Jul 05 2011

He only wanted to be let in

Category: Justice,Photos,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 12:27 pm

by Tori Tomkins

He only wanted to be let in . . .

He only wanted to be let in . . .

When he first shook hands with Oprah and opened his heart for the first time to a closed world, Michael Jackson only wanted to be let in-when he showed her, lovingly around his ranch, the amusements, the movie theatre, the beds for sick children, he only wanted to be let in.

When he clutched hold of a small teddy given to him by a member of staff, a gift bought in the spirit of fun and frivolity was transposed into a blessing. He held on tight to that small gesture of compassion and love. He only wanted to be let in.

When he clapped encouragingly, radiating humility and grace as he taught Martin Bashir to moonwalk, he only wanted to be let in. When he shook Bashir’s hand in gentle and loving trust at the end of the interview, filled with hope at his closing words, “I see the truth, I understand, I won’t deceive you,” and innocently unaware of the heartbreak, the pain, the betrayal that would ensue, he only wanted to be let in.

When he was driven into giving a final set of shows by those more concerned with protecting their own profits than protecting the rights, health and happiness of a fellow being, he still smiled with compassion and humility-there was no hatred for the decades of gross treatment, of mockery and judgement that had come before. A lesser person would have collapsed inward in bitterness and anger, relinquishing support for a world so cruel, but Michael’s humanity never faded-he just wanted to be let in.

Alas, tragically, one so gentle, so loving, so kind, so compassionate was never allowed entry to the human race. Preserved as we are in our own world of avarice, hatred and bigotry, so many kept him locked out-their defense against him-a lifetime of rumors, lies and innuendos built to form an impenetrable wall around the minds of a public no longer willing to think sideways. But, don’t you see that the greatness and the beauty in the world can only be seen from that altered perspective? Those that carry the most glorious gifts almost always stand on the outside looking in-they laughed at ridiculed and mocked Da Vinci because he had a great affinity and respect for the natural world, an affinity which ran counter to a society conditioned to think along narrowed lines of barbarism. But, what were Da Vinci’s views if not a precursor of the modern world? Forebears of the environmental activists and supporters of the modern day? Here was a person standing in the full warmth of the light whilst thee rest of the public shuffled around in the darkness. The same is true of many geniuses-Mozart, Michael, they just want to be let in.

We must stop annihilating souls that we should treasure. Have you ever considered that the common view may not be the correct one? Whoever said it was “normal” to engage in promiscuity, to drink yourself beyond rational understanding, to routinely fight wars and commit acts of genocide, to hate each other and to carelessly destroy the planet-the only home we have and, perhaps, are ever likely to have. When did that become “normal?”

When did we begin to stop dear Michael getting in? When did it become “weird” “bizarre” or “crazy,” to choose to shine your humanity in life as brightly as you possibly can, to travel the world bringing comfort, reassurance, guidance and financial and emotional support to families who have nothing, whose lands have been left ruthlessly raped by the avaricious aims of others. When did it become “strange,” to choose to climb a tree or sit atop a roof and gaze in awed reverence at the stars, held as they are in the vastness of a universe which cradles us in its infinity. To watch the swallows dance in extended flight as they fish for insects in the night air, or to revel in the cumbersome journey of the bee from flower to flower.

Michael Jackson lived and breathed these sentiments, these beliefs, which, when you glance beyond the superficiality of man-made gadgets, electronics and concrete, are what truly colour the experience of humanity-it is these elements which form humanity. The official definition of humanity is the condition of being human-to be human one must acknowledge their individual place in the beauty, grandeur and splendour of the natural world and humble themselves before its divine qualities. To be engaged in humanity is, also, by definition to be kind and benevolent. What form of humanity exists at present then? If we are none of these things, can we still define ourselves as humanity? And dear Michael-one of several came-he tried to remind us what that word means-he tried to illuminate the darkness by embracing what it is to be human-by revering and respecting natural wonders, not as a means to an end, but as glorious ends in themselves. He tried to illuminate the darkness with benevolence, with love, with kindness.

We wouldn’t let him in.

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Jun 10 2011

The Day I Met My Hero, by Christine Dowling

Category: Friends,Humanitarian,Photos,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 12:08 pm

I will never forget the 19th of July 1997. I went to see my hero, Michael Jackson, in concert. It was my second MJ concert and I was so excited and happy that he had come back to Dublin.

During Michael’s show, he has his security people find fans to come up on stage for a particular song. I have Morquio syndrome and security were looking for somebody small. My sister pointed me out and said, “You won’t get anybody smaller!” For once in my life I was so thankful to be small! I will be forever grateful to my sister. When the security man picked me my whole body started shaking, not because I was going to be in front of 35,000 screaming fans, but because I was about to come face to face with my all-time hero!

While I was waiting just offstage Michael ran past me, and I let out such a scream that I thought he must have heard me. Thankfully, with all of the noise on stage, he didn’t! The music for “Heal the World” came on and I was wheeled onto the stage. Michael held my hand. Normally I wouldn’t feel anything in my right hand as I had lost feeling in it a few years before, but that night I could actually feel Michael’s hand. He turned to me as we headed off of the stage. He told me that he loved me and I knew that he really meant it!

Being so close to him was amazing. The only way to describe it is like a spiritual experience. I felt so much love on that stage; love and happiness. When I got offstage I burst into tears. My friends’ young children who were also at the concert kept asking if I was I ok, and my mother told them, “She is fine. She’s only crying because she is happy.” The memories of that day will stay with me forever and they help me whenever I am sad or upset.

A few hours after the concert, I could feel a burning sensation up and down my right arm. The next day I had feeling back in my right hand. I truly believe I got my feeling back from simply holding Michael’s hand. My Ma said, “With 35,000 people singing such a positive song as “Heal the World,” you were bound to get a miracle.”

I thought I would share this with you, as only true MJ fans would truly understand what happened to me that night. Even though I am in a wheelchair, that night I felt like I was walking on air. I was 18 then, and now thirteen years later I can still honestly say that meeting Michael was the best day of my life, and I am so blessed and thankful that my dream came true.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: When Michael passed on I felt as though I had lost a member of my family; he had been a major part of my entire life. Way before we had met he had been the biggest influence on me for as long as I can remember, getting me through so many bad experiences that I had as a child. I took his death badly and I felt so lost and confused that I needed to do something for him. I took it upon myself to organize a tree planting for him. I felt that wasn’t enough though, so on the 8th of August 2009, alongside the tree planting, I organized a Michael Jackson Memorial / Fun day, with all proceeds going to a children’s hospital that I myself had attended throughout my childhood. I also did the same this June, the day after his first anniversary, and I will continue to do so every single year for as long as I can. It’s my way of giving back and saying “Thank you!” to Michael for all that he has done for me and millions of others worldwide. Michael’s tree stands proudly in a park in Dublin, surrounded by a children’s play-area. I think he would have liked it.

Christine Dowling, age 31, Dublin, Ireland

Christine with Michael on stage

Christine with Michael on stage

那一天我見到心中的英雄
我永遠也不會忘記1997年7月19日,我見到心目中的英雄——邁克爾.傑克遜,在演唱會上。那是我第二次參加MJ演唱會,對他重返都柏林,我非常興奮和快樂。

在演出中,邁克爾讓他的保安人員為特定的歌曲找粉絲上臺。我有莫基奧綜合征,而保安人員在找體形小的人。我的姐妹把我指出來說:“沒有人比她更小了!”我生命中第一次為體形小而感激!我將永遠感謝我的姐妹。當保安人員挑選了我,我整個身體都開始顫抖了,不是因為將面對3萬5千名尖叫的粉絲,而是我將和我生命中的英雄面對面!

我在台下等候時,邁克爾經過我,我發出一聲尖叫,以為他一定會聽到。但幸好舞臺上聲音很響,他沒有聽到。《治癒世界》的音樂響起,我坐輪椅到了舞臺上,邁 克爾拉住我的手。通常我的右手沒有任何知覺,我幾年前就失去了知覺,但那晚我真的能感覺到邁克爾的手。我們下了舞臺後,他轉向我,說他愛我,我知道這是他 的真心話!

能與他靠得這麼近真的很神奇,唯一能形容的就是類似一種神聖的經歷。我在舞臺上感受到如此多的愛;愛和快樂。我下臺後放聲大哭,我朋友的小孩也參加了演唱 會,不停地問我是否還好,我母親告訴他們:“她很好,她哭是因為她快樂。”那一天的記憶會永遠伴隨著我,每當悲傷或難過時總能幫助我。

演唱會後幾小時,我感覺到右手臂上上下下的燒灼感。第二天我右手的知覺回來了。我真的相信知覺的恢復僅是因為握了邁克爾的手。我父親說:“3萬5千人一起唱這麼一首積極正面的歌《治癒世界》,奇跡註定要發生在你身上。”

我想我將和你們分享這個經歷,因為只有真正的MJ粉絲才能真正理解那晚在我身上發生了什麼。即便是坐著輪椅,那晚我感覺行走在雲端。那時我18歲,現在我30多歲了,現在我能誠實地說:遇見邁克爾是我生命中最好的日子,我如此幸福和感激,因為我夢想成真。

作者的手記:邁克爾去世時我感覺就象失去家人;他是我整個生命的重要部分。在見到他之前,他對我已有最大的影響,幫我度過童年時的諸多不幸。他的離世令我很難過,我感到迷失和混亂,感到要為他做些什麼。我為他組織了一次植樹活動,感覺還不夠,於是2009年8月,與植樹一道,我組織了一個邁克爾.傑克遜紀念會/遊戲日,所有收入都捐給了我童年時常呆的醫院。今年6月,他的逝世周年日的第二天,我做了同樣的事,只要我可以做到,我將每年都這樣做。這是我回報和對邁克爾說“謝謝你!”的方式,感謝他為我和世界上百萬人所做的。邁克爾之樹在都柏林一個公園矗立著,圍繞它的是孩子們玩耍的地方,我想他會喜歡的。

克莉絲汀.道琳(Christine Dowling),31歲,愛爾蘭都柏林

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{ THANK YOU to my sweet friend Angela Yim Ngan Ian for finding and sharing this amazing story, and to ‘shell88‘ at MJJCN for translating it! -Seven }

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Apr 19 2011

Michael Jackson: What We See Is What We Look Like

Category: Justice,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 4:11 am

We See Him How We Are . . .

We See Him How We Are . . .

The following short essay is from another website which has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. In fact it seems to be a site dedicated to politics. However there is a forum on that site called “Entertainment” where members can post about Entertainment news and their favorite (or least favorite) entertainers. A member of that site posted the following about Michael shortly after his death. I want to share it because I felt it was a very wise assessment of how the world treated Michael – and why he was so persecuted by our society. I’ve said before that he wasn’t only ‘The Man in the Mirror‘, but that he also was the mirror itself.

When you consider the deliberately destructive tactics of Martin Bashir and Tom Sneddon, the insidious, ignorant rantings of those such as Diane Dimond; then consider that their work to destroy Michael Jackson says more about them than it does about Michael, this is particularly significant.  What must these people look like to themselves? Can they face the reality of who they are? I don’t believe they can, which is why so much of who they are is wrapped up in fighting it externally using people like Michael as a whipping boy. They apparently don’t possess the necessary self-awareness to deal with their true selves and their own inner demons in an honest way. The same applies to those who follow and believe the work of these people, which unfortunately is most of society.

shondradawson‘ elaborates in her short essay on the subject:

SOURCE: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=389&topic_id=6075401#6083051

There is no end to the commentary concerning the death of Michael Jackson and mine certainly warrants no special attention: nevertheless, I am slightly embarrassed to say how much his death has affected me. I have been a great admirer of his talent since I was a child; as most of us, I grew up listening and watching him evolve as an artist and reach the heights of stardom that I believe will never be surpassed…we no longer have a culture (or an attention span) to allow even the most deserving of talents rise and remain at the top of their fields. Our standards in so many respects have declined to even expect mediocrity: we are relieved to see it, as most of the talent now falls so far below it…

I have taken it upon myself to observe the collection of interviews, appearances, photographs, and other media on Michael Jackson during the course of his forty-five year career. What has struck me most about his personality (if, indeed, it can serve as insight to his character) is the alarming consistency of it. I say alarming only because most of us grow out of our childlike wonder at the world and the idealism in helping those in need, and making the world and its future better and brighter for others as well as ourselves. Mr. Jackson’s interviews as a child serve to show the influence of his family’s religion; as a Jehovah’s Witness, the strict beliefs that denied him holidays, birthdays, and the many forms of amusement such as television and movies and games that most children take for granted as their province. Being fully employed by the age of nine, Mr. Jackson had only his family, a large one, granted, but still a small cramped corner to grow up and cultivate a sense of self from: meanwhile, his exposure to the outside world of other people was distorted by fame, and the outrageous expectations that come with anxious and adoring crowds…how, indeed, does this shape the perspective of a child? I don’t wonder ever of his love for children and animals, undoubtedly the only company that never wanted or expected anything from him. I daresay it gave him a liberty from a repressive religion, suffocating family bond, a grueling work schedule, and a unruly mob of fans that held no end of comfort for him, even into his aging years…

Michael Jackson’s battle with vitiligo and lupus has been confirmed: suffering from gradual de-pigmentation and joint inflammation in front of the world must have taken a great deal of confidence from him as a performer: it made him a public spectacle in a way he never wished to be seen and shown. Why after thirty years of being born and raised into unprecedented stardom as a Black man, Mr. Jackson would decide to “become White,“ has been accused, but never explained. Alas, heavy makeup, ornate dress to completely cover his body took more than a physical toll; it took an emotional one, as his appearance was ridiculed even as he made desperate attempts to prevent it. Mr. Jackson directed our attention to his performance, more singing, dancing, fireworks, all the glitter and glamour and sparkle he could muster until we didn’t believe what we saw, but we loved it…therein lies the real magic of his talent, I believe, he convinced us he was beauty and grace even as his skin spotted and his limbs crippled behind the curtain…

Michael Jackson’s ordeal with accusations of child molestation are sad….I worked as a voluntary on three psych wards and have some indirect experience with pedophiles. He is certainly uncharacteristic of any I have spoken and dealt with outside of his love for children. A pedophile surrounded by children for four decades: two allegations surfaced with a nearly ten-year interval: the illogical sequence in the course of events should have been comical…should have been. The real argument is how many have allegations have not surfaced in the forty years….What will strike you about any repeat offender of such sex-related crimes is cunning: building an amusement park for thousands of children to run and play in; to openly admit you share your bed with them, to spend no less than twenty years of your life expressing how much children motivate and inspire you is no show of cunning, I can tell you. A pedophile would immediately open himself to suspicion under such candor. I believe Michael Jackson’s lack of exposure to our socially accepted hypocrisy failed to learn the rules of the games we play with one another. There is something pathetic about Michael Jackson’s statements and arguments: he seems to be genuinely telling the truth and expecting it to matter…the rest of us in the real world know better.

You are not innocent before proven guilty; if acquitted, it doesn’t mean you cannot be condemned…individuality can only be expressed if it is in accordance to what everybody else would do and be…if you are a man, be “how all men are,” or you will be labeled a homosexual, and you know what that means: a freak of nature, which will open you up to all sorts of allegations and assumptions, particularly when it comes to your relations with children and the paternity of your own.

The biggest star the world was beaten by a windfall of public scorn, a far more powerful weapon than any military force could wield…we pride ourselves on being able to say and do what we want, live and believe how we want: we indulge our delusions, don’t we? Try living in this world and this society where your love for nature, animals, children, family and friends made you a suspect; where your abstinence from drugs, alcohol, and sexual promiscuity made you a freak; where your compassion for the sick and the suffering, your aspirations for world peace and justice made you pathetic; where forgiving those who manipulated, exploited and wronged you made you deserving of being dragged through courts and drugged to keep the money-making machine oiled…in short, made you Michael Jackson.

I don’t pretend to know the truth of this man’s life…I can only seek to know it. I have sought it through his own words and the words of those who knew him. I have sought it in his art, his music and performances. I believe Michael Jackson’s life and death have much to say about what our society has become, clouded in delusions of freedom and liberty, in our aberrations of what it means to be good and decent.

Was Michael Jackson a good and decent man? I don’t know for certain; what I do know is, the qualities he was most ridiculed for are the ones we as a people are supposed to honor and celebrate in a human being, and his battles were something for which we are supposed to show compassion and understanding…

I believe Michael Jackson’s decade-span gave a baleful testimony of American society.

We saw Michael Jackson through the years from our own eyes…

What we see is what we look like…

We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.

-Anais Nin (1903– 1977), French-Cuban author, famous for published journals

Successfully forging the belief that tabloid journalism is a worthwhile use of your brief time on this planet must require a mental leap beyond the reach of Galileo. This is one reason why so many tabloid stories are routinely peppered with lies – if the writers didn’t continually flex their delusion muscles, a torrent of dark, awful self-awareness might rush into their heads swiftly followed by the realization that they are wasting their lives actively making the world worse.

-Charlie Brooker

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{ Thank you to my friend Dhez for finding this very insightful essay on DU. Please note that any comments attempting to turn this article into a debate on politics will not be posted. -Seven }

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Mar 29 2011

A Million Moons Before Sunrise

Category: Photos,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 1:01 am

I know the way he was forced to live because of his fame was very isolating. And no doubt sometimes nerve-wracking, where he may have felt like an amoeba beneath the humongous eye of the world’s cruel and judgmental microscope. Worst is the media and tabloids but really all of it, living in a forced microcosm of life, a tiny prison, lonely and full of too many people with one agenda or another.

A Million Moons Before Sunrise

A Million Moons Before Sunrise

A Million Moons Before Sunrise

A Million Moons Before Sunrise

Still . . . everywhere he’s been, every breath he took, every word he said and every gesture, every dance, every note he sang, every time he laughed, every smile and glance, every tendril of his hair caught by the wind or caressed with light is precious to me.

He was an angel in our midst and I can’t forget the sheer magic of his light, his absolutely unpretentious sweetness, his innocent childlike silliness, his stunning talent, his unheard-of strength, and above all, his beauty – not only physical but the beauty of his heart and soul.

Especially the beauty of his heart and soul.

Some days I feel so sweetly saturated with his presence I fear the beat of his wings might become my only breath. I learned he’d had a copy of the Bhagavad-Gita. Every little thing . . .If I have to wait a million moons before sunrise, I’ll be fine. . . as long as I have Michael in my heart, and he will always be in my heart.

Prose © Seven Bowie, 2011

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[ I had written this as a comment in the previous piece, but decided to publish it separately. -Seven ]


Feb 12 2011

Falling Through

Category: Angels,Ecstasy,MJ Quotes,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 4:43 pm

Falling Through

"When all life is seen as divine, everyone grows wings." -Michael Jackson

Up There

Back when I worked in a large building, in fact when I worked in several different large buildings in the past, going up on the roof was a favorite thing to do at lunch and breaks. There was no rooftop garden or dining area – just a roof. Tarpaper that looked mighty thin and fragile yet was somehow solid beneath. It felt good to have the viewpoint from up there and to look upon people who didn’t know we could see them from up there. It was often high enough up that they looked pretty tiny and we could see the pattern of life teeming below from a perspective that couldn’t be seen otherwise. To be able to get away from the day-to-day grind and escape like that was a real gift sometimes. It was private, a change of pace, and when needed, solace.

Same with flying airplanes, which I used to do as well. Small planes, like single-engine Cessnas. Seeing life from a different perspective outside changes your perspective inside completely. In an airplane, there’s no one but yourself, a humming engine, and God. Physical removal from the planet, and a rise to the sky where one spends a good bit of time does something to a person. It’s why Richard Bach wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, A Bridge Across Forever, Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, and One. He spent a lot of time up there too and he knew about this changed perspective, this further dimension of spirituality that is accessible simply from being ‘up there‘. You know of course that Jonathan Livingston Seagull was also one of Michael’s favorite stories.

The one fear one has from the roof or from the plane, is falling. Falling through the roof or through the air with no control whatsoever. You only know that you are going inextricably down and likely to a horrible and sudden end. But – this is where the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull truly began.

Delayed Reaction

When my stepfather died, they called me at 3:00 or so in the morning. We knew he’d been ill, getting worse and I knew he was in the hospital. I had called his room just the day before to talk to him. I hadn’t realized it at the time but it was a last ‘goodbye‘ for him. He didn’t say that and I didn’t know. Not until the next day. After I received the call that he was gone, I was un-fazed. I planned to go to work. But after about 3-4 hours it hit me. He was gone. Gone! My stepfather was for all intents and purposes, my father. We had wanted him to adopt us but he refused – not because he didn’t love us. He certainly did. But, had he adopted us, we would not have been allowed to see our biological father ever again. And he thought that was not acceptable. When it hit me I felt lost. Totally lost. I called my sister back and was literally blubbering. We agreed that I should fly home to be there with the rest of the family. I made arrangements at my job to take the necessary days to do so.

When I got home, the first thing I did was go to the bedroom closet and pull out his poems. That was the first thing I thought of when I thought of him – even though he hadn’t written a poem since the 1940s – 1950s or so, mostly he’d written them in his younger years, before I even knew him. I used to get them out and sit on the living room floor and read them. I think he was flattered that I had taken any interest in them at all. At the same time, I think it made him feel uncomfortable that I was reading things that he had written from his heart and soul – 20-30 years ago. No one else in the family thought about those poems. Even his own sister who knew him during the decades he had written them had forgotten about them. They were on old yellowed paper and either handwritten or typed out on an old typewriter. Some of them were even compiled into a sort of chapbook. I ended up making copies of all of them for his sister after he died. A few years later, he appeared to me in a sort of ‘dream‘ when Mom was visiting me. Odd timing, that. He was dressed in this silly fishing hat, some touristy looking shorts and a polo shirt, looking quite bright and healthy. He told me: “They have everything here!“, and he also said: “Tell your brother to take care of your mother for me.” At the time, Mom lived alone in an apartment so I thought that was interesting. Now, however she does live with my eldest brother, who along with my older sister, takes care of her. How did he know that’s where Mom would end up? How did he know she was there with me when he came to visit me in that ‘dream‘? Had he come to see her too? And do they really “have everything there”, wherever it was he was referring to?

There have been many experiences in my life even prior to this that let me know that the life we see, the physical beings we are, the material world we live in, isn’t all there is. I’ve had out of body experiences that were at once fascinating and frightening, lest I be unable to return to this vessel which contains my soul. I haven’t had one of those in years and when I did, it was before my stepfather passed so I had some inkling that things were not quite exactly as literal they seem in this life. I dread the next time I lose someone – I dread that delayed reaction I seem to have when this happens. I am fine for hours or even days, but then it hits me like an emotional freight train and I fall very suddenly into an uncontrollable sea of pain, regret, guilt, grief.

Falling Through

This is what happened when we lost Michael, too. The first day, I didn’t even know for sure that it was true. The next two days, it nagged at me from the back of my mind like a crying child that wouldn’t go to sleep or had a terrible case of colic.  Because I had been busy with other people much of the weekend it wasn’t until the end of the second day that I had time for it to sink in and started remembering. I looked back at the videos of his performances and the videos of his interviews. I looked back at his humanitarian endeavors and remembered most of those – the ones that were at all publicized. I looked back at his poems and essays in ‘Dancing the Dream‘. I painfully remembered so much about this boy/man whom I first heard sing in 1969 and his life, his music, his career, and the horrible abuse he suffered at the hands of a sick and deluded society. I remembered most if not all the songs, both his own and those with his brothers. I used to watch Soul Train and the Jacksons Variety Show and the Jackson 5 cartoon. We had his vinyl records in the house when I was growing up – Michael and the Jackson 5. I remembered him all through his major tours, albums and the trials and accusations.The more I remembered, the more I was stunned over and over again by what we’d lost. During this process, I also learned so much more that I never knew about Michael Jackson. With every old memory of him and everything new I learned about him, another piece of my heart shattered and went with him wherever he was. My mind remembered all that my heart never forgot. I cried and cried and I still haven’t really stopped. What do I do now? I was totally emotionally lost.

If someone had told me that he would die so soon and that his death would affect me like this, I’d not have believed it. I was and I am still convinced that this man/child/being was sent to humanity on a mission from God. Not just here for a purpose but a mission. Everything he was and everything he suffered because of it mirrored the problems with our world and our society. He was sent here as messenger and an example. I still believe that. It all just hit me like a freight train and I went sinking into some of the worst grief I’ve ever felt. I went for walks alone. I went into a chapel and wrote asking for prayers twice for his safe deliverance to the angels. The third time was for his children. I hid and cried alone. I still do that sometimes. Few people understand this.

Early on though, I seemed to be getting visual cues, messages, things happened that seemed to tie in with his absence – but which also told me that he was only physically absent, but not spiritually. It seemed like it was important that I realized this and that I fully understood where he was now, and why this meant that I could actually be closer to Michael than I’d ever been. After the blue heron experience I was stunned. I was overjoyed. But I questioned it. Could it really be? But it was a very compelling feeling that I just couldn’t shake. I knew it meant something and I knew what it was, but it took me a couple of weeks to actually come to grips with it. And there was always that nagging feeling that this wasn’t an ordinary loss. It has never left me. Nothing about Michael’s life or death was ordinary. No, this was something different. This man was put here for a reason, and I somehow felt he wasn’t exactly ‘gone‘.

I’d lay in bed at night and ‘talk‘ to Michael in my head. And I’d get answers seemingly from ‘nowhere‘. I don’t mean I heard voices, but I’d get answers. I shared here one of those conversations between myself and Michael. Here is part of what he said:

but more than anything, create
write a poem, sing a song, dance
draw a picture, paint a scene
express yourself in creation
do anything from your Heart
help a sick child
be a friend to someone who needs you
when you know you don’t have to
and there’s nothing in it for you
when you do any of this, that is when
most of all, I am there with you

Love is at the Heart of all Creation
to create is to live from the soul
of the Universe
to become part of all that is
This is where I have always lived

Your soul contains the wisdom of God
but don’t forget to retain the Heart of a Child
don’t box yourself inside
any thoughts of limitation
believe in yourself
if you can imagine it, it can be done
when you create, most of all
when you are kind, most of all
to anyone and the Planet
I am there with you, We are One.

So, what do I do with that? Well, besides being kinder to strangers, giving and doing more with charity, there was my writing and my poetry. I am not in that field professionally. I do something else for a living. And I’ve been doing it for over 30 years. But I would rather be writing instead. Not that I hate my other work, after all I ended up in that field for a reason. But after 30 or so years, and after being talked out of being a writer my entire life (or in the case of my family, simply ignored), I felt that it was time to do something about this. I located a vocal coach and creative instructor to both help me to be able to vocalize better (as in poetry readings) and to help me better understand and nurture my creativity. “More than anything, create“… were the words that came. This led to something else. The instructor told me about a book called ‘The Artist’s Way‘. This book explains the spiritual aspect of creativity and teaches the reader/practitioner how to develop that to its fullest and how to stop the negativity that one hears from themselves and others about being creative. Between what I found in that book and what I already knew and further learned about Michael, I realized these were the same teachings – that what Michael expressed during his life about creativity and what that book teaches are the same. I don’t consider it any coincidence that things happened this way. Michael either knew what this book teaches instinctively or he may have studied it himself. After all at least one of his directors certainly did – Martin Scorcese. And he wasn’t a considerable success until after he’d completed it from what I understand.

In Dancing the Dream Michael wrote:

Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I’m dancing, I’ve felt touched by something sacred. In those moments, I’ve felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists. I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing and then, it is the eternal dance of creation. The creator and creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing and dancing and dancing, until there is only – the dance.

This is exactly the concept taught in ‘The Artist’s Way‘. The Great Creator (artist) is God. We are ourselves creations of God and his/her/its consciousness. When we are creative (as we are all meant to be), we become part of that (his/her) consciousness, of that passion and energy. This energy is the consciousness of life, and of creation – when we create, we become part of that universal energy – we become One with it. At that point, there is only ‘the dance‘ and we are One with God (the Great Creator), with all of creation.  We are one with the universe. Michael also expressed it like this:

Let us dream of Tomorrow where we can truly love from the Soul and know love as the ultimate Truth at the Heart of all Creation.

God created us out of love. When we are creative, we are loving him/her/it back. It is a union, a spiritual connection. Michael knew this.

Creativity is also a child. It only wants to love, be loved, and play. Sounds like Michael, right? That’s why he loved being around children. He had a childlike heart & soul. That is part of what enabled him to be so creative – the fact that he retained that. People have trouble being creative (like, writer’s block for instance) if they lose their sense of wonder, innocence, play, fun and get too caught up in adult judgements and rules and limitations. But kids know nothing of that stuff! Michael didn’t either. He retained his childlike innocence and this sometimes got him in trouble. People misunderstood this about him and judged him very harshly for it. Children’s imaginations are very fertile. So was Michael’s. This is why fun and play inspired him so much, like when he wrote Speechless.

When we talk about God in this aspect, we’re not talking about a religious but rather a spiritual God. The Universe and the buzz or universal energy and rhythm that is contained in every living thing and in its creation, life, and death. One can think of God also as an artist, a collaborator for creativity.

The Artist’s Way:

The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity. Those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as the Creator but seldom see creator as the literal term for artist. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy; pure creative energy. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life–including ourselves.  –The Artist’s Way

Michael:

All art has as its ultimate goal the union between the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine. -Michael Jackson

This is why one of the first words out of Michael’s mouth when asked where his genius came from was “God“. He tapped into that energy, it came through him and out to the world in the form of both his creative work and his humanitarianism. Michael was very tuned in to the spiritual aspect of creativity and he realized how this not only brought him closer to God, but to himself, and his own soul. This, along with his childlike innocence, was key to everything he did. Like a child, Michael didn’t entertain or accept any concept of limitation in anything he did. He was a very spiritually-connected, artistic child in his heart and soul, as he had to be in order to gift us with the amazing treasures that he gave during his life. This came straight through Michael from God him/her/itself. That is the magic.

I had never had any difficulty understanding Michael in general or the things he did and never thought him guilty at all of the things he was accused of. Since he’s physically left here however, my understanding of him (and thus myself and God) has deepened considerably. I’m sure that Michael didn’t know he was an angel but he was. I believe this not only because of the nagging knowledge or feeling that he was here on a God-given mission, but also because the first time I heard him sing back in 1969 or so, he awakened my heart and I never forgot that. My heart didn’t know how to dance until I heard Michael Jackson sing. I will never forget that feeling. Secondly and not least, it is angels who bring people to ecstatic union with God. That is their job, among other things, and he has done this very well, not only with me but with many others. This is why he was so beloved, as much as some people twitch and cringe at the thought. That is because they do not understand the spirituality of creativity or the creativity of spirituality.

What we think is the end is often where the story begins

You may remember that I wrote something else that I felt came from another conversation with Michael early after his death. In ‘talking‘ to him (in my mind) one night, this came to me. Again, seemingly out of ‘nowhere‘. Not a voice or even a thought but just this message. It was:

Some say Time has passed us by, but I say it never ends. This is not an endless ending. This is only where We begin.

So, like the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull the fall through horrible pain and grief is where this story begins. This is where I’ve landed: At the beginning. Of course I’d rather have Michael here especially now that I understand him so completely but I actually feel closer to him now and can remain closer to him now than I ever could have when he was physically present in this world  with all its limitations. That’s the message I’ve gotten over and over again through all of this.

I have fallen so far and so deeply through this grief, pain, regret, and guilt because of his death and of course it will always be there. But rather than a horrible and sudden ending to this fall, I’ve landed here and I do not believe this is any coincidence whatsoever. I have been led through this deeply spiritual loss to a place where I can meet Michael, myself, and God at any time in complete union. Remember ‘111’ or ‘1111’ and how it is believed by some to be a gateway of communication from angels to mortals? Remember what Michael said: “All art has as its ultimate goal the union between the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine.”  I have been seeing these numbers quite frequently thus far this year. Combined with everything else on this journey, and the messages I’ve received and the events that have transpired, I truly believe Michael is very much alive. Not physically, but spiritually, and he is telling me that nurturing my own creativity is the way to myself, God, and him. There it is. The portal.

Of course the grief is still there much of the time. But it is punctuated by moments of sheer joy at having received this gift and this message. I will always physically miss Michael. But I always know too, right where to find him: where his sweet soul has always been. He has let me know in no uncertain terms that spiritually, he’s really not gone anywhere.

Heaven is Here. You and I were never separate. It’s just an illusion. Wrought by the magical lens of perception. In a nonlocal Universe there is nowhere to go from Here to Here.
-Michael Jackson

_ _ _

© 2011, Seven Bowie (except excerpts from ‘The Artist’s Way‘ and ‘Dancing the Dream‘)

NOTE:  Richard Bach’s other books – Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Bridge Across Forever, and One, are all worthy reads which also deal with these same concepts and themes. They may be out of print but try http://www.abebooks.com if you’re interested.

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