Bizarre is beautiful... Memorial message to Michael, and still more thoughts on his life and death
MichaelJackson.com, the official Michael Jackson site run by Sony, has changed from a static message about Michael's death to a dynamic site where you can leave your own messages in honor of The King of Pop. Millions are mourning the loss of a legend and I know we all want to express what we're feeling. I posted something on a virtual candle website the other night that I intended to keep anonymous and private, but I went ahead and posted the same thing on the official site tonight because I think, among all these thousands of words that I have written about him, this short paragraph to Michael really says all I need to say:
Thank you for the joy you brought to my life
"May God surround you and protect you in the way you were never protected in life. I would have given anything to save you, to take away all the things that hurt you, and to give you the safety and confidence that you never had. I feel your pain and I understand because I have lived through it myself. I vow to take a different path in your honor and to remember you with every step. Please watch over me in my journey, and help me to change the world for the better. I'll carry you with me forever. I love you."
--Kelley, July 6th 7:02 pm
What do I mean about understanding the pain he lived through? Well, in the early '80s I loved Michael because he was pure magic, period. The Thriller album, Beat It and Billie Jean videos... who didn't love him then? It had nothing to do with pain. But in the early '90s I loved him when it seemed like nobody else did, because I could relate to the judgment and rejection that he faced, particularly here in the states, even as he continued giving this world some of the best music we've ever heard.
People judged him even in the '80s because he was not their definition of "normal." Normal is overrated. If he was "normal" none of us would ever have celebrated him as much as we did in life and now in death. Normal doesn't change the world. Normal doesn't make an impact. I've never in my life felt normal in any capacity of the word, and I'm not going to let that bother me anymore. I was reminded once again this July 4th that I am surrounded by people who really love me and have only my best interests at heart, and I think in this world that's the best thing you can hope for. So, screw normal. As they lay him to rest, I lay the word normal to rest from my vocabulary. Bizarre, as he apparently coined himself, is beautiful.
I understand that people were afraid to love Michael Jackson after the allegations, whether true or false--but I'm talking about the rejection he faced before there was ever even a hint of an allegation. People talked about him as if he was not a human being, and in the same breath they judged him for not being human enough. I know exactly what that feels like, and I still deal with the effects of it in my everyday life. How many of my songs and poems are about trying to get past the self-hatred that came out of the verbal abuse I was subjected to in school? I'd hate to do the math on that one. People who are abused tend to later inflict that same abuse on themselves in myriad ways. Ultimately he may have died trying to escape that pain. Is that the saddest part of his story? I don't know. I have a feeling we don't even know half of it. So instead we must focus on the joy.
I still associate the magic, and the pain, with Michael Jackson. I still relate to him because his music was escapism--and so is mine. It's transformative. I try to heal myself with my own words, with the hope that it'll heal someone else out there too at some point in time. And where did I get that blueprint? Michael Jackson.
I've still got more Michael Jackson blog posts in the pipeline for you, whether you want 'em or not! :) I will in fact return to my regularly scheduled programming soon enough (lol), but at the moment this is truly all that's on my mind and I want to give myself the space and time that I need to express this.
Thanks for listening, and don't forget to leave your own memorial message at MichaelJackson.com. If you weren't fortunate enough to be able to visit a physical memorial like I did at the Motown Museum, I'd say that, and watching the services tomorrow live on TV, are the next best thing. RIP MJ!