Thursday, September 8, 2011

Born Again - Brenda Beazley

In Heaven with Michael

After Michael Jackson died, I became suddenly TOTALLY enthralled with his music, his dancing, and his life story. At the time of his death, all the MTV stations were playing his videos non-stop and I couldn't stop watching. I was mesmerized. I had always liked Michael Jackson, all the way back to his Jackson5 days. I bought the Thriller LP when it came out in 1982. That was the only recording of his I’d ever bought (Bob Dylan and Van Morrison held my attention for the most part--but now they're #2 and #3--Michael is now and always will be my #1). But I ALWAYS admired Michael’s talent, ALWAYS believed in his innocence, and NEVER believed any of the negative press about him. Suffice it to say, I soon began to describe myself as a “born-again” Michael Jackson fan. I went out and bought CDs of every recording of his I could find, as well as every DVD of his short films and live performances that I could find. I printed out the lyrics to all of his songs. I spent hours and hours at the local book store reading every book about his life that I could find, before realizing I had to buy them all for myself anyway. I saw “This Is It” seven times at the theatre, three times by myself, and of course bought the DVD. Oh, and I ordered a new license plate for my car---MJFEVER. I told my husband, "It's either the license plate or a tattoo.” The only thing I was able to attribute my “infatuation” to was my sudden TOTAL awareness of the wonderment on the one hand, and the sadness and tragedy on the other hand, of his personal life story; my heightened awareness of the vastness of his talent and brilliance at his craft; his extensive humanitarian efforts toward world peace and saving and healing the planet; and the incredible loss I felt from his death and its impact on his millions and millions of fans all around the world. And I discovered that Michael Jackson was far and away even more talented than I ever could have imagined, having finally heard all the music he produced and witnessed (by video) how incredibly talented he was as a performer and entertainer. His songs span a range of styles so vast that I could hardly believe just one human being could be capable of it, and some of his songs and their words and their message and his voice pull at my heart like nothing has ever done before. I've described to friends how, to me, his voice sounds like the voice of an angel, and when I listen to his songs and the message they send I feel as if I'm being touched by an angel. I’ve stopped total strangers and told them these things. The winter following Michael’s death we had a blizzard with more than two feet of snow. I took a long walk in the woods the day after when the sun was shining, the sky was as blue as the ocean, the trees casting shadows across the glistening forest floor, listening to Michael on my old Sony Walkman/headphones; and I felt that if there’s a heaven on earth, I was standing in it. And still, whenever I hear those same songs I listened to that day, I can see and feel those same beautiful images I saw and felt that day. If anything good can come from something so tragic as Michael’s death, I feel that what I've found in Michael is truly a gift. It is so achingly sad at times, and breathtakingly glorious at others--a gift I'm so grateful to have been one of the chosen to receive--when so many others still reject him. Why me? And yet, I'd give it all up this moment if it could bring him home again. And, well, I could just go on and on and on.”


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