Friday, June 26, 2009

Whispering Pines, Men As Trees of Stature

[H]e's outta my life
[H]e's outta my life

I don't know whether to laugh, or cry
I don't know whether to live, or die

And it cuts like a knife
[H]e's outta my life

Nestled and tucked in a wide swath of outer bands of the Black Hills in 1979 a small horsing camp became my home for a few days. It was there I was deliriously happy ~ happy to be horseback riding in the stately pines; happy to be surrounded with a few adults of outstanding character; happy to have met my new friend Edie.

It was also the summer that Michael Jackson's Off The Wall Album was released.

To date, at that juncture in my life, his musical career, I'd not known a day without his influence in the world of music. He had already been considered a major entertainer as he sang with his brothers, the Jackson 5, for two years before I was born.

Easy as 1-2-3

The summer sun baked the prairie, and my tween heart was snagged by the influence of the hauntingly heartfelt lyrics and the surge of the hormonal shift of puberty. His album marked and ushered in the genre of music now labeled The '80's ~ a season, in my opinion, unrivaled to this day.

Michael ruled as king over the industry.

Each new innovation; each new sound brought forth by various artists ~ all were eclipsed by Michael's ideas, sound, dance moves.

I had an uncanny ability to separate the entertainer's media-hounded quirks from the true musical genius he was. The tabloid offerings didn't phase me. I agreed with Michael when he sang:

Leave me alone
Leave me alone . . .
Leave me alone
Stop it
Just stop doggin' me around
Just stop doggin' me around

Was he weird? Did the speculation even matter? No one in history had experienced life in his shoes. No one had attained his status, no one had seen life through his lenses.

The criticism wasn't fair.

In life or death.

Listening and watching the aftermath in a uniquely remarkable moment in my life - that I am in a room complete with cable television - I couldn't help but feel a surge of anger as the alleged 'family spokesperson' and another entertainer had to audacity to mar an historic moment with bitter jabs of condemnation and criticism.

My ability to separate the two issues: media-hounded quirks from musical genius came to a close. With hot tears in my eyes, and a curious wondering of how his children would fare, I decided I'd had enough of the news reports.

I preferred to give honor where honor was due. I would go to bed and sleep and awake with my appreciation for the God-given skill, talent, and ability Michael Jackson had been given for his brief time on this earth intact.

His life, like all our lives, is and was a vapor.

As I turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin' my mind
I see kids in the street without enough to eat
Who am I to be blind
Pretending not to see their needs
A summer's disregard, a broken bottle top, and one man's soul
They follow each other on the wind, ya know, cause they got nowhere to go
That's why now I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
No message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, then make a change

Like the wind that whistled through the pines that poignant summer, so your life song has blown over me. Thanks for all you've given us, Michael. I, for one, appreciate it.

Where were you when you heard the news? I just happened to be with My Son, The Actor. Join us for today's post!


knit1kids4 said...

I did not hear about it till my dh came home from work. No TV on and no radio report did I hear.

I am saddened for him as he seem to always be searching for something he never found.

Karen/flutter2you said...

I was online, reading some posts on FB, when I read a post that said "MJ is dead? What is this world coming to?" She too, loves his music....

(The way you are feeling is how I felt when hearing the news about John Denver's plane crash and untimely demise. His songs touched mine as MJ's did yours.)

Wendy said...
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