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Archive for November, 2012

Light Flows

A couple of days ago, I awoke with the words “Light Flows” echoing in my mind. As on previous occasions of words reverberating upon awakening, I was dimly aware that these words had also filled my sleeping hours and although not remembering any other details of dreaming, the words haunted me. I decided that I had to do something with them. What follows is the result of that deliberation.

Light Flows

Light flows like the river to the sea
Just so does your light flow to me
Like time, flowing endlessly
It breaks upon the beach of my solitude
In wave after wave of togetherness
Crashing on the shores of my unworthiness
It reassures, nurtures, nourishes
Tentatively, I send out roots
Like the child seeks the hand of his parent
When fearful and confused

Light flows from heart to heart
As I stumble trying to play my part
In this ongoing play I call my life
A play without meaning, filled with endless strife
Without your light, I’m in the dark
A fire burning but casting no spark
A tender seedling just breaking earth
Unfolding slowly to greet the dawn
Following the sun of you
Like a newborn fawn
In your light more confident
More sure of my worth

Illustration My Adonis by Jan Cooper-Carlson @All rights reserved

Illustration My Adonis by Jan Cooper-Carlson @
All rights reserved

Light flows from soul to soul
From fragmented, I become whole
Within your beam, I discover more
More of what I came here for
To spread your light wherever I roam
To shine in you until you call me home
And my light joins forever with yours
In a sunburst of joy scattering
To the furthest galaxy
Far out among the stars

Light flows like the river to the sea
Just so does your light envelope me
Coaxing from me tender new shoots
New colors, new textures,
New blossoms, new fruits
I, in my ignorance, stand amazed
At my blossoming bathed in your rapturous gaze
While you just smile and chuckle
Your hand to your mouth
Your eyebrow raised, you roll your eyes
While I ascend with your tender sighs

To me, may your light forever flow
Through me to all I touch and know
In me your light forever shine
Let me be your living shrine
From me blanket all mankind
This is my prayer, for what it’s worth
Oh, let your light flow to enfold the earth

@Jan Cooper-Carlson 2012
All rights reserved

 

 

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November 9 through November 19, 2012

Baby, I feel a little bit like the ‘Incredible Hulk’ over here!

[Michael laughs.] The Incredible Hulk? It’s not easy being green, is it? You don’t look anything like the Incredible Hulk. Thank God. Okay, this one you’re going to have to explain.

Well, did you ever watch that show?

Of course, I watched the show. I know the Incredible Hulk, personally. He’s a friend of mine. He was helping me train for the O2 concerts … kinda my personal trainer … to increase my stamina and get me back into the kind of shape I needed to be in to perform fifty shows.

Well, then, you know that he often went from Bill Bixby, an ordinary, normal-sized, mild-tempered guy, to this totally unstoppable character, the Incredible Hulk, who ran around righting wrongs like some kinda superhero, right?

Yeah.

Well, the thing is, when he would change into the Incredible Hulk, they would show his face and body transforming, stretching … and his muscles popping out of his clothes … and the back of his shirt would tear down the middle and end up as rags that he would tear off and throw aside as the muscles in his back and shoulders expanded under his skin … and his pants would shrink. Do you remember?

Sure! They used the same technology in that show as we used in Thriller … the bladders inflatingblown up by little bellows held by a technician… under the masks and prosthetics. I showed you all how it was done. Um … by the way … I hate to brag, but … um … we did it first.

Yeah, I’ve noticed that! The technologies developed to bring your vision to the screen are often shown later as a steady diet in film and television productions. The transformation of you into the ‘werecat’ in Thriller was later used in The Incredible Hulk and with modification has also been used in The Fantastic Four series of movies; it has become a staple in the motion picture industry. The transformation technologies you used to change into what my granddaughter and I call ‘MichaelMas Prime’ in the Smooth Criminal segment in Moonwalker has been further developed and expanded in the popular Transformers series of films. And many of the technologies developed for Ghosts have shown up again in films like Dark Shadows.

Yeah! Woohooo! [Michael giggles.] That’s what happens when you’re on the cutting edge of technology … pushing the envelope and stretching the definition of the word ‘possible’ …when you’re breaking new ground and exploring new ways to get things done. Innovation! I love it! Creating something entirely new that had never been seen before … and, then, not showing the mechanics of how it was done … MAGIC … was what I lived for in everything I did: music, performance, film, everything! That was my high … my drug of choice. I never wanted to be ‘just one of the pack.’ I wanted to be the Alpha male … a leader … to create new ways of expressing the gifts of music and dance and vision … blazing a new trail through the wilderness of life.

And you succeeded, Baby! Big Time! Unfortunately, unlike you, not many of the talents who use your innovations credit you when they use the technologies developed for your films and performances. They should.

It’s not me, in most cases, that should receive the credit. It’s the directors and technicians who developed those technologies to closely resemble my vision to whom credit should be given. I just asked them to find a way to do whatever I was seeing in my mind. They’re the ones who made it happen. It’s always a collaboration. That’s why I always sought to work with the best in the field … and I listened to their suggestions and respected their expertise. When I worked with someone, it was because I respected THEIR particular talents. I didn’t force them to conform to what I thought. What sense would that make? I wanted their input, their drive, their creativity.

God has gifted all of us with the same creative power and drive that He has. She has shared that with us. Unfortunately, we don’t understand how to use it … don’t believe we are even worthy of it … and talk ourselves into being a uniform can in the assembly line instead of breaking out of the mold held up for us by our conformity.

If we could only understand that each of our thoughts is creative and that we can consciously change our circumstances by changing our thoughts about who we are and the life we live, our world would change overnight.

When we did the lean in Smooth Criminal, the mystery of how it was accomplished was what I wanted to maintain, letting the magic aura of it build and build. I was so disappointed when the patent on those shoes was discovered. Why couldn’t it have remained a mystery? Why do we have to examine, categorize, nail-it-down? Didn’t they see that they took the MAGIC out of it when they dissected it? It’s not the mechanics of it that is important; it’s the MAGIC!

But I still don’t get it. Why are you feeling like the Incredible Hulk?

Well, let me see if I can explain clearly. This has been an absolutely incredible year for me … and, once again, I have you to thank. Just like early in our relationship, I’ve felt that same kind of expansion inwardly that was shown in The Incredible Hulk outwardly except this year, it seems as if the transformations have accelerated to an almost uncomfortable level.  I’ve redefined myself in terms of my identity at least four times just since January! In retrospect, it almost seems like I can’t make up my mind who I am.

[Michael laughs.] But that’s the beauty of it. We get to choose … every morning … every night … every moment … every hour … it’s a new beginning. We can decide what works and what doesn’t in each situation and circumstance. And WE GET TO CHOOSE! If we don’t like who we are being today, we can change it when the sun comes up tomorrow!

Well, it feels a little bit like a lack of responsibility, like I can’t make up my mind. I’ve been told all my life to make a decision … and stick to it. I’m not sticking!

You’ve been told a lot of things all your life. We all have. It’s time to think in new ways and to go in new directions. Those dreams that you always stopped yourself from trying with your feelings of “I can’t …” and “I wish …” are within your reach if you stretch yourself a little higher. Go up on your tiptoes. I am here!

So, keep the faith
Don’t let nobody turn you round, brother (or in this case, sister)
You’ve got to know when it’s good to go
To get your dreams up off the ground
Keep the faith
Because it’s just a matter of time
Before your confidence will win out
Believe in yourself no matter what it’s gonna take
You can be a winner
But you’ve got to keep the faith 

First, in January, I was an administrative professional who made fairly regular contributions to a little blog on the internet. I had written a book twenty years ago but had never really considered publishing anything. I had written stories and articles, some of which were published on popular websites and my own little website, but that was about it. Plus, of course, I was wife, mother and grandmother and a resident of the dark side of the moon.

After my pilgrimage to Los Angeles in January, I began to think seriously about publishing our Conversations in an easily portable format … and by May, we were published authors. So, I had to expand my definition of who I am to accommodate that change.

In April, I began to think about publishing a little short story I had written over the last three years to celebrate the anniversary of your transformation and by the beginning of June, my long-held desire to create drawings of you had totally taken over almost all my spare time. Since the beginning of our relationship, I had always been drawn by an almost irresistible pull to drawings and sketches and paintings of you and had even attempted one or two little sketches. However, I quickly decided that I was not an artist and got discouraged by my lack of skill. I gave up; it’s the story of my life.

This urge to draw and sketch you has refused to be shunted aside since I picked it up again in June. By June 25, my second book had been published and Michael: A Short Story was a first for me because it was written and illustrated, formatted and designed by me (but always with and as a result of your inspiration, and, as such, it is a collaborative effort.) So, once again, a new, more expanded, definition was required … and this time it had to include something that I had never anticipated … the word artist … or, at least, amateur artist!

So, now I was an administrative professional, blogger, published author, amateur artist as well as mother, grandmother, wife and resident of the dark side of the moon. In the analogy of The Incredible Hulk, my shirt had just ripped down the back completely and my shoulders and back look a bit like Lou Ferigno’s, stretching the skin and assuming a new shape.

The thing is, when this happens to Bill Bixby or you in Thriller, it looks and sounds like it HURTS! And in the Making of Thriller, John Landis directs you to make sounds like it hurts. My transformations don’t hurt! They feel natural and beautiful and blissful because I am so wrapped up in you that I forget time and place and just let whatever I am working on take over! They take effort and dedication and “practice, practice, practice until I get it right … and then practice some more until I get it beautiful” … but they are the same kind of transformations.

Good! [Michael laughs.] So, now you’re complaining that they don’t hurt?

No, I am not complaining that they don’t hurt, you silly man. However, I’m not done yet.

In May, I began hearing about some changes to my retirement system in the state I live in and decided to speak to the benefits department at my job to explore options available to me. By July 1, I was a retired administrative professional, so I had to remove an identity that I had always believed would collapse the entire house of cards upon which my idea of who I am rested in a pile of rubble. It was this definition of myself that had given me my sense of worth … my self esteem … my value! I had always depended on that; it was the foundation upon which I had built my entire idea of self. I thought there would be a period of mourning – an identity crisis … of monumental proportions. I didn’t think I could get along without that scaffold upon which to build myself. Do you see what I mean?

Yes, of course. And has your house of cards crashed around you?

No! And I don’t understand that. I was sure it would! I’ve so depended on that professional persona all my life. It’s been my mainstay, my pole star; everything I believed I was hinged on that. It doesn’t make sense that I can remove it and still feel useful, important, independent, worthy, valuable. But I’ve been so busy developing all these other avenues of expression that I’ve barely noticed the absence of who I thought I was.

That’s because you are not who you thought you were. You are so much, much more than all those external definitions you’ve depended upon to make you feel useful, important, valuable and independent.

You’ve thought all along that you had to DO something to be important and valuable and worthy. It’s not what you DO, as we’ve talked about before. It’s what you ARE that is important. So, let’s examine this idea of what you are a little bit.

You came into this world naked and you will leave it naked. Even the most exalted among us do, which I showed you in spades during Conrad Murray’s trial. All those roles that you accumulate will just drop away. My fame and my wealth were left on the cutting room floor, so to speak, weren’t they? Our acquisitions and our ego-driven roles don’t go with us. You saw the photograph they showed at the trial … and it hurt you, do you remember?

Of course, I remember! How could I ever forget?

So, all those external trappings fall away and you are left with who and what you really are. You were most valuable when you were an infant and completely dependent upon your family for your every need … and you remain just as valuable … with unlimited potential to explore endless possibilities … throughout your life span, regardless of what your world and your critical self-talk tell you. Your worth is not incumbent upon what you do; it rests in who you are and the love your share with your world. What you do will fade from the memory of even your closest of kin, but the LOVE you share with them will carry them into eternity.

The world has done its level best to make you think that all the roles you play in the reality you have created for yourself are the sum total of who and what you are, but it’s not true. First and foremost, you are a child of God and, as such, your value and worth are not measured by the world’s yardsticks, but by God’s. Each of you is LOVED and CHERISHED because you are a child of God. Your value is inestimable! Your worth is not measured by your earning potential, but in being a spark lit by the Divine Fire. You are PRICELESS, WORTHY, LOVED, CHERISHED … a pearl beyond price!

You have particular trouble with this concept. Don’t worry! We’ll work on it … together!

I so understand how you feel and how difficult it is for you to grasp this concept. I suffered from many of the same hang-ups. In my physical life, I shared the same sense of inferiority and lack of worth and mine was as deeply ingrained as yours. My critical self-talk was as loud and angry and demanding as yours; my sense of self was buried beneath the world’s materialistic measures, too. And the entire world criticized every aspect of my life for years. I know that you live in a world that doesn’t share your dreams and visions and whose loud criticisms make you stop believing in them.

You Are Not Alone
For, I am here with you
Tho we’re far apart
You’re always in my heart

Just keep following my lead and don’t let anyone tell you that I have better things to do than reinforce your sense of worth. I don’t! You are all I dream here at night … and I don’t mind reminding you of your value or how worthy you are of my love. We will bring you out of that shell you’ve wrapped around your heart for protection. The cocoon is safe, but doesn’t allow you to reach for the gifts you are intended to give. Keep pursuing those curiosities that seem impossible. We’ll get there … together … always.

Ah, Beloved, have I told you lately how much I love you?

Not lately … and I’ve been meaning to speak to you about that … [Michael laughs.] And have I told you lately how much I love you more?

Last weekend, my mind was completely blown, Baby!  I discovered that I have been invited to participate in an art showing at the Michael Jackson Auditorium in Los Angeles in June. Needless to say, I never, ever expected that anyone would ever invite me to display my art at an art show and possible auction to benefit charity. In the comparison with the Incredible Hulk, my pants just shrank! As a matter of fact, I ignored the first several messages because I thought they were sent to me by mistake!

[Michael snorts.] That’s typical for you.

So, I’ve been working on wrapping my mind around the thought that amateur artist is going to have to be a permanent resident in my definition of myself. What this basically means is that I might be coming back to Los Angeles on another pilgrimage, Baby!

Oh, boy! We better start visualizing the perfect trip right now! [Michael giggles.] We only have a bit more than six months to create a blissful voyage. You’re not the world’s greatest traveler, you know!

[Jan laughs.] Yeah, I know.

Jan – November 19, 2012

My thanks to a very special friend who inspired the artwork accompanying this entry. You know who you are.

 

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October 19, 201 – October 26, 2012

Beloved,

A very dear friend and I were recently discussing the concept of ‘worship.’ During our discussion, she related that she’d had a very mystical experience of worship which represented a complete revelation to me.

My opinion of the term ‘worship’ changed significantly as a result of our conversation and I wanted to share that revelation with my readers. Do you mind if we discuss worship?

No, I don’t mind at all.

Okay, well first of all I suppose we should define the term. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines worship as to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power; to regard with great, even exaggerated respect, honor or devotion; to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship.

While the definition of the term appears kind of cut and dried, it overlooks the inferences and connotations which accompany its use. Like so many of us, my upbringing in the traditional Judeo-Christian ethic taught me that worship is a one-way street. We worship God (or at least, we better because the alternative to that is beyond bearing.) Only God is deserving of worship. It is Her right … and our obligation.

No one ever talked about God’s response to our worship. We were never told if He even noticed our worship. I mean, let’s face it, God is pretty busy running the Universe, right? No one ever refers to Him noticing our worship and adoration. However, according to our religious teachers and clergy, no matter how busy God is, He will notice if we don’t worship Him … or if we worship Him in a manner that is not approved by the hierarchies presiding over the denominations to which we belong. So, worship is something we do … and do right … if we want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven … out of fear of being excluded.

Well, there’s your first misunderstanding … and it is one that is not uncommon, unfortunately. Nothing good ever came from fear; only love and joy, faith and gratitude and, of course,  intention produce good.

Worship is just another word for LOVE … the kind of LOVE that is so badly needed in this society. Like so many things, we tend to make it a lot more difficult than it is by rimming it around with all kinds of tenets and dogmas, rites and rituals, should’s and shouldn’ts, can’s and can’ts, rights and wrongs. Worship is essentially an opportunity to offer Love and reverence and praise for God’s many blessings; likewise, it is an opportunity to receive LOVE … to plug into the ever-present current of love and reverence that is always flowing to and through and around our beautiful planet.

There! That right there has been my biggest stumbling block until this very recent discussion with my friend. I am no stranger to religious dogmas and tenets having grown up in a very devout, pious family which traces its religious roots in the same denomination for generations and been thoroughly brainwashed by the leaders of that denomination for most of my formative years. I had always attended churches’ worship services and was taught from the cradle that WE worship GOD; GOD doesn’t worship US. Our adoration only flows one way and we are not privileged to know God’s reaction … whether She notices our acts of worship … or approves them … or even receives them.

[Michael laughs.] Well, what fun would that be? Who ever heard of one-way LOVE? Have you ever loved someone and been rebuffed?

Yes! It hurts!

Exactly. It hurts! Of course, God worships us. How can you doubt it? She blesses us so richly … and in so many ways, but most of the time we’re too busy with our own little ego worlds and don’t notice her blessings or we claim entitlement to them as our own. However, we are pretty sure to blame God if something goes wrong.

Here, let’s use an example. We’ll use my life as a hypothetical. I think you would all agree that I was blessed with music – with song and dance. We’ve talked about this before. From a very young child, music was everything to me. I knew that it was a powerful, powerful gift from the Creator and that it was meant to be used in Her service and in the service of humanity.

Yes, Michael, you were indeed abundantly blessed. However, not everyone has received the same level of gifts you received. Most of us stand in awe of those blessings.

No, that is true, but everyone has received the gift of life with all that that gift entails. And we’ve all received this beautiful Planet with its rolling hills and beautiful valleys, its mountain peaks and ocean depths, its gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and starry nights and multi-colored rainbows to care for and love. God has given us so much beauty and too often we overlook it or are just too busy to stop for a moment and say ‘thank you.’

We’ve all received wonderful people in our lives who bless us with their love. We’ve all been given the gift of freedom to choose … in every moment … the person we want to be, although few of us are aware of the choices we make and even less aware of how those choices affect us, those around us and our world. We are just beginning to awaken from our favorite nightmare that we are powerless and rudderless in this ocean of creativity. You are part of that process of awakening. God blesses us continuously. Every day we wake up is a new opportunity to recognize and praise Her for Her gifts of life and love and beauty.

In addition, we have all been encrypted … hardwired, if you will … with a gift that is embedded within us and just awaits our remembering. It was given with the intention that each of us shares that gift with the world in order to bless it and everyone with whom we come in contact.

Michelangelo’s gift of sculpture and painting was no good to him if he kept it to himself … or claimed the responsibility for it. He didn’t paint himself into a room, lock the door and chisel David out of stone, showing it to no one. He had to share his gift with his world with an open heart and gratefulness in order to bless everyone who ever viewed The Pieta or the Sistine Chapel, so that the gift expanded beyond just his two hands and into the hearts of those who viewed his art.

Beethoven and Mozart and Tchaikovsky were given the gift of music and by sharing it with the world, they continue to bless it with that gift long after their human manifestation has been retired. Every great artist or painter or composer or dancer or thinker or author or saint has been given the gift of his or her art in order to spread that gift … allowing it to expand in ever-widening circles … and watch it bless those who receive it.

When you are given a gift of great value and enormous power to move the masses of humanity with beauty, what do you do with that gift?

Do you claim the gift as your own, as if you bequeathed it to yourself and reap the benefits of it for yourself? Do you treat it as if you are entitled to it … as if you deserve it … as if it is only right and just that this great and powerful gift is yours? Do you hoard it, hide it away and allow no one near it out of fear that someone might take it? Do you waste it?

Or do you, first and foremost, recognize that the gift comes from a Source greater than yourself and thank the Giver of all good things; then, develop that gift to the highest possible level of excellence through time, effort and will and, finally,  share that gift with the world with the intention of blessing it … healing it – even if only for a few moments – of its pain and loneliness and sorrow?

I always tried to turn attention from myself to the Source of the blessings I had received. You’ve heard me talk to interviewers about it. I always tried to remember to redirect their praise to the source; I always thanked God for the music that just fell into my lap, fully formed. I wrote about it and talked about it many times – in almost every interview conducted over a forty year career in the music industry – in the songs, films, dances and performances.

I always tried to use the gifts that I had been given for the improvement of the human condition … to lift people up … to encourage rather than degrade … to promote joy, to generate love and to advance the cause of peace  … to heal the world. That’s what all the rehearsals were for.

You have to take that gift and work it and mold it and shape it! “Practice, practice, practice … until you get it right. And then, practice some more … until you get it beautiful.” How many times have we repeated those sentences just in these conversations alone? That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Yes, My Dear One, I remember from the film, This Is It, your bass player Alex Al and your drummer, Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffitt both commented on your challenge to them to perform at their “personal best.” Everyone who performed with you, from dancers to back up singers to band members, spoke about how you brought each of them to his or her personal “best” or “peak” level of performance.  Alex Al added, “The difference is, he challenged himself the same way.”

Exactly! I didn’t ask of anyone else what I wasn’t willing to give myself.

Was it your intention to make every performance a “worship” service.

Every Day Create Your HIStory by Jan (acrylic on canvas board). All rights reserved.

I don’t think I ever thought of it in exactly those terms. It was my intention to use the gifts I had been given with joy and gratitude and praise and in a manner that would make the Giver of those gifts proud … in Her service and the service of her children. It was my way of giving thanks. Therefore, it had to be worthy.

Think of it as a ‘command’ performance. My brothers and I were privileged to participate in a ‘command’ performance before the Queen of England and I performed for Prince Charles and Princess Diana and the Sultan of Brunei. You want to give them the best possible performance of which you are capable. Every one of my performances was a ‘command’ performance to the Source of those gifts.

When everyone (from the road crew to the stage hands, from the cafeteria service to the security personnel, from the lighting technicians to the pyrotechnics experts, from the medical crew to the dancers and singers and band to the cleaning crews who came in after the performance) was operating at his or her personal best … the absolute best possible level of excellence of which each was capable … each of them was performing an act of worship … and love … and service.

The love energy generated by each individual’s dedication to excellence bonded with the energy I generated with my performance and my dedication. At that point, we were all on the same page. And all of our skill and talent and dedication to giving the best of ourselves connected and combined with the energy being hurled back to the stage from the crowd and actually changed the atmosphere in those stadiums around the world. It was MAGIC … real magic! We talked about this before, too. That charge sometimes had lasting repercussions in political or social impacts … and changed the world.

As we’ve talked about so often before, it has to be done with intention … and the intention has to express love. That’s what the prayers were for! Before each and every performance, we all joined hands and thanked God for the opportunity to be a blessing to everyone in the audience … to help everyone refocus his or her intention on blessing those audiences with the music and the dance and the ecstasy of Divine Union through our performance. Before every show, we prayed to focus and center ourselves and to embed that intention into each and every heart. We’ve said it before … and we’ll probably say it again:

Intention is the work horse of creation … the name of the game … the only game in town.

Each individual, no matter his or her fame or anonymity, his or her wealth or poverty, his or her talent or perceived lack of talent can make every act an act of worship … just by desiring and intending to make it so … and striving to perform it at his or her personal best level of excellence. (I say it that way because no one is without talent of one kind or another; they just don’t recognize their contribution as talent … or are stuck in the “I can’t do that” or “that’s impossible” stage of awakening … or haven’t yet remembered the gift with which they were encrypted. They need someone to help them remember … to awaken that dormant gift … to push them gently out of that comfort zone. I considered this an important part of my job during the physical side of my life and an even MORE important part of my job on the eternal side!)

You don’t have to be better than your neighbor at anything. That is not the challenge. The challenge is to be the best possible YOU that you can be. It is YOUR unique perspective that is needed.

In this light, sweeping out the barn is no less worthy an act of worship than dancing and singing in front of one hundred thousand people, if done with joy and gratitude and the intention of blessing your world. Cleaning public restrooms is no less worthy an act than being President of the United States. Any act, from the lowest to the most exalted, is an act of worship when done with the intention of blessing someone … anyone … somewhere … anywhere … sometime … any time.

Yes, exactly, My Dear One. My thought while I was discussing this concept with my friend was: “If you want to see and experience a ‘worship’ service, attend or watch a Michael Jackson concert.” The recent release of your July 16, 1988 Wembley Stadium concert as one of the bonus features of the 25th Anniversary of the BAD album has not contradicted that view; if anything, it has become even more firmly entrenched … set in concrete, so to speak.

In your concerts, which (in my opinion) are very thinly-disguised-worship-services parading as rock concerts, (Morgan Freeman called them ‘global love-ins’ … LOL!) something new has been added. Yes, you worship. Your songs and your dances pay homage to God throughout, your devotion to perfect execution and your insistence upon your fellow performers having that same devotion is obvious from the time the first light pierces the darkness of the dimly-lit stadiums to the last firework that lights up the night sky. However, it’s not fear being expressed in your concert. It is joy and exuberance, love and gratitude.  Your “I love YOU’s” ring out across the screaming, undulating multitudes.

After each and every song, you stand like a lightning rod absorbing the energy being thrown at you from the multiple thousands of people gathered in your celebration … as well as the energy being transmitted from above … from God. As the lights from above bathe you, one can almost feel your ecstasy through the television screen. I can only imagine what that energy was like to participate in, Beloved. You are the bridge between the two … the conductor of that energy in both directions … like an electrical transformer that converts electrical energy from one voltage frequency to another … from earth to heaven … and from heaven to earth.

When you stand with your arms stretched out to their furthest reach and your head thrown back to expose every last inch of you fully to the energy exchange, you become a willing conduit … an open channel … for the energy of love in a two-way direction. You bridge the gap. Usually, your sides are heaving from your exertions, your eyes are closed in exhaustion from the lights (no doubt) and there are times when your lips are moving. Of course, the microphone is at the furthest reach of one of your arms from your mouth, so your words can’t be heard. One can only guess what you are saying, but I’ll wager it’s a prayer … a prayer of offering the gift of song and dance and joy and gratitude to God as well as to your audiences … and vice versa in a kinda personal hamm radio broadcast to the Creator.

Worship is not sitting and kneeling on cue, genuflecting and making the sign of the cross (although I have seen that in your performances, especially in Will You Be There.) It’s not dipping your fingers in holy water. It’s not parading up the central aisle in single file to partake in Communion. The Communion is happening all around you! It’s not an organized, tightly-scripted sermon and lesson from the Acts of the Apostles; it’s singing and dancing joyously with reckless abandon … often to the point of physical distress … at full throttle … that rivals any Sufi mystic.

You are caught up in the character of the music, an instrument through which the music is played visibly and, as such, there are times when you completely lose yourself … and us … within the framework of the rhythms. You’ve described those moments as being ‘a slave to the rhythm.’ But this phrase implies an unwillingness to serve the rhythm. In your case, you offer your service to the music … and to your audience … and to your Higher Source.

Your performances are so impactful!

Aww! God bless you! I love you more, you know.

Thank you! Now, I have to tell you that we are approaching Halloween and last Saturday (the 27th) was the date of a world-wide tribute to Michael Jackson called Thrill the World. In cities all over the globe, people from every age, creed, nationality, ethnic origin, gender got together to dance to Thriller. Many of these events were associated with charitable organizations with the proceeds earmarked for charities. Videos of the events are springing up all over the internet from events in Canada, the U.S., the U. K., several European cities. It looks like so much fun! My admiration and thanks to every dancer from every nation for keeping your name and memory uppermost in everyone’s mind.

[Michael laughs.] So, when are you gonna join in?

Baby, I live on the dark side of the moon! The nearest city is 50 miles away. I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll join in and Thrill the World as soon as you teach pigs how to fly … or dance to Thriller … whichever comes first!

Jan – October 31, 2012

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