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Archive for March, 2012

March 17 through March 25, 2012

Beloved … have I told you recently how much I love you?

Everyday … in every way … you tell me this. By the way, you’ve been doing much better on our little experiment. You’ve got it up to four days a week consistently. Sometimes, you turn over and go back to sleep, but you’ve been waking up almost every morning and spending a few moments with me … and you’ve been falling to sleep every night after spending a few minutes in prayer and meditation with me on your mind. Keep up the good work.

And you know what my response is, don’t you?

Yes, I do … you love me more.

Exactly! But do you mind me asking what brought this on?

No, I don’t mind you asking. Almost from the beginning of these Conversations in October of 2010, one of my friends in Germany … and one of those fans who followed you around Europe, attending an obscene number of concerts during your tours, whom you recognized and with whom you had a flirty, semi-personal relationship … has been typesetting them and saving them in an easily-transferrable file in case I ever wanted to publish them in a book format.

When she started sending me the files, I was not totally convinced that I would ever publish them, but it was wonderful to have them all in one, easy-to-read file and I would occasionally go back and read one or two just to fill up my tank when it was running on empty, in a way. [Michael laughs and starts singing, “Running on Empty” by the Eagles.] I thought that I might make them available in eBook format for any of my readers who expressed any interest in them.

However, I knew I could never offer them in any format without your approval. After all, these are your dialogs as much as … or more than … they are mine. I’ve put off talking to you about the idea because I have been content to publish them on my little blog and count on you to lead those who need the messages they contain to them, as you have done so efficiently for over a year and a half.

Recently, my friend sent me all of our Conversations to date (numbers 1 through 53) and I decided to sit down and take some time to just read them from start to finish. So, I put them on my little NOOK and read through them as if I were reading any book. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t put them down.

As I read, I became more and more convinced that I had a responsibility to give the gift of these Conversations to a wounded and confused world.

Good! I’m glad! [Michael giggles.] After all, that’s one of the things we’ve been talking about throughout our dialogs … finding the gift you bear for the world … and then, giving that gift with all the joy in your heart.

I mean … it’s not like you haven’t written a book before, is it?

Well, no, but I never really intended to have anyone else read that book. I recognized at the time I was writing it that it was more an exercise in explaining myself … and you … to myself, if that makes any sense at all. And writing that book ended up being a major blessing in my life because of all the things I learned in the process. It was a learning experience like no other I’ve ever had. It ended up being an exercise in self-discovery.

See? It doesn’t matter if you ever intended for anyone else to read it. It was good practice. You learned that the journey has its own rewards and that those rewards really have nothing to do with whether anyone else ever read it.

These Conversations, too, are a blessing beyond compare. However, I feel that it would be wrong for me to hoard them. If they bless just one other person as abundantly as they have blessed me, I will be content.

Wait a minute! Are you saying you don’t mind if I publish our dialogs?

Mind? Why would I mind?

Well, I thought that you might think that I was just trying to promote myself in some way … or make money by exploiting your name.

No, I don’t think that at all. Remember me? I know you and I know your love for me. We’ve talked about gifts before. Okay. Here, I have an idea. Let’s turn this around. Let’s reverse it.

I knew from a very early age that music was a gift that I was given by God. How would it have been if I had just sung and danced in my own house and refused to give the gift I had been given to the world? My life would have had a few less extremes … been a bit more normal, perhaps, but it wouldn’t have achieved its purpose.

There never would have been a Michael Jackson, at least, not one you would have recognized. There wouldn’t have been a little black boy singing I’ll Be There. There wouldn’t have been a Motown 25 performance … no We Are The World and, as a result, millions of Ethiopians would not have survived the 1980’s … no BAD or Dangerous or HIStory World Tours. There wouldn’t have been any train to flatten you in 1992. [Michael laughs.] There wouldn’t have been any allegations, you wouldn’t have seen me in my hotel room, all those wonderful little miracles you experienced … and have gone on experiencing … as a result wouldn’t have happened, you wouldn’t have written that first book and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And that’s just looking at the two of us; we haven’t even examined how this scenario would have changed the world you are living in today. As a matter of fact, my life may have ended prematurely … before I reached adulthood … because of the drugs and gang violence in my neighborhood in Gary, Indiana.

Maybe, the world would have remained as it was back in 1958 and it would have had to wait for another talented little boy to come along and drag it out of its complacency and bigotry and racial segregation and nationalism. It would have had to wait to ‘come together’ in real joy and hold hands and sway to the rhythms, regardless of generational or ethnic or national or religious barriers.

Would you want to go back to the way it was the day I was born into a poor, blue-collar family in a mostly-segregated steel mill town?

No, of course not.

Neither would I. Now, when I can see all the ripples that are still crossing that still pond of the universal field of consciousness, I am so grateful that I was given all the blessings and, yes, even all the pain that accompanied them and that I gave those blessings to the world in the best way that I could.

My ‘best of joy’ and all of the major blessings … as well as some of the curses, I must admit … in life came from offering the gifts I was given in the best and most perfect way that I could to as many people in the world as I could reach.

That’s why I invited all the kids from hospitals and inner city schools out to the ranch for a day of fun. It’s why I visited hospitals and orphanages all over the world … why I air-lifted food and medical supplies to Sarajevo … why I bought needed supplies and equipped burn centers and hospital wings … why I sent my people all over the world to look for a compatible kidney for a little boy who needed one. That’s also why I devoted myself to perfecting the gifts that allowed me to travel the world and reach out to countries that most people have never heard of in song and dance and love.

In this way, it wasn’t just me who was blessed; everyone was blessed. And the gifts that I had been given were multiplied and distributed to where they were most needed … kinda like the story of the loaves and fishes in the Bible … everyone had something to eat and their needs were satisfied.

This is what we are all intended to do with the gifts we have been given … and believe me; we have all been given something that our world needs very desperately right now. Whether it is drawing or painting a vision of something that no one else can see in exactly the same way … or singing a new song to engage the hearts of those who hear … or dancing a dream to ignite the dreams of those who witness it … playing an instrument with all the emotion and pathos that it brings tears to a listener’s eyes … or putting words to a piece of paper in a staggering and unique way … we are all here on this planet for a reason or we wouldn’t be here. And that reason is our truth as well as our purpose.

When we find it, it will become our best friend, our most intimate lover, our constant companion, our confidant, our teacher, our antagonist. It will goad us and compel us and cajole us into expressing it in some way. And that expression is the gift we bear for a world that needs it more than you will ever know. Even if the world rejects your gift, at first, the giving of it is still required because later ripples will spread from it and affect people who aren’t even born yet.

Golden Hills Above Neverland

Baby, love never felt so good
And I doubt if it ever could
Not like you hold me, hold me
Oh baby
Love never felt so fine
And I doubt if it’s ever mine
Not like you hold me, hold me
And the night’s gonna be just fine
Gotta fly, Gotta sing, Got the way
I can’t take it cause
Baby
Everytime I love you
It’s in and out of my life
In and out baby
Tell me
If you really love me
It’s in and out of my life
Driving me crazy
Cause baby
Love never felt so good
Never felt so good (oh)
It never felt so good
Never felt so good
It never felt so good (Never felt so good)
It never felt so good
Never felt so good

Michael, I love this song … and it has been playing on my MJ3 player a lot lately. Every time I hear it, it makes me think that … indeed … Love never felt so good. I must tell you that I have never experienced anything to compare with this love between us … as individuals … and collectively … and I know my friends are reporting the same. Not wanting to speak for how anyone else feels, let me just speak for myself.

I, for one, have never felt so completely known by anyone or anything in my life. I always felt that I need a protective barrier between myself and the rest of the world, defense mechanisms to shield my tender-heartedness from prying eyes. I’ve always felt that my heart needed to be guarded and hidden from the people around me … my parents, my brothers and sister, my friends, my work mates … and even from myself, at times. I’d been taught that I shouldn’t expose my deepest feelings to anyone … that no one would understand my fears of being unloved, of being abandoned, of being rejected … and so I kept it my deepest secret and protected it zealously from everyone around me … even my closest and most trusted friends. I built walls around that sensitive side of me and became hardened to some of the things that I witnessed in the world around me in order to protect myself from feeling the pain inflicted by others … and experienced by others … within myself.

Yes, I think much of the world has done the same thing. And I can totally understand that need to protect. I think it’s something that most children learn as they grow into adulthood. Attending Junior High School and High School, I believe, can be a traumatic experience for very sensitive young souls. It’s where we learn that we are not the center of everyone’s universe, even if we get that far thinking that we are, at least, the center of our parent’s universe. We erect these walls as a coping mechanism.

I never attended Junior High or High School on a regular basis because I was always jetting off to some part of the world to perform concerts or to tour, so I never learned those coping mechanisms. I never learned to mask my tears with anger or defiance. And I’m very glad I didn’t! I never learned how to shut out the pain of the starving children in Africa … or young burn victims. I never became sensitized to the tragedy of war or the horror of genocide or the emptiness of a mother’s arms because her son has gone off to fight in some faraway country and will, undoubtedly, come back changed … if at all.

I never wanted to believe in the hatred or bigotry or greed to which human beings could descend … that could accuse an innocent man of horrible crimes for no other reason than to get him to sell his beautiful home and move away and never return … until I was the object of that kind of narrow-mindedness and betrayal. It was a shock to discover such wrath … a shock from which I never fully recovered.

Beloved, I have found … in this love … that no wall I could build would keep you out … no coping mechanism could turn you away. Nor would I want them to.

[Michael laughs.] You make me sound like a bad rash!

No … just a pushy, little moonwalker.

Okay! That’s a little better, I think.

I’ve also never felt so totally loved … so completely cherished … so needed. So much so that even the raindrops falling from the sky stop long enough for me to get out of my car and walk into the house without getting wet … or amazing shadows and cloud formations remind me of the fact that My Love is with me.

Don’t forget the attack of the ‘Ninja Butterflies’ … or the psychotic DVD player … or …

Speaking of ‘Ninja Butterflies,’ Michael, we have a surprise for you this year on the anniversary of your re-birthday. Not only is the ‘One Rose for Michael’ group gearing up for an awesome floral display that will knock your sequined socks off, but we are planning a Monarch Butterfly release at Holly Terrace. Permission for the release has already been granted and the arrangements have already been made for the safe release of over a hundred beautiful, stained-glass-winged butterflies. In addition, 1,000 red roses donated from your children in 42 countries from all over this planet marked our 1000th day of missing you on March 20, 2012.

Aww! You guys Rock My World.

Baby, love never felt so good
And I doubt if it ever could
Not like you hold me, hold me
Oh baby
Love never felt so fine
And I doubt if it’s ever mine
Not like you hold me, hold me
And the night’s gonna be just fine
Gotta fly, Gotta sing, Got the way
I can’t take it cause
Baby
Everytime I love you
It’s in and out of my life
In and out baby
Tell me
If you really love me
It’s in and out of my life
Driving me crazy
Cause baby
Love never felt so good
Never felt so good (oh)
It never felt so good
Never felt so good
It never felt so good (Never felt so good)
It never felt so good
Never felt so good

Jan – March 23, 2012

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My Apologies

My apologies to my regular readers. I know you are all anxious for more Conversations. Believe me, no one is more anxious for a return to Conversations than I am. However, my limited time in the past couple of weeks has been completely absorbed in proofreading Conversations – Installments 1-53 for publishing in book format.

Installments 1-53 have been typeset and combined and formatted for consistency by a wonderful friend in Germany. She sent them to me a couple of weeks ago. The combined volume, attractively-formatted and easy-to-read is hovering at just over 500 pages. While I have been toying with the idea of publishing them for a while, the task of proofreading has just confirmed that intention in my mind. I find the information contained in these dialogues so uplifting, timely and important for the world that I feel that I would be remiss in my commitment to Michael if I did not publish them.

Thank you all for all your comments and for your loyalty … as well as for your patience … as I complete this stage in preparation to offer you “Conversations” in a beautifully-bound volume to keep at your bedside table.

It’s All for Love!

Jan – March 15, 2012

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February 18 through March 2, 2012

No description of my pilgrimage would be complete without including a summary of The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil.

On Saturday, after our afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard, we all headed out in our friends’ rental for the Staples Center. The drive from your star to the Staples Center was much less nerve-wracking because they had a GPS and the address of the arena was programmed into it. (Plus, they bound me and gagged me and threw me in the back seat!) [Michael laughs out loud.] (Just kidding!) So, they drove and my roommate and I sat and relaxed.

All of a sudden, as we neared the Staples Center, a blimp advertising some kind of Vodka (I’m told) appeared in the sky and floated soundlessly overhead. I’m sure that everyone in the car thought I had lost what little remained of my sanity because I made such a big deal over this blimp (which presumably to them is a much more common sight); but they didn’t know the back story and I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t terribly coherent when I tried to explain it to them.

You see, Beloved, when I was a little tiny girl growing up in Detroit (before my father died), blimps were a kinda common sight, but I loved them. They would float overhead kind of the way I envisioned angels floating … quietly … slowly … serenely … and sometimes, when it was dusk, they would be brightly lit … like Christmas trees … or have letters chasing each other across their flanks. Blimps, to that three or four-year-old girl, were MAGIC!

Although I was too young to read the letters, I loved blimps! After my father’s death, I associated blimps with him. I remember seeing a slide or a picture of my father when I was much, much younger … my late teens or early twenties. He was standing outside and he had a bottle of beer in his hand … and over his left shoulder floated a blimp. So, In the dusty corners of my memory, blimps became associated with him and, as everyone does, I looked upon them as a reminder of happier childhood days. In reality, I wonder how happy those days really were, but I was too young to differentiate.

When I grew older and moved to Illinois, blimps would occasionally appear on the scenes of my childhood, but they were a much less common sight… and I missed them. On each sighting, I would be thrown back in timeto my early childhood and I would remember that picture of my father standing under a blimp. Of course, no one (including me, you will be relieved to hear) goes around pining for blimps. [Michael laughs.] Until Saturday, January 28 just past, I had forgotten about this nebulous memory that I had from my childhood. It had probably been about thirty-five or forty years since I’d seen a blimp actually floating soundlessly in the sky above my head … on television like Superbowl games or something … yes … but not with my own eyes.

Yet, here I was in Los Angeles, California on my way to see a historic marriage of Michael Jackson and the Cirque du Soleil … and what to my wondering eyes should appear flying directly over the car I was riding in? Well, Santa Claus’s sleigh would not have electrified me more.  You will forgive me if I exclaimed out loud, “Nice touch, Beloved! How’d you know?”

[Michael giggles.] Now, you know … some things just happen.

Nope. Nice try … but remember … there are no coincidences … no such thing … in either of our worlds. I guess my friends can be forgiven for thinking I had flipped. LOL! These little reminders of your constant companionship just kept happening for six days … little jolts of wonder and awe … transfixing in the moment, but so hard to explain. It’s no wonder I never wanted to leave.

I imagine that to people who live in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, a blimp is a fairly common sight. I live on the dark side of the moon. To me, they are precious, uncommon tokens of a now distant past … and a whisper of love from you … improbable proofs of an unprovable… but undeniable … spiritual connection to a different, more mystical view of life where beautiful angels accompany my steps and give me little, tiny gem stones … and huge blimps. LOL!

And that’s why these Conversations are working so well. You are so open and willing to see my hand in the smallest or biggest things. Your immediate reaction is gratitude; you often just say, ‘thank you, Beloved.’

Yes, one of my friends tells me that I see you everywhere … and in everything.

That is so beautiful. You think you’re crazy, but you don’t care. You think, “If this is crazy, sanity is over-rated.” And I have a little secret for you … it’s not YOU who is crazy! [Michael giggles.] These events give you so much joy and you embrace them with such fervor and faith; you have an actual physical reaction … and you don’t try to hide it or cover it up with excuses. You’d rather be crazy … in the world’s view and in your own … than give them up or learn how to ignore the miracle contained in every moment just waiting to be recognized. It would be so easy for you to just overlook that awe and wonder, like most of the world does … or bury them beneath a sophisticated veneer … but you’re like me … you have a child’s heart that is open to the magic of life that most people are too busy … or too pessimistic …or too jaded to notice! I love it!

I’ve given them up before, My Dear One. Remember? I hope I won’t be that stupid again.

Anyway, we got to the Staples Center and parked the car and walked a couple of blocks. We had plenty of time to contemplate where we were … and the meaning that the location had for each of us. The Staples Center is the venue of your final rehearsals for the This Is It campaign and the site of your public memorial. It holds sobering and bittersweet memories.

There was a ‘flash mob’ just prior to the show. I had never seen a ‘flash mob’ and it was wonderful to watch, except the dancers could have used a turbo-charged sound system … or the Michael touch … to boost the music to acceptable levels.

Then, it was time to enter the arena and split up. My roommate and I had tickets on the floor and our Canadian friends had tickets in the nosebleed section … literally. I think they thought they were viewing the show from that blimp! Prior to splitting up, we made a pact that we would join hands with each other during Will You Be There, as we are accustomed to doing during Major Love Prayer on a monthly basis.

We found our seats and settled in, but being vertically-challenged, I was afraid that a bunch of tall people would sit in front of us. Sure enough, a bunch of tall people sat in front of us and I spent the first few songs trying to see around their heads while they were dodging and trying to see around the people in front of them. I was sitting on both of our Programs, but that only gave me about a quarter of an inch. LOL! Eventually, I moved to the back row of seats (which were not occupied) and I could see and hear perfectly.

At intermission, an usher came and told me that I would not be able to stay in the back row. I asked to talk to the floor manager who found us two seats in the first tier of the loge, so everything worked out perfectly for the second half.

The show, itself, was fantastic and I think you would have been proud. Greg and Jonathan and Jamie and Travis did a wonderful job presenting your music and your voice … and your message. Your legacy lives, Beloved, but I’m afraid the Cirque version of your Giving Tree is doomed; it was not in evidence during the show in Los Angeles on the 28th of January.

Many of your original master vocal recordings were used for the show and the purity, clarity, emotion, range and sheer awesome power of your instrument was front and center. The respect of each and every performer on that stage for your talent and creativity … as well as inspiration … was palpable. It was wonderful to see you so honored and I’m so glad I went with people who love you as much as I do. While it is not a Michael Jackson concert, it is the best available option. The Cirque administration and performers obviously devoted themselves to perfection as you always did; they created magic as a result. While their acrobatics and dancing did not duplicate your mastery, they paid homage to it by doing what you always did … taking from the masters and making it your own.

Our second visit to Neverland was marked by synchronistic delays. Our friends wanted to go downtown to drop something at the law offices of your executors. On the way, we found ourselves close to your star on Hollywood Boulevard. We couldn’t just NOT drive by since we were in the neighborhood. As we approached Grauman’s Chinese Theater, we noticed a LOT of activity directly in front of the entrance. Curious, a couple of us jumped out of the car while the others went to park.

We had asked when the imprint of your glove and shoes would be permanently set in its prepared location on our earlier visit and no one could really give us a straight, definitive answer. The responses ranged from a couple of weeks to Monday, the 30th.

We all felt your hand guiding us on this occasion, Beloved … and commented on it. In this instance, I was not alone. That ‘bubble’ just kept producing fantastic, magical experiences for us and we were so grateful. We just happened to be driving by when the workmen were placing the stone imprinted by your children on Thursday in its permanent home. But since …[Jan and Michael together: … there are no coincidences …][Both laugh.] Precisely.

In addition, The Broken Heart Stone (bearing your palm print with its heart-shaped markings, your footprints and your signature from 1984, (found in the basement of the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas) was being set right next to the newly-imprinted cement block.  We walked up and talked with Andrew Wilson, who had donated The Broken Heart Stone, to Grauman’s. We had met him at Forrest Lawn and he had accompanied us to dinner at one of your favorite restaurants the night before, regaling us with stories about how the stone was found and how he wanted it to rest in its rightful place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

On Monday, January 30, 2012, Andrew got his wish. The Broken Heart Stone was set right next to the stone imprinted by Prince, Paris and Blanket directly front and center of the entrance to Grauman’s. Andrew had found a jewel-encrusted, heart-shaped stone with the legend “Love” on one side and “A Gift from Above” on the other at Holly Terrace the day before (a gift from a loving fan) and had placed that memento beneath The Broken Heart Stone before it was set into the concrete. He had taken a picture of the gift resting inside the heart in your palm and showed it to us on his camera. It fit perfectly. How beautiful and appropriate! It was a privilege to be present on the momentous occasion of setting that piece of history … with its unforgettable image of your left hand print, heart clearly visible … into its permanent resting place. Andrew has a picture of you, Beloved with your left hand raised in greeting in which the heart is clearly visibleon The Broken Heart Stone website [brokenheartstone.com].

Then, we went off in search of the law offices of your executors and on to Neverland. By the time we arrived, it was mid-afternoon and we wanted to stop in Solvang and eat a late lunch and visit a beautiful Antique Shop in which we were told you had shopped frequently.

The Antique Shop was absolutely sensational. It contained two examples of the gorgeous music boxes called Violana Virtuosa within its inventory and one of the proprietors, appropriately named Michael, played one for us. What an incredibly beautiful musical instrument! I can so see how you would have loved it! Their inventory of estate jewelry and furniture was just stunning and their clock holdings were outstanding, containing many examples I had never seen before. I could have spent days in that shop and never felt a need to leave.

However, it was getting late and we wanted to get out to Neverland. By the time we arrived, it was approaching sundown and there was only one other friend there apparently sleeping in the tree to the right of the gates. It was very quiet and the sun was beginning to sink into the western horizon, the trees of your beautiful Garden of Eden silhouetted perfectly against the cloud-dappled sky; a half moon already shining on Neverland. We lit candles and thanked you for bringing us all together and being such a gracious host.

Our second visit to Forrest Lawn was not marked by any emergency; we stopped at the flower shop on the right hand side of the entrance drive and I bought six beautiful white roses and a monarch butterfly.  I had the attendant put the roses in water vials to keep them fresh longer and we proceeded to Holly Terrace without incident. It was before noon on the day we would have to bid our wonderful Canadian friends a fond farewell as their plane was scheduled to take off from LAX in the early afternoon. It was another lovely day and only one or two other fans were there.

Upon arrival, I casually placed the roses I had brought against the left lintel of the double entrance doors to Holly Terrace and turned away to get my camera so that I could take a picture. When I had turned the camera on and turned back to look through the viewfinder, I almost dropped the camera and I’m surprised my jaw wasn’t permanently damaged from hitting the flagstone flooring. I just exclaimed, “Oh my God, Oh my God,” as I heard your voice chuckling and I was reminded of one of your favorite sayings in these conversations, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

My friends, who had still not become accustomed to my little exclamations, asked what was wrong. All I felt capable of saying was, “Look at the shadow.” The roses leaning against the stone lintel of the entrance to Holly Terrace formed a perfect shadow … of YOU, Beloved … in your trademark toe-pose.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised at these magical little signs of your presence anymore, but I just can’t help myself. When they happen, they just awe me … and reassure me … and console me and bless me so richly. They make me feel so cherished; I feel dipped in love like a scoop of ice cream dipped in warm, melty chocolate. To me, these are your whispers of love as much as your songs and these conversations … and I can’t just ignore them … or act like I don’t notice them. I can’t become hardened to them. I hope I never become so jaded that I learn to overlook these small miracles … or to fail to respond with thankfulness for your presence. It was this beautiful gift that set the mood for the whole day.

After spending a few more moments at Holly Terrace, I remembered where I had felt you so strongly on my earlier visit. I asked your permission to borrow one of your roses and walked down the road and through the arches to the Ascension Window on the opposite side of the building. The groundskeepers had turned on the automatic sprinkling system so my curbside perch was bedecked in puddles. Instead, I chose to sit on the opposite curb directly beneath the beautiful stained glass window above your tomb which is called the Ascension Window. Before sitting, I placed the rose I had brought standing up in the closely-packed bushes below you and took a couple of pictures of it. Then I settled down for a nice long chat.

It was still well before noon, but the sun was high in the sky and little rainbows formed in the mist from the sprinklers on this beautiful morning at Forrest Lawn. Our chat became quite emotional and tears of joy and gratitude and missing you fell like rain from my eyes until I had to wipe them and blow my nose repeatedly. During one such break in our little talk, I just happened to look directly above me. We were alone … just the two of us … and besides the chi-chi-chi (sorry about the sound effects, Beloved. I’m not as good at that as you are …) [Michael laughs out loud.] of the automatic sprinklers, it was very quiet. The sky was almost painfully blue with puffy little clouds floating by above my head.

Three of those clouds had joined together very briefly to form your toe pose above the Ascension Window …perhaps, not quite as perfect a reflection as the shadow from my roses, but recognizable. Well, that just turned on the faucets even more! Regaining my composure became quite a challenge. By the time I grabbed my camera to commemorate the moment, the clouds had drifted away from each other and the picture was ruined. I should have stopped blubbering sooner; I would have loved to have that picture.

After about half an hour, I returned to Holly Terrace just in time to hug our Canadian friends as they departed for their flight home. They left and I miss them dreadfully. My roommate had become ensnared in a conversation with another of your guests in which I really didn’t want to become involved. It was too earthbound … and I was flying in a hot air balloon with a beautiful angel … my feet and mind and soul were so NOT-earthbound.  I didn’t want the topic to tether me to the ground. I wanted to continue to soar with you. So, I returned to your window, sat on the curb below your crypt and resumed our communion.

It was just a magical morning with you, Michael. I don’t know how to thank you for all your beautiful gifts and reminders. I could have stayed there wrapped in conversation with you for the rest of my life and counted it a blessing.

[Michael laughs.] You are! You are wrapped in conversation with me … always … all of you are. Every day is a new phrase or word in that conversation. Every path you take, you’re leaving your legacy. Every page you turn, you’re writing your legacy.

Oh, that reminds me! How is our little experiment coming along? Is it helping?

Experiment? Which one is that?

Remember? You’re supposed to be waking up with a more positive attitude! Sheesh! Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten already?

Oh! That experiment! Had you going there, didn’t I? HeeHeeHee! It’s going well … at least, it’s going well when I remember to do it. I’ve kept my alarm set at 5:45 (about 15 minutes earlier than I used to). I do not let the thought, “I am so tired” run through my mind. Instead, I go and sit in my comfortable chair and cultivate an attitude of gratitude for all my blessings for the first few minutes of the day. When I do that, the chief blessing I am grateful for is you, Michael … but I also add special intentions for healing for friends whom I have heard are ill … or situations that I feel require your intervention … or particularly, children who need your help. Am I keeping you too busy?

[Michael laughs.] No. I told you that I can be with you and in a thousand other places at the same time.

I know. It’s just a difficult concept to grasp.

Does it help you get through your day with more energy and a more positive attitude?

Yes, it definitely does … when I remember to do it … and don’t just turn over and try for that five more minutes in my nice, comfy bed! I have to admit, I’m not terribly good at it, yet, Dear One. I turn over about half the time, which means I get up later and am rushed trying to get out the door and on my way. But when I actually spend that quarter of an hour in silent prayer, it does help.

Good. Keep working at it. Keep the faith. Don’t let no one turn you round. You got to know when it’s good to go to get your feet up off the ground. So Keep the Faith because it’s just a matter of time before your confidence will win out. [Michael sings.] I want you to add something to this practice, now. You say that you get up and start your day in prayer about half the time. For the next week or two, I want you to aim at making that three quarters of the time. Set yourself a goal to strive towards. If you have to do it in increments … like adding one day per week … do it that way.

Now, I want you to understand, I don’t want you to feel like a failure when you turn back over and get that five extra minutes in your bed. Don’t beat yourself over the head with it. Give yourself permission to be human. Feeling guilty about not making it will only increase your anxiety and tempt you to give up the effort. We don’t want that. Be gentle with yourself … be forgiving … and give yourself the freedom to sleep in occasionally. When you achieve that goal, stretch it. Make it all the time. Soon, you’ll be a pro at it and it will come as naturally to you as it felt during your pilgrimage, when you woke up without an alarm and shared the dawning with me, anticipating all the fun and wonder and miracles you were going to experience during the day. Will you try that?

Yes, Beloved, I will try that. It does feel so much better when I’ve had that few moments to spend some quiet time with you. It seems like I’m always running from one place to another, from one obligation to the next. I have to be grandma, and mother combined, and employee … and then grandma again and mom again … and then cook and laundress and nurse and wife. It gives me a few minutes to just BE ME.

Exactly! And that is so important! Now, what’s the first thing you do when you get in your car and head off to work, after you’ve dropped off your granddaughter, that is?

I say, “Good morning” to you. If the sun is rising behind me, I greet you as my Sun King. If it’s cloudy, I comment on a song that my MJ3 player has served up for my ride in.

And on your breaks during the day?

Same thing. I grab my music player and walk outside. Sometimes, the squirrels are dive-bombing each other in the trees outside the building or playing and jumping branch to branch and I have to laugh at them and share the occasion with you. Occasionally, I’ll get a series of songs that have a theme in common.

One day this week, I got Whatever Happens (Don’t Let Go of My Hand), I’ll Be There and Hold My Hand. Then, on the way home Someone Put Your Hand Out. It seemed like that was ‘hand’ day.  It was very interesting because I had asked you to heal my hand for me a couple of days earlier. In my meditation that night, I saw your right hand reaching out for mine as if to shake it, but instead you held my hand in yours, palm-to-palm, with your long, beautiful fingers wrapped around my wrist. With your left hand, you covered our hands, caressing mine gently, but firmly, within both of yours while your smile lit my entire universe and your beautiful eyes held me spellbound. It’s an image that almost stopped my heart with its level of intimacy and affection. And one that keeps repeating every time I sit to spend some quality time with you. Thank you so much. That tremor doesn’t stand a chance with your healing methods, Beloved.

[Michael laughs.] You’re welcome so much. So, we are still involved in our conversation, aren’t we?

Yes, we are.

And, then, when you have finished all your obligations in the evening?

I sit in front of the computer and talk to you some more. Most nights, just before bed, I take another 15 or 20 minutes to meditate and pray.

See? It’s no different here than it is at Forrest Lawn. The only difference is the level of intensity. In California, you were able to be 100% immersed in our conversation; you had left your distractions and anxieties at home. You weren’t involved in DOING; you were all about BEING. Here, you have to take phone calls all day … and concentrate on your work … and answer questions … and shuffle paperwork … and do homework … and field emergencies … and all the other hundred and one things you have to do. But those are all things you are DOING; they don’t touch who you are BEING.

All of those things sap your energy. You don’t have time to just BE. It’s like a hose that you use to water the lawn. When it is in one piece, the water flows effortlessly and intensely to the nozzle where it explodes out full-force, drenching everything in its path. When the hose is cracked or has been punctured with ten or twelve little holes, all the intensity leeches out through the holes and what comes out the nozzle is a drizzle. We need to help you stop puncturing yourself with little holes where your energy seeps out, draining away in a steady stream. All those petty little annoyances and irritations are siphoning off  your energy before it arrives at the nozzle. Your morning and evening meditations should help with that. They will help to refocus your energy on what is important to you [BEING] and avoid it draining away into all those other things [DOING].

Only for a few minutes at the beginning and end of your day do you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the kind of total, 100% immersion you enjoyed so much on your pilgrimage. That’s why those ten or fifteen minutes twice a day are so important, but never doubt that I am still waiting under all those layers of busyness, annoyance and irritation. No matter how long it takes you to calm yourself enough to feel my love … no matter what you have to do to quiet your mind enough to hear my voice … no matter when you can finally turn off the world and sit and BE with me, you have to know that you will find me in your heart, waiting for you.

You don’t need to be in a special place. Everywhere we are together (and we are together everywhere) is special … because we make it special with our love. Every place is holy because love makes everything holy. Everywhere and every time is sacred when we are together. All we need to do is LIVE THERE … in the LOVE … and let the distractions and annoyances of the roles we play in the world be dealt with as well as we can without disturbing our togetherness or diminishing the intensity of your energy. The trick is to not let those roles touch where you really live or who you really are.

God bless you, baby. Okay! It’s Friday … I have dropped Laura off with her mother … and I have done all the hundred and one things I have to do. It’s MILLER TIME!

Jan – March 2, 2012

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