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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31 Responses to “He only wanted to be let in”

  1. Max says:

    Yes, I thought it was an intelligent movie. I’m just surprised I hadn’t heard about it before, considering there are some big-time actors in it. Seven, thanks for putting the comment section back the way it was. It’s so much easier to navigate now (again).

  2. Seven says:

    I have seen the film ‘Powder’ and it was magnificent. The scene I remember most was where Powder sees a man shoot a deer. Powder grabs the man and touches the deer and transfers the deer’s fear and pain into the man causing him to feel the pain of what he’s done to the deer he shot.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same to those who hurt Michael the most? If we could make THEM feel the pain they caused Michael? Would they then – finally – understand what they’ve done?

  3. Max says:

    I’m sorry I forgot to mention the name of the author of that book. It’s Kris Heywood. The cover is green and there’s a black fedora on it.

  4. Max says:

    I love this blog. I only wish I could access all the comments. Something about the “older” and “newer” is awry. I can only get eleven out of twenty-one, no matter how long I try. There was someone who mentioned a movie she saw called “Powder.” I got curious and requested it from netflix. She was right about the boy’s skin tone matching Michael’s. It is an excellent film. I just stumbled upon a book on Amazon.com. called “Void.” It’s an alternate history of Michael’s life, and leads to a better outcome. The author seems to have done a lot of research and got everything right, as far as I can tell. A great ending, too. It made me feel a lot better. So did the article about Michael’s art and the airplane hangar. I always thought he was a very gifted artist. I wish I could see all of his work. He had a real knack. Not only was Michael a pure soul, but only pure souls can recognize his inherent goodness. Those who have lost their innocence cannot see it shining out of his eyes. It has always puzzled me that some people understand in an instance who he was while others never get it. The flaw is in them. I believe history will vindicate Michael. It will recognize all his achievements long after Rupert Murdoch and TMZ are forgotten.

  5. Ellen says:

    The ignorant will never understand what a treasure we were granted in having Michael among us. The fact that he was so different from most people was the very thing that attracts me to him. His differences were all that is beautiful and meaningful in this life. Who else had so much love, respect, patience and generosity towards everyone? It wasn’t just his enormous musical gifts and creativity that made him great, it was the magnificence of his spirit that too many people just cannot or will not understand. How much he is missed and loved on this Earth cannot ever be calculated. Michael, you are love and beauty personified and there will never, ever be another like you. I only hope and pray that one day I will have the joy of knowing you and showing you how much you are loved and respected. Thank you for all the beauty and love you brought to this cold world and thank you for the forgiveness you bestowed on all those who tried to destroy you. Rest in peace, beautiful angel and know you are in our hearts for all eternity.

  6. Rose Marie says:

    This is a most beautiful essay about our Michael. Thank you Tori Tomkins for sharing. I wish also to thank you Seven for providing a space where I can go and visit Michael and feel his presence together with other people who love him.

    On another note, now, isn’t it great and about time that Rudolph Murdoch has closed down his tabloid of a trash “News of the World” because of telephone hacking eavesdropping scandal. Very soon these tabloids will drop one by one.

    Michael, I pray that you make this happen.

  7. Michelle says:

    Michael, God bless you. It’s been two years now and don’t you worry, us fans around the world love you and let your love come in OUR hearts!

  8. Judy Hyde says:

    Words fail me. This is heartbreakingly true and I stand here ashamed that I didn’t do more to defend him while he was still with us. How cruel man can be. Will there be any lessons learned? Will we take it all to heart? Can someone tell me how to forgive those who hurt this kind and gentle man? This leaves a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart.

  9. Marlena says:

    As one who has also been on the outside looking in throughout my entire life, I read this with tears streaming down my face.
    My greatest hope is that this world soon regains it’s HUMANITY.

  10. Karencanada says:

    Sue M and the author of this article nailed it on the head. I have always said that the music and media industry turned on Michael Jackson because they just couldn’t stand that he did not buy in to the rock star narrative. Worse, his actions and his words held up that proverbial mirror to show these people a reflection that they didn’t want to see, and so they had to try to destroy the hand, and the human, holding that mirror, so they could continue to believe in the lies they chose to veil their own eyes with. Here was the biggest, most honoured musical artist in history, shy, sweet, thanking God every opportunity that arose, sharing his vulnerability and remaining uncompromisingly honest and dignified, caring and full of love for humanity that he felt driven to express and act on…It doesn’t take much to figure out how that threatened the status quo, and still does.
    In my own narrative of this story, I added Jesus Christ to the list of people persecuted for living their truth and acting from a place of wisdom and love. The world repeated the Christian narrative to a T, all the while holding that original story supposedly dear. Hypocrites all, blinded by the mirror they refuse to step up and look into.

  11. carina for mjj says:

    Sue M you said it all.I will limit myself to Michaels Giving Tree.He invited Bashir to climb up with him.Now that is strange that M.B. refused.Was he too old or stiff? I have always wished I had a tree like that and would climb up til my dying day if my legs only would permit.
    Michael was driven to an untimely death by avarice and greed of people only interested in their profits and totally neglecting the human being Michael Jackson.
    And Anne thank you too.

  12. Karin says:

    Thank you Seven. Lovely piece and a lovely reminder the next time cynicism comes to visit us.

  13. Lou says:

    Totally agree with Sue M. I’ve often been amazed at how MJ is blamed for the negative press coverage by people saying he should’ve come out and talked to more people, he shouldn’t have been so reclusive, he should’ve been more open, more honest. They forget that the cruelty began long before he became reclusive. I believe he started to avoid interviews etc because of the negative press and not the other way around. If you look at his early interviews he was very honest and open about his loneliness and shyness and that didn’t change as he got older. If anything he was probably too open and too honest about his feelings (even though that’s what I love about him), as it left him open to ridicule.

  14. Paula says:

    Seven, another great article! Thank you…Paula

  15. Solar says:

    Michael was Love and he brought only Love for everyone.

    But in a world filled with hate, there was not much room to let Love — Michael — in. What a great loss to humanity!

    It’s true, the world was not ready for Michael. He was indeed too good for this world.

  16. Sue M says:

    I was looking at some early press clippings about Michael during his teen years and it became startlingly clear to me that the media campaign against him began in his adolescence. When he was making the transition from child star to teen idol, he did not fit the convenient and lazy narrative the press had created for young male rock stars. It’s eye opening to see the stories that were printed about him at that time. When he did not commit to having a romance with Tatum O’Neal, the press concluded he was either gay or a freak. It never occurred to them that he was being thoughtful, kind and respectful. It never occurred to them that he was being protective of her feelings and, most likely, protective of his own. No, he was either gay or a freak and the media sought out rumors that would validate their conclusions. One headline reads “Michael Denies Sex Change; Says He Is Not Gay and Did Not Swim Nude With Tatum.” That about covers everything, doesn’t it?

    Even when Michael let the press in, he was stigmatized as strange. There was little empathy for his admissions of painful loneliness, shyness and embarrassment with girls. Such raw, honest feelings were not part of the narrative. He once wisely claimed that girls took up too much of his time; another admission that did not fit the sex-crazed narrative of young rock stars. Even his menagerie of animals wasn’t met with interest or curiosity; it was met with judgment. Why didn’t he just have cats and dogs like everyone else?

    The intolerance and cruelty the media showed Michael in his teens only gained momentum as he grew older and more famous until it reached epic, sadistic proportions. No, they were never going to let him in. There was too much money to be made slamming his hand in the door.

  17. lina says:

    Michael always knew he’s a human. That’s why he’s humble and always appreciate what GOD gave to him. He never said that all he has done is actually by him, but he always say its done by GOD, he only delivers what GOD has done. Tell me who can be that humble? No way,because they are always wanna show off and they forgot they are human! But Michael never forgot that he’s a human being. That’s why respesct Michael in every way. I love you Michael, endlessly!

  18. Mado says:

    Michael God bless your soul..Thank you Seven.

  19. KC says:

    Beautiful essay ~ I have tears in my eyes. Yes, his own country turned away from him, but God & Jesus know the truth & I believe he was welcomed in heaven by the God & Jesus directly. Michael Jackson was God sent to bring love & light to this world. Too bad we (humanity) didn’t recognize this. However, I am happy I got to witness Michael & his gifts in my lifetime. There will never be another Michael Jackson. What a beautiful man.

  20. anne says:

    The believers will see Michael in Heaven one day.
    There we will wrap our arms around him, this will
    be enough !

  21. Susan Trout says:

    Thank you, Tori!

    It’s heart-wrending compositions like yours that painfully remind us of what this precious soul dealt with every day of his life. One of the few sweet comforts I hold on to is that Michael did experience–albeit painfully brief– the love and joy of his three dear children. To have been denied that joy would have clearly contributed to an even more premature death.

    Tears welled in my eyes when I read that he held on tightly to that little teddy-bear. It reminded me how he treasured the gifts the fans brought to him, gifts that frequently appealed to his unmatched love of children and art.

    There is an incredible film called Powder about a young boy who is born with mysterious power after his mother is struck by lightening and dies. Even though the story bears little resemblance to the life of Michael Jackson, the main character’s elevated consciousness in his view of the world, and his physical abnormality (he’s albino), is strangely similar to Michael. The boy finds himself a complete outcast in his school and becomes a huge target for bullies and those who are unable to embrace the wonder of the natural world and see beauty and kindness in everyone and everything.

    How shamefully cruel to condemn and practically dehumanize such a rare and unique individual simply because he chose to think and live….differently.

    Perhaps we should all start a campaign centering on his song, Man in the Mirror. Buy little pocket mirrors and send them, with loving notes and examples of all the good that Michael accomplished in his far too brief life, to those who have the power to initiate change, but haven’t a clue how.

    Look in the mirror and what do you see? That’s the person who can make a difference. It just takes the desire to want to!

    Thanks, again, Tori and always, thank you Seven!

  22. Rosa alers says:

    Holy Thruth, now there not opportunity for forgivenes. I can stop crying.

  23. Meg Collins says:

    Thoughtful and thought provoking. Excelling piece!

  24. Samba says:

    Heartbreakingly beautiful. Thank you Tori for this. God bless.

  25. MME says:

    A very touching piece of writing, but I wonder – did he really want to be let in (to our world of greed and inhumanity) or rather did he hope we would join him (in his world of kindness and love)?

  26. Johanna says:

    Wow, that is so beautiful. Michael never let others’ opinions stop him from following his heart. In that, he had truly lived.

  27. Carolyn says:


  28. Simona says:

    Tori – this made me cry salty tears. So heartbreaking, yet so simple and insightful and True. Thank you for understanding “dear Michael” with your heart, soul and brain, and thank you Seven for giving us all the chance to be touched by this brilliant piece. So beautiful.

  29. sebastiana says:

    It’s so sad…I’m a long life fan of Michael.WE,the true fans, knew from our hearts ,that Michael was innocent, of all the lies said of the media ,tabloids,nothing but garbage, to distroy him on purpose,so that he could not be able to speak out what was realy going on behind our backs, they were scared of Michael.He tried in every way to make us see the truth ,throu his music,and he did a real good job of it…Now the whole world has realised what Michael was all about,and why they tried to distroy him….The LOVE that Michael gave to this world,can never be forgotten,and to all thoes that tryed to damage him ,they will never ever be FORGIVEN or trusted…Michael’s dream was to bring Love back to the world,thats all he wanted…..God Bless You Michael.

  30. claudiadoina says:

    Thank you for this beautiful essay.So sad, so unfair but yet so true.If I’ll live 100 years from now on I still couldn’t get over the unjustice done to Michael.How could so many be so blind and heartless.And with who?The kindest, most sincere and most beautiful human being that ever lived.

    I’ll never get over it.Like the banner from 6th of June 2005 said “Michael, on behalf of mankind, we’re sorry”