Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gone to Soon - the Michael Jackson Memorial

Just watched the MJ memorial on replay. I got quite emotional watching it. His songs carved out my childhood and teenage years. I didn’t realise until today that they also served as affirmations too. I thought it was the music itself, but now as an adult with a life shaped by the idealism of the change he sung about I realise it was words of the songs too.

When I was first sick in my 20s I used to listen to Will You Be There all the time

I thought it was my yearning to have others understand my condition. It would lift me, raise my vibrations and allow me to release what was held inside. Today was the first time I realised it is actually a prayer and request to God in an hour of darkness, the walk across the desert so to speak. I understand what Maya Angelou meant by We Had Him.

He sung all our songs. All the ones we buried in the light and dark parts of our hearts. He sung our wishes and he sung our fears. Our memories entwined with his songs and thus our spectrum of feelings were imposed on them and him. He became part of all our growing up journeys. I believe he became a reflection of all that was good in society and then eventually all that was bad. A mirror to society showing us all that we applaud and all that we disown. Made and broken by the reflections.

I read an article today by Paul Theroux talking of his trip to Neverland.

In it he quotes George William Russell’s poem Germinal to MJ.

In ancient shadows and twilights

Where childhood had stray'd,

The world's great sorrows were born

And its heroes were made.

In the lost boyhood of Judas

Christ was betray'd.

MJ is fascinated by this concept of lost childhood being the root of heroes and betrayals. Theroux states

Twenty more minutes of Biblical apocrypha with Michael Jackson, on the lost childhood of Judas, and then the whisper again.


Michael Jackson did what he did because he was seeking to heal the world. As was said in the memorial he is in the Guinness Book of Records as the Popstar who donated to the most charities. We forced much on him through his music. I felt all my recollections come back to me as I listened to all the songs today and that is what that man had to deal with - our stuff running through him and his music.

His music - word, sound and movement - inspired a generation, showing us the truth in all of us and what we can really be in our lives. Inspiring us to move bodies, feet, head and hearts. And thus we grew. Art imitated life and life imitated art.

Gone too soon perhaps, but the ripples from his stone in the pond of life will last for generations to come.

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