Friday, July 01, 2011

Michael is gone.

24 June 2011, two years later

This morning I am finding it hard not to hear about Michael Jackson’s death. I don’t have a TV, but even my bank has CNN on, with captions, behind the tellers’ windows. I couldn’t escape. I considered myself immune to much feeling for a man who came across as so freakish – a pill-popper, a good client for plastic surgeons whose work was mixed, and perhaps a gay man with a sexual appetite that bordered on the illegal. We won’t make you a poster boy for same sex marriage anytime soon, Michael. And you yourself turned out not to be a puer aeternus, at least in this life. Having more money than God can’t buy everything, as my mother might have said, but you understood that truism all too well, didn’t you?

Just when I could sense my cynicism start to gain the upper hand, I happened to click in a uTube link that lead me to a video tribute to Michael by some 1500 men in a Philippine prison, mostly poor young men doing time for drug offenses. John Tarrant’s talk at a recent Zen retreat popped into my head. John had said that we all create our own prisons, and then spend time and money, plus all the mental energy we have available, to decorate the walls. Of course, these inmates, some little more than kids, understood Michael in a way I cannot, and they mourned him. I began to cry. Yes Michael, no one better than a freak to decorate our prison walls and provide the sound track, a song of hope. Life is a gift. Your life was a gift.

Here’s a link to the story on the Huffington Post. It’s almost 10 minutes long so if you don’t want to watch the whole thing, or don't have the time, it really gets going about 5-6 minutes in. And yes, that is Latin you hear at the very beginning, the final line of a prayer for Michael: “through our one Lord, Jesus Christ, your only born Son, who lives with you (Father) and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, world without end.” There always seems to be formal prayer, often in Latin, before any ceremony in the Islands, even dancing in prison. And the world without end refers to the divine realms, not Michael’s or ours.

And here is a Spanish translation of this post:
Posted 28th June by tellall