worst nastiness began, reveals a unique combination of innocence and wisdom that only Michael possessed. That’s the innocence so many millions made space for – in his life, in their lives, and in their hearts. He found, and his fans found in him, a ‘Ally in Innocence‘ so-to-speak.

But this innocence isn’t a naive one. It’s not a gullible one. It’s a wise one. It’s the one that knows a table littered with animosity, grudges, mistrust, suspicion, bitterness, and conscienceless greed cannot be a platform for a sumptuous meal, or the creation of beautiful poetry or breathtaking music or an astounding dance performance — things that connect the physical world with the divinity in all life.

We must free ourselves to be filled by God. Even god cannot fill what is full.

-Mother Teresa

It’s that innocence that sees the whole world with wonder and that knows there is real magic in dreams and that even though the most beautiful choirs and passionate churches sing of it, true Divinity is only found in the silence of the stars nestled in the velvet black and purple sky and the quiet of a flower blooming – those things we hardly notice amidst the jarring jangle of our everyday lives. Some colors exist in dreams that do not exist in the waking world. I have seen these colors in my own dreams and I know they are there.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence.

-Mother Teresa

Michael’s daughter Paris tweeted something about girls in her class wearing revealing clothes. I tweeted back that if they were trying to attract guys, this is not how a girl gets respect. She ‘favorited‘ that tweet. The girl is her father’s daughter. She knows. Someone else interjected that some young girls wear revealing clothing to somehow persuade the male teacher to give them better grades. But such a lack of self-respect and ill-gotten rewards for unearned accomplishment are costly and short-lived. One cannot build a sturdy future upon them. I’m sure those girls in the revealing clothing might think girls that don’t dress that way are somehow not ‘cool‘, or are inferior. But who wants to be ‘sexy‘ if it means you get less or no respect as a person and that your accomplishments in life really aren’t accomplishments at all, but rather reward gained through manipulation or self-devaluation? This innocence, which to someone in the process of making unwise but temporarily convenient choices in life might seem useless, is the one Michael lived and taught his children.

I believe Michael knew this:

Lack of understanding of the true nature of happiness, it seems to me, is the principal reason why people inflict sufferings on others. They think either that the other’s pain may somehow be a cause of happiness for themselves or that their own happiness is more important, regardless of what pain it may cause. But this is shortsighted. No one truly benefits from causing harm to another sentient being. . . . In the long run causing others misery and infringing their rights to peace and happiness result in anxiety, fear, and suspicion within oneself.

-The Dalai Lama

And, I believe that many of today’s problems in the world are the result of this lack of understanding. Most people in the business or political world might see an unwillingness to do others harm in order to profit or succeed as naive or pollyanna-ish. But it’s not. Such reluctance to harm others (or one’s self) in order to succeed or profit may appear as childish innocence or naïveté to others, but it is actually a deeper wisdom than most people understand – or care about – because they are too driven to profit at any cost, particularly to others. We saw the ugliness of that in Michael’s own life and we see it every day all around ourselves.

Michael understood that a certain innocence is necessary for creativity, as well. It makes sense that as children grow up, they become less creative. And most adults discourage it as we get older – telling their children to be a lawyer or accountant, or computer programmer rather than pursuing any type of artistic or creative endeavor, thus instilling in them a disbelief in their own artistic ability and a distrust in their own ability to become a success by being creative. Yet the refusal to be creative – in whatever way a person has an aptitude for -could be counter to what God(dess) intended. If, as Michael and many others including myself believe – God communicates spiritually with the physical world via art and creativity –  and we refuse this, we are refusing to be a conduit for him/her to speak to the physical world through us. Many people believe too, that this can be the source of addiction ie: that the person has an emptiness within themselves, in their soul or psyche, that they are trying to fulfill or numb the pain of. I call it ‘The God Hole‘ and so does at least one other person who has written about this. Michael certainly understood the value of a childlike mind as a necessity for creativity – one that does not perceive any limit to what is possible.

Some people and entities seeking to advance themselves monetarily and otherwise portrayed Michael’s penchant for innocence as “strange“, and “bizarre” and portrayed him as a “pedophile” because he preferred the company of children than scheming, backstabbing adults who always wanted something from him for themselves – seeking to profit by hurting him or others. It seems to be a requirement that anytime a media outlet mentions him, the word “bizarre” must be inserted in the piece somewhere, just to keep the meme going. And, it seems that anytime a pedophilia case makes the news, such as the recent Sandusky case, comparisons must be made to Michael who was the polar opposite of a child molester – and who was acquitted because even after decades of efforts to frame him, was found innocent due to sheer lack of evidence.

Who is really “bizarre“? Someone who refused to hurt other people in order to succeed in this world – and in fact worked at his craft all his life primarily so that he could help others — or those who daily make a living by hurting others, including Michael, in order to profit and build careers via manipulation and dishonesty? I’d say the latter are the ones who are not only bizarre, but deeply immoral.

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.

-Angela Monet

He tried to keep empty so that he could give us beauty. What do I mean by that? Though it was impossible with all persecution he endured, it was clear to me that Michael would rather write positive, inspirational and hopeful songs than hurting ones — though his hurting angry ones were always what I call ‘teaching‘ songs, such as ‘Why You Wanna Trip On Me‘, which decried all the ignorant greedy obsession the media pundits and government had with Michael’s appearance and with the ridiculous allegations against him, rather than with solving the real problems in the world, such child neglect, war, poverty and lack of education. And it’s a very good question that no one has yet answered. But he did try to keep his psyche clear so that beauty could enter and he could share it in a creative sense without his mind or heart being cluttered with embitterment or anger. And this too, is a certain type of innocence.

What one wishes is to be touched by truth and to be able to interpret that truth so that one may use what one is feeling and experiencing, be it despair or joy, in a way that will add meaning to one’s life and will hopefully touch others as well. This is art in its highest form. Those moments of enlightenment are what I continue to live for.

–Michael Jackson

The most beautiful paintings and sculptures, the greatest poetry, have not always been born from torment or bitterness. Often they have sprung from contemplation, from joy, from an instinct or wonder toward all things. To create from joy, to create from wonder, demands a continual discipline, a great compassion . . . With time and sincerity, you will discover a way to work and write that does not harm you spiritually, that does not tempt you to vanity, that is the deepest expression of your spirituality. You will find a voice that is not your voice only but the voice of Reality itself. . . If you can be empty enough, that voice can speak through you. If you can be humble enough, that voice can inhabit you and use you.

-Thuksey Rinpoche

I think that in this way, Michael did embody the voice of Divinity, Beauty, Reality, Truth. So today I remember Michael this way: in the wise innocence that permeated every aspect of his life and with which he obviously raised his children and worked at his craft; an innocence which those who understood him tried to make space for in his life and in their own – by removing the thorns from the roses so they could be held without harm – the same way those who love Michael will always hold him within their hearts.

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

-Clarence Budington Kelland

©2012 Seven Bowie

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Jan 20 2012

A Legend and an Angel: “I will see you again and we’ll dance on the sky.”

Category: Angels,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 11:58 am

"A Legend and an Angel"

I ran across this really touching tribute to Michael from Gendance (Generation Dance). They have a memorial page dedicated to the memory of Michael Jackson where dancers shared their feelings about their mentor. Here is a smattering of the feelings they shared. The last one is particularly beautiful. Visit Gendance’s MJ Memorial Page for more.

Let me start by saying that without the inspiration you have given me in my life I would never have become the human being and artist I am today. I remember dancing in my room to “Beat It” with the door closed while wearing my sequined glove. This memory will stay with me for as long as I live. It was your energy, artistry, compassion and commitment that drove me to go after my dreams. You were boundless and proved that anyone from any walk could achieve their what they desire through self belief and dedication. My fondest childhood memory was working with you in 1991 on the MTV 10th anniversary special. You were so kind and personable with me. I will cherish that experience forever!

Thank you so much Michael for being my idol and blessing the world with more than anyone could imagine. You are a legend and an angel. I know you will continue to watch over us all and inspire from above.
~Brian Friedman

Michael Jackson is more than just an extraordinary, fantastic dancer. He is Music, he is Voice, he is Movement, he is Soul. Gifted beyond words and a timeless gift to humanity.
~Dorit Koppel, Broadway Dance Center

I believe MJ was chosen by God to change a generation, bring them into their calling and break racial barriers and color lines. His work has opened doors for so many to achieve their hearts desires!!! Thank you Michael for being my greatest artistic inspiration!
~Keeley “LockN’ Key” Kaukimoce

Even in the distance, your legacy and compassion is a gift to the world. Your music inspired me to give, feel and dream. No time will be long enough to forget you, no gossip will be evil enough to break you. I will see you again and we’ll dance on the sky. May your inspiration help us change the world into a world with true peace, love and tolerance. We are part of you, you are part of us, you will forever be my music hero.
~Edwin Fion

To these remembrances, Michael might respond as follows:

~~~

You and I were never separate
It’s just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
Perception

There is only one Wholeness
Only one Mind
We are like ripples
In the vast Ocean of Consciousness

Come, let us dance
The Dance of Creation
Let us celebrate
The Joy of Life

The birds, the bees
The infinite galaxies
Rivers, Mountains
Clouds and Valleys
Are all a pulsating pattern
Living, breathing
Alive with cosmic energy

Full of Life, of Joy
This Universe of Mine
Don’t be afraid
To know who you are
You are much more
Than you ever imagined

You are the Sun
You are the Moon
You are the wildflower in bloom
You are the Life-throb
That pulsates, dances
From a speck of dust
To the most distant star

And you and I
Were never separate
It’s just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
Perception

Let us celebrate
The Joy of Life
Let us dance
The Dance of Creation

Curving back within ourselves
We create
Again and again
Endless cycles come and go
We rejoice
In the infinitude of Time

There never was a time
When I was not
Or you were not
There never will be a time
When we will cease to be

Infinite — Unbounded
In the Ocean of Consciousness
We are like ripples
In the Sea of Bliss

You and I were never separate
It’s just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
Perception
Heaven is Here

Right now is the moment
of Eternity
Don’t fool yourself
Reclaim your Bliss

Once you were lost
But now you’re home
In a nonlocal Universe
There is nowhere to go From Here to Here
Is the Unbounded
Ocean of Consciousness
We are like ripples
In the Sea of Bliss

Come, let us dance
The Dance of Creation
Let us celebrate
The Joy of Life

And You and I were never separate
It’s just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
Perception

Heaven is Here
Right now, this moment of Eternity
Don’t fool yourself
Reclaim your Bliss

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Jan 02 2012

Remember Me

Category: Angels,Humanitarian,VideosSeven @ 11:50 pm

The second hint...

The second hint...

I was seemingly led to create this video on New Year’s Day 2012.

I’ve had a couple of Loreena McKennitt’s CDs for years and was curiously led to revisit a song of hers called ‘Dante’s Prayer‘. I was reminded of her music because someone posted a song of hers on Facebook. So I began to listen to different song on YouTube while I was there. This other song oddly reminded me of Michael. It was a haunting remembrance. It spoke to me of Redemption. While listening, I could see images of Michael going through my mind, as I have many photos of him. I couldn’t discern or remember the title of the song. The video was part of a live performance so the title of this one wasn’t listed or I didn’t hear it. But I could hear the lyrics. Especially the phrase ‘Please remember me‘.

Thus, I went searching. Since the words ‘Please remember me‘ were haunting me in combination with the images of Michael flowing though the music, I figured that could be the title – I just couldn’t remember. I ended up on one of those lyric sites which listed all of her albums and songs. From the list, I chose one, hoping it might be the one and saving me from a trip to my rather disorganized and dusty CD stack in the other room (yes I’m that lazy and was at the computer so decided to just search online). Oddly, the first song I chose was the one: ‘Dante’s Prayer’ from her CD ‘The Book of Secrets. There it was – with those haunting lyrics. Well, that was easy! And really odd, as if I were meant to find this song – on this day.

Relenting, I went and dug out my CD of her music and listened to the song again. I was quite distracted by it.

Then, later that day, an image appeared on my computer screen – a pillow with a rose on it and a note that says ‘Please Remember Me‘. There it was. That same phrase – again. Now, I knew this was no coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidences. So I decided to try to actually create that video which was swirling around in my head.

I felt was led to this and that perhaps the entire idea for me to create this video might be from God, maybe from Michael, the Universe, or who or whatever one might want to believe. It was given to me complete in my head. It haunted me. All I had to do was bring it to life, to give it birth. I had trouble initially with my video creation software. I became very upset. I said: “well if you want me to create this thing, you need to give me tools I can do it with!“. The next day, I fumbled around online but then found right there on my system some video creation software that had been there all along. It came with the system. I had just never used it. Viola! It was much better and I was able to create the video.

There are no coincidences. Particularly when someone is led to something like this on a day like New Year’s Day. I hope the video isn’t taken down. It’s beautiful, meaningful, and certainly seems to be somehow divinely inspired. I do not profit from it – except spiritually. I hope you do too.

The message seems to be ‘Please remember me‘, of course. And, to remember all Michael Jackson taught those who knew him – through his own actions, through his own life and his ways of living and loving. While there is Redemption, we cannot live mindlessly, counting on that alone to save us. It will not, and such reliance is spiritually and ethically lazy. We must be careful what we bring to and what we leave in this world. If what we are doing doesn’t help anyone besides ourselves; if it is hurting others or our planet and the other inhabitants and living things here, then we are doing some things very wrong. We know what they are. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

About Dante Alighieri:

He created a work called ‘Divine Comedy‘. It was a poem about the Redemption of Man. There are three parts: Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.

Dante called the poem a “Comedy” (the adjective “Divine” was added later in the 14th century) because poems in the ancient world were classified as High (“Tragedy”) or Low (“Comedy”). Low poems had happy endings and were written in everyday language, whereas High poems treated more serious matters and were written in an elevated style. Dante was one of the first in the Middle Ages to write of a serious subject, the Redemption of Man, in the low and “vulgar” Italian language and not the Latin one might expect for such a serious topic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Comedy

Dante’s Prayer

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We’ll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Please remember me

©Loreena McKennitt

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Dec 31 2011

‘He has such angelic eyes – I could swear that I’m looking into the eyes of an angel’

Category: Angels,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 12:20 am

SOURCE: http://www.bluesandsoul.com/feature/555/michael_jackson_one_year_on_remembered

Michael

Michael

I was overwhelmed by the death of Michael Jackson. I couldn’t stop crying. My eyes still swell with tears at the thought of him being deceased. Having met Michael at a very young age (I believe he was about nine when I first met him in Chicago), I felt connected even though it had been years since I last saw him up close and personal. I remember looking into his innocent eyes and I said to his mother as I held his hands . . . ‘he has such angelic eyes – I could swear that I’m looking into the eyes of an angel’. Katherine just smiled as Michael went and laid in his mother’s lap saying that he was tired. He was very quiet and simply adorable, and more or less a mama’s boy, as he clung to his mom backstage, which was understandable by him being so young. I would see Michael and his brothers periodically at Motown’s Hitsville USA studio A in Detroit; out on the road when they were opening for the Temptations; then again in California when the Jacksons relocated. I remember Richard Street, my husband at the time, and I flying with our son, Ricky (who was maybe two at the time), from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to see the Jacksons’ show at the (then) MGM Grand Hotel. I recall walking into the green room (backstage) with Mrs Katherine Jackson and I complimented her on her family every step of the way into the hotel. I told her that I came from a large family and was very familiar with living with lots of people! She smiled, and we chatted as we walked inside. When we got inside, Michael was standing behind a bar-like area drinking a Coca Cola. I walkd up to him and asked him if he remembered me. Then I reminded him that I was Richard’s wife – ‘Richard in the Temptations’. He hugged me and said ‘it’s nice to see you again.’ I knew he didn’t necessarily remember me, but he was so polite and humble, and said that to appease me, I’m sure, as it had been at least five years since I had seen him up close and personal. The Temptations played competitive basketball with the Jackson brothers at their home in Encino, California. So, I got a chance to visit with Michael and talk to him on a few more occasions when he was a teenager. I tell you, to know Michael was to love him. When I was around him, I felt as though I was in the presence of greatness! He emitted a special aura, and he was very aware that all eyes were upon him in certain settings. He bowed (like the Asian culture) when he held your hand to say “hi, it’s good to see you’, or ‘it’s good to meet you.’ The world lost one precious soul when Michael Jackson died, but I can’t help but think that our loss was God’s gain. I cried myself to sleep the first night of his passing, and I talked to God through heavy tears saying . . . You told him (MJ), ‘well done my son, you’ve done what I put you on earth to do, now it’s time for you to rest and come home to live with Me. You’ve worked hard most of your life since you were five years old, and now it’s your turn to come home and rest.’ I couldn’t believe Michael was dead, even though in my mind I was aware that it was a reality, and had actually happened. I cried for him, his children, his mom and his entire family. I had to leave a meeting that I was attending when I received a text message from my son, Ricky, saying .. . “mom, Michael Jackson has passed away –yes he did, Mom. I’m sorry.” Ricky knew how much I loved him and he understood my overwhelming sadness. Then, I had to take a day off work on the day of his funeral. I just sat on my couch watching the home going services on tv, in my family room at home with a box of Kleenex and a glass of wine. It pleases me very much to see how much love Michael had for others and the great love that people/fans in America and around the world have for him. All I can say is – long live the King of Pop. Michael Jackson’s music will go on forever, into infinity.

The Velvelettes’ Cal Street

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Nov 21 2011

“Touched by an Angel”

Category: Angels,PoetrySeven @ 12:18 pm

Touched by an Angel - poem © Maya Angelou

Touched by an Angel - poem © Maya Angelou

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