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Archive for July, 2013

July 12 – July 31, 2013

Beautiful One … you know … in the last twenty years, I’ve often asked myself, “WHY?” Why did such a beautiful human being have to suffer so dreadfully for so long? Why did your beautiful body have to turn on you with not one, but two, serious auto-immune diseases? Why did you have to be so vilely misunderstood and so blatantly misrepresented? There must be a purpose behind your … and our … suffering … a purpose that remains a mystery to so many of us today. You didn’t deserve the treatment you received at the hands of the world’s media.  Why couldn’t your uniqueness have been honored, your words believed, your genius embraced?

You’ve explained that there is a Plan and that the Plan is perfect because it takes into account everyone’s highest and greatest good. How could such a loving creature be accused of such heinous actions? Where is the Plan here? How is everyone’s highest and greatest good served here? Were all these controversies, rumors, innuendos, accusations and lies really necessary? How could God allow Her beautiful gift to the world to be so ignored, criticized, ridiculed, attacked, vilified, marginalized and so cruelly weighted down beneath rampant deceit, greed and self-interest? And these attacks against your integrity continue … through this trial … through the four years since your transformation … through renewed attention on twenty-year-old stories in tabloids and a rehashing of allegations of which you were exonerated in a court of law by a jury. I don’t understand.

Yes, there is a Plan … never doubt that. Everything … and I mean absolutely everything … that happens, happens for a reason; and the reason is always the same. It always involves our growth … our evolution … our development … our remembering … our expansion … our claiming who we really are consciously which in all ways is our highest and greatest good. No exceptions. There is no such thing as a coincidence. A coincidence is just God trying to get your attention.

Once again, you are looking at the surface of the pond. You aren’t even trying to follow the ripples that continue to expand in ever-enlarging concentric circles from the pebble thrown into the center of the pond. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any purpose behind these seemingly random events. Believe me, there is nothing that is random … all of it has a purpose … as a matter of fact, multiple purposes depending on who is observing them because none of us lives in a vacuum. As we’ve said before so often, WE ARE ALL ONE! The sooner we all come to this realization, the sooner we can heal the wounds of hatred, pride, prejudice and the wars that result.

Let’s examine this question by watching the ripples in individual cases. And while we won’t be able to arrive at a totally accurate, all inclusive answer because all the facts aren’t in yet … we should be able to, at least, ease some of your discomfort about the question. Since this conversation is occurring between you and me, we will examine the ripples from my perspective and your perspective, but the principles extend into your readers’ lives as well, so I hope that all of them can apply what we say here in their own lives, too.

Okay, Baby, if you can help me understand this, you are a miracle worker!

[Michael laughs.] Well, I never backed down from a challenge that I can remember. Let’s begin from my perspective and see where we end up.

Every hurdle I faced was a challenge to be overcome, an opportunity in wolves’ clothing … to define myself … to solidify my relationship to the world I inhabited … to choose to create rather than to react. Like my mother’s polio, it forced me to BECOME when it would probably have been a lot more comfortable to just go along with the status quo and the way things were done at the time, to be satisfied with less than my absolute best, to accept all the other-imposed and self-imposed limitations on what could be accomplished.

In the case of the two auto-immune diseases, I was offered the choice to sit back, hide myself away, feel sorry for myself, blame God and the world, become embittered by them … or … to use them as props to enhance my art, let them fuel my forward momentum, embrace them in my creative process as the ‘price of admission’ in a way and have them inform the songs and dances and performances with passion and fervor. They said ‘I’ had wanted to escape my heritage, but how does one escape what has shaped him from the time of his birth, the very blood running through his veins? Only my skin turned white; my heritage was always the same and always continued to shape my music and my films as well as my social consciousness regardless of the shade of my skin or the shape of my nose. It was superficial, skin-deep-whiteness but it didn’t affect my ‘soul.’

American society is very superficial and youth and beauty oriented. So, for a time in my late teens, I was very tempted by the ‘hide-myself-away-feel-sorry-for-myself’ scenario. However, the music wouldn’t let that go on for very long. It had to break free … and when it did … BANG … there I was right back in the spotlight. And when that spotlight hit ME … you may not have realized it, but it was also hitting YOU and society as a whole.

Because my private and public missions were always so intrinsically interwoven, you, too, were forced to deal with my ever-increasing ‘whiteness’ and make a decision as to where you stood on the issue. Was I a black man trying to disown and separate himself from his blackness? Was I a victim of a physical anomaly over which I had no control? Was I the ‘freak’ the media painted me?  The more the world’s media harped on the former and the latter, the more you held staunchly to the more compassionate view even before the Oprah interview when I told the world that I suffered from a “skin disorder” that “destroyed the pigmentation of my skin. It’s something that I cannot help.”

So, while I was defining how I was going to navigate that particular obstacle, you, too, were navigating the same hurdle … some of you, admittedly, in more depth than others. In addition, society as a collective was forced to come to terms with a black man who had turned white. While some of it didn’t do very well with the concept, others didn’t care a hill of beans about the shade of my skin or the shape of my nose.

In addition, while I was the ‘world’s darling’ … at around the time of the Thriller release … my popularity alienated me from those who hovered on the fringes of society because of their poverty … or their gender identification … or their lifestyle choices … and were shunned as a result. With the release of BAD, I became one of them. The media critics had turned on me and I could speak to their sense of alienation and isolation from the mainstream. I could gather them into a sense of community as well. So, there are multiple ripples coming toward the shore now.

I remember hearing Diane Sawyer after the day the earth stood still in a video clip. While I can’t remember her exact words, I can paraphrase: Is it possible that all those eccentricities [and here I believe she was referring to the umbrellas and masks and sunglasses and disguises] were responses to medical conditions over which he had no control?

Yes … see? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. As more factual, verifiable information became available, more people began to question their long-held beliefs that I was just some crackpot eccentric with too much money and too much fame. As they became more open to the broader, more compassionate view, they became curious to find out more.

The obstacles placed in my way forced me to examine and re-examine who I am and what my purpose for being that person was. They tried to ‘get me to lose the man I really am.’  They came very close; but they didn’t succeed! I was faced with endless opportunities to choose to become their idea of who they wanted me to be … or to remain who I am and to reinforce that through my thoughts, words, art and actions.

In this way, every lie helped me to further solidify and create my truth; every criticism helped me to confirm and reaffirm my sense of innocence because it allowed me to reflect on the “why me’s” of the situation I was facing and to arrive at FAITH and TRUST … in myself … in my intuition … in my vision … in my mission and in God’s merciful and Perfect Plan.

We are here to remember and to be who we were created and intended to be, as we’ve said so often before in these conversations. But many of us don’t know who we were created and intended to be. If our notions of what and who we are remain unchallenged, if no obstacles are placed in the way of our achievement … there is no goad to our remembering … we aren’t being pushed to grow into what we can become … to expand beyond the limitations we impose on ourselves … to choose for ourselves and to propel ourselves forward from that point. Those obstacles oblige us to take a step back, examine why we are doing what we are doing and by doing so, help us discover who we were created and intended to be. Do you see what I mean?

Yes, My Heart, I see what you mean. I saw a quote earlier today that I love and thought, perhaps, it might apply here. It said, “Life is a school in which we learn to remember what our souls already know.”

Yes, exactly.

There were many times, as we’ve talked about before, when my faith in myself and in my mission was challenged … but, in the end, became stronger as a result of those challenges and setbacks. Those were just as much God’s gift as my musical ability or my creativity or my vision … the other side of the coin, if you will. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but as I look at it from my broader perspective now, I can be grateful for those times that challenged my concepts of reality … of possibility … of my own pre-conceived ideas about my appearance and my purpose. Without them, I would have never discovered my faith and trust in myself and in my abilities … and in God. They would have been abstract concepts handed down from my mother … beaten into me by my father … preached at me by religious leaders … or scriptures … or society … or the media. They would have been repeated by rote and would have never become a part of who I am. With those challenges, my faith and trust in God … and in myself … and in my role … became conscious decisions … I chose them … I owned them … they became mine. Through those challenges, I was forced to reflect … to think about it … to arrive at the man I wanted to be … to confirm or deny what I had accepted as my purpose … of my own free will … and to recommit myself to their fulfillment.

Yes, but couldn’t there have been some other, perhaps less painful way, Michael? I mean, did your name and reputation and legacy have to be so publicly tainted and tarnished to accomplish that goal?

Dreams

Don’t forget … there is also the concept of free will involved here … mine as well as yours and the media’s journalists and all of the people we all come into contact with. Each of us is offered countless opportunities to choose his or her actions and thoughts. The way the ripples branch out from the center is infinitely complicated.

Just as an example, all of the journalists who wrote articles and expose’s were asked to make a choice to investigate and write truthful, informative, factual copy … or to follow their editors’ lead along the money trail and pen baseless, unsubstantiated, unproven conjectures. In some cases, the former choice would have led to them losing their jobs, but they still had a choice. A few maintained higher standards. Most chose to follow the money. It’s a matter of choosing a MASTER … what is right … or what is profitable, expedient, sanctioned by society’s ‘norms.’

It’s the same battle that has been fought since the beginning of time. Each of us is asked repeatedly to choose a master … what we focus on … what we give our attention to. That battle continues today in every venue you can imagine. It’s the underlying factor in all the court battles I fought both during and after my physical experiment.  The AEG trial currently being contested follows this same pattern. The real question is: What is right? What is profitable? What is expedient? And right is always the loving, compassionate side of the equation.

My entire life was lived in the public arena; it is who I am, who I agreed to be. It was the commitment I made before entering the physical realm. Yes, I was a very private human being but I was, at the same time, always in the public eye from a very early age. My personal goals and my public goals were the same. There was no separation. My personal mission was always irretrievably linked to a broader, more universal mission. And this is where YOUR perspective enters the discussion.

Let me ask you this: Do you remember when we talked about the very early days of our spiritual courtship?

Of course, I remember … how could I forget?

You watched the Bucharest concert and became curious about the man behind the music and performance that had so affected you. You recognized me across the vast distance between us through a television broadcast. You were offered a choice to follow your natural curiosity or to follow the herd mentality that was becoming the prevalent view at the time. You chose to follow your natural curiosity and you began to investigate and things were going along very smoothly until August of 1993. Then, BAM! Do you remember what happened?

Yes, Michael, I will never, ever forget … the vision … the panic … my fear for you.

As we’ve talked about before, you were given the gift of choice … of free will. You were offered the opportunity of investigating all the circumstances surrounding the first set of allegations for yourself and arriving at truth. You were also offered the opportunity to reach out to me in support and empathy. It was the same gift that I was given … and so many others were given … at the same time. You were given the gift of choosing to have faith in your intuition … of your soul’s knowing … of believing in me … and that faith and belief translated into the following decade of service to that faith.

It didn’t happen because the world reinforced or even understood your position. As a matter of fact, I’ll go a step further. It couldn’t have happened if the world reinforced or even understood your position. You … all of you … had to arrive at truth in your own ways and in your own times … and, if I may say, through your own challenges, pain and fear for my welfare. No one could do it for you. There is pain involved in that process.  I am sorry for the pain I have inadvertently caused all of you, but I am grateful that you overcame those challenges.

Your intuitive knowledge of me … and your belief in me … were contested with every news story and tabloid expose’ that hit the news stand or checkout lane. And as you rejected each one, your steadfast support for me … albeit spiritual … became more and more real to you. You began to inhabit a different world than the one you had inhabited prior to our meeting. You began to know about things you couldn’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell … and you reached out to that knowledge and invited it into your life. You learned to trust your higher instincts and you opened the door for love to enter. It cannot come in until invited by you … because one of God’s greatest gifts to Her children is the gift of free choice. Each of you had to choose a MASTER! You had to invite that Loving Spirit into your life. As a result, little miracles became nearly everyday occurrences, but you took the time to be grateful for each one.

Even more importantly, you took the first tentative and teetering steps onto the path of self-discovery that we have discussed so often in these dialogs … found a whole new you … with new skills, interests and talents … to be explored like a baby exploring his world and learning to trust in his caregiver’s presence and in his own skeletal and muscular ability to walk.

Of course, all toddlers stumble and fall. They bruise their knees or scar their foreheads, but in the healing process their motor skills develop and their confidence grows. Like a toddler, you stumbled and fell into a long period of ‘shutting off’ the energy of love for which you had agreed to be a conduit. You became lost in the world bordered by the words ‘impossible’ … and ‘can’t.’ You let others define you and were spiritually uncomfortable with their definitions, but because of ‘shutting down’ the free flow of love by choosing to ‘grow up,’ you didn’t know how to flip the switch and complete the circuit so that free flow of energy could enliven your life.

Fortunately, we found each other again.

But the method of the finding left a lot to be desired, Beloved.

[Michael chuckles.] Found is found. We are no longer lost to each other. Those ripples continue to expand gathering more and more together. Some come with long years of watching and knowing. Others come who have no previous engagement. It doesn’t matter who you were before or how long we’ve been together. We are together now. And more will join us as events unfold.

Without those challenges to my faith … and your faith … we probably wouldn’t be here today having this conversation. So, as difficult as you find it to understand the “Why’s” of any situation, you should always remember that whatever it is … it is sent by a loving God who always has your greatest and highest good in mind.

Jan

July 31, 2013

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July 7 – 12, 2013

Four years … Beloved, four whole years … and in terms of impact … ONLY four years.

A drop in the ocean of eternity, but a lot longer than I would have imagined I could survive without your beautiful, guiding, Love-and-light-filled presence in this world.  Today is the anniversary of that night four years ago when we took our spiritually-fulfilling, seductive but little-understood courtship out of self-imposed ‘standby’ mode.  I am amazed at the changes you have wrought in my life.

For one thing, you are NOT ‘without’ my presence. These conversations prove that. I haven’t gone anywhere. I am right where I have always been … in your heart … and I’m not planning on moving!

For another, I haven’t ‘wrought’ anything. Whatever alterations you see in you were always there waiting for you to notice them, waiting to emerge, hidden beneath the ‘you’ you were forced into being by your childhood, your education and the circumstances that you faced. You discovered that:

You can go by feel
‘stead of circumstance
But the power’s in believing
So give yourself a chance

They were accomplished by you and you alone once you removed the ‘I can’t’ filter from your lens … like a high-priced camera, removing the filter allows a clearer, less obstructed and distorted view. They have grown and matured out of your need to be … to express more fully … who you really are rather than trying to conform to who the outside world thinks you should be.

Yes, my Dear One, but without your encouragement and inspiration that discovery process would not have happened … at least, not the way it did. My eternal gratitude!

Then, it was all worthwhile. That was my mission … my goal … throughout my life … in all that I did. I wanted to show the world that there IS another way to live, one that does not necessarily conform to classifications and stereotypes imposed from parents and teachers and religious clergy … one that honors God through honoring the self that She created for this time and this place in history. We don’t have to trap ourselves in the prison imposed by external restrictions and internal definitions of what a man … or a woman … should be … should do … should enjoy … should wear … should look like … should accomplish … should … should … should. We CAN be who we are … fully and completely realizing a potential that, perhaps, we never knew existed … and in doing and being what we really are, we honor the ONE who created us for that purpose. And we can teach an entire world full of people to come out of hiding behind those restrictions and limitations and stereotypes and definitions … to create a new and much grander version of ourselves, heal our children and our planet … and reach for the stars.

Let me show you
Let me show you the way to go
Follow me, my friends
Let me show you
Let me show you the way to go

I don’t know everything
But there’s something I do know
I’ve read and heard a lot
And now I’m ready to show
That we can come together
And think like one
[Come together now]
Live together
Underneath the sun
Please, please let me show you

I so love that song, Michael! And these private little concerts ROCK MY WORLD!

I remember the night of your Homecoming Service so vividly. I hadn’t expected to become so emotionally overwrought over a Public Memorial. As a matter of fact, I had determined prior to the broadcast that I would not become maudlin, would not wallow in any overt display of emotion. I was just going to sit here, in my nice, comfortable little sanctuary on the dark side of the moon, to watch the proceedings as one would watch a sitcom or the twenty-four hour news cycle … half-heartedly. I would turn the set on for background noise, for company … as most people do automatically upon entering their homes … mindlessly vegetating and letting my mind drift in front of my television as the event played out … detached, apart, separate, alone and un-invested.

At least that was MY plan. And, after all, I was in control, wasn’t I? [Jan laughs.] Little did I realize that you had other plans for me that night didn’t you, My Heart?

 There’s that control thing, again.

[Jan gets a visual of Michael placing his hands in the ‘Namaste’ or prayer position.]

Thank you for allowing me to touch you. Thank you all for remaining open to possibilities that … at the time … your mind couldn’t even conceive … and your heart would have rejected without a moment’s hesitation. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that so many of you were willing to retain … or initiate … a relationship with me, even though your world doesn’t understand and often belittles you for doing so. You are my beloveds … every single one of you … and We ARE One!

[Jan laughs.] Yes, Michael … you have quite a harem … thousands of concubines. I have met some of them! How do you manage to spread yourself so thin … keep us all spiritually and emotionally satisfied and continuing to move forward into versions of ourselves we never imagined? It’s a total mystery to me.

It’s easy because LOVE is not exclusive; it is inclusive. It asks what it can give, not what it can take. It is always patient … never withholds … is never restrictive or grasping or domineering … and always seeks to give all of itself to the beloved. Love knows no barrier or boundary so the veil that separates our worlds … a flimsy curtain at the best of times … totally dissolves in its presence. As we’ve said before, we don’t really have a very good handle on love.

So many of us around the world were so blessed that your Public Memorial Service was broadcast on international television so that we could take part and pay our respects in our own ways and our own times … in our own comfort zones and homes.

The ‘talking heads’ would have been so funny, if they hadn’t been so sad! Didn’t they realize how small and ridiculous they sounded? They couldn’t understand why all this fuss was being made over you … the poor fools … still clinging desperately to their biased, greed-induced, myopic but societally-sanctioned viewpoint. I tuned them out very quickly … even muted the sound on the television until the choir began to sing Soon and Very Soon below the beautiful picture of the stained glass window and your brothers shepherded your bronze coffin into the arena. So ended my stoic, unemotional, unattached witness; at that point I, … and from what I can tell, many of us …  became participants as if we were present in that arena … invited by you, personally, into the proceedings … our personal, engraved invitations sealed in your love.

I heard later of the squabbles taking place regarding the expense to the city and some of the Los Angeles city officials’ attempts to recoup their losses, but at the time, I was unaware of those discussions taking place in the background.

I’m sure it wasn’t an easy thing to coordinate. The broadcast required the cooperation of your family members, mortuaries, police departments, concert promoters, television broadcasters, news casters, Los Angeles city officials, and some of the best known celebrities in the fields of entertainment, sports, clergy, and local as well as state and federal governments.  I can’t imagine it being anything other than a logistical nightmare to tie all those vested interests together to accomplish the two-hour extravaganza that we all saw.

Whoever planned your Public Memorial was inspired by something much, much greater than himself. Did he or she KNOW that through this one television broadcast so many hearts around the world … many in places that some of us don’t even know exist … would be opened … healed …  broken … mended?

While AEG Live may have much to answer regarding the results of the early afternoon of June 25, 2009 … and I do not advocate that they shouldn’t answer for their treatment of you … I must admit that they are also responsible for delivering two great gifts (whatever their motives) to all of us who cherish you … This Is It and the staging of your Public Home-Going service. So, I don’t think my gratitude to them is misplaced. They allowed you to bestow upon all of us, your beloved children, blessings to inspire beyond measure and for years to come.

You are like a Roman candle that explodes our senses; it’s hard to believe that it has flamed out until each tiny piece ignited by your light finds its way back to earth in a zig-zag path traced against the darkness of the evening sky. Eventually all those little shards of light settle on the ground without damaging anyone or anything in their passage. They just light the darkening sky and are fondly remembered by merry makers with their sparklers, watching from a distance until the next Independence Day.

For forty years, Beloved, your light burned so brightly! In your case, each of those tiny filaments landed not on the ground but in a heart made soft and pliable through years of beholding … or by the beauty of their trajectory superimposed against the black velvety darkness in the moment.

Aww! God bless you! I love fireworks! 

Yes, Dear One, that is self-evident. You treated us to magnificent fireworks displays after all your concerts! And I was so blessed this year to observe the anniversary of your transformation at Holly Terrace and Neverland Valley Ranch. The current proprietors can change the name of the ranch back to Sycamore Valley all they want; it will always be Neverland Valley Ranch to all of us.

Ah, yes … your trip! I almost forgot! How was your trip?

Dear One, as expected … it was awesome! I so love being in the spaces where you are so well-remembered with kindred spirits who honor your memory in the same ways and for the same reasons as I do. In one instance, we were driving down the road to Forest Lawn and passed a flower shop that boasted a life-sized, standup of you and a video monitor with film footage of your short films playing surrounded by flowering plants of every color. Of course, I exclaimed, “Whoa! Stop the car! It’s Michael!” from the back seat. The proprietors were kind enough to allow us all to take pictures next to you and we purchased a lovely bouquet for our Sunday morning Michael altar below the Ascension Window.

Flower Shop Display

It was very different, however, from my last visit. Where last time you bowled me over with your love, weaving magic and miracles seamlessly … this time your presence was more subdued … more refined. I can only describe it as a more comfortable sharing. Last time, your ‘knock-her-on-her-aspidistra’ playfulness and overwhelming strategical tactics to get my attention were awesome … and just what I needed to reassure me of your continued and ongoing involvement in my life. This time, you sort of handed me the keys to the house and the car and told me to make myself comfortable. ‘Me casa es su casa, me amor’ … kinda. You know what I mean?

[Michael laughs.] Yes, I know what you mean. And the flights? Were you frightened? Were they smooth? Were you flying MJAir?

The flights were incredible. I didn’t have time to be frightened, Michael. Somehow, by the Grace of God, or by Michael-providence, I was seated next to the funniest man in the world and the second funniest man in the world was one of our flight attendants on my flight out to L. A.

Chris Tucker? No kidding?

No, not Chris Tucker but certainly his rivals; these two kept me in stitches the entire four hours. Their bantering back and forth and double entendres were hysterical. I couldn’t stop laughing! Even the few rough patches of turbulence we flew through couldn’t cause me undue concern. When we landed in Los Angeles, I asked the flight attendant if he would be flying back to Chicago on the date of my return. He said, “You know, I think I am on that flight.” I told him I would be on it and he asked me to be sure and say hi to him. With a secret grin, he whispered in my ear, “I won’t be wearing any underwear!”

I replied, “That’s okay … neither will I!”

[Michael laughs out loud.] Wow! Should I be jealous?

I don’t think so! This is just the kind of humor that I was treated to the entire flight … a little off-color, but not really offensive.  On my return flight, I waited until I was seated. There was an empty seat next to me so that I could be a bit more comfortable. The same flight attendant was on my flight and as he walked down the aisle closing the overhead compartments, I motioned for him to come closer so I could whisper in his ear, “Are you wearing underwear?” He laughed and said, “It’s YOU!” Really loud! The whole cabin must have wondered what the heck was going on! Then he threw his arms around me in a great, big hug. You would have thought that I was his long-lost aunt … Lord knows, I am old enough to be his grandmother! He called me his ‘girlfriend’ and spent the rest of the flight making sure I was comfortable … and keeping me amused.  It was awesome! With all this tomfoolery, I didn’t have time to worry about flying! He was so sweet! He even gave me his email address and told me to contact him the next time I flew and he would make sure I was well taken care of. What a blessing he was to me!

We couldn’t get to your star on the Walk of Fame as the sidewalk was being renovated and was protected by chain link fencing, but we spent almost every evening saying ‘good night’ to you at The Broken Heart Stone in front of Graumann’s Chinese Theater. The chain-link barricade around the sidewalk sheltered the imprints in front of Graumann’s and created a quiet, little, nearly-private enclosure so that it felt a little like being in church with the towering entrance of the theater playing the role of an almost sanctuary-like backdrop … a sacred space for us to sit and talk about our day and include you in our discussions. While we missed the star, it was more than adequate compensation to be within our private little bubble to commune with you. After the third or fourth day, my knees were beginning to give out, so I sat on the bench against the wall of Graumann’s where I could have my own little talk with you … and where I didn’t need one of your cherry-pickers to get me up from the pavement. [Michael giggles.] I think before my next trip, I’m going to go into a few months of personal training. Do you think Lou Ferigno would whip me into shape so that I can keep up with all my young, skinny friends? I mean these girls are the energizer bunnies! And on almost NO sleep!

I don’t know. I’ll have to ask him. He sure kicked my butt!

Well, then, he’d probably KILL me!

While I didn’t have time to worry about being in control on the flights, I still had to contend with my fear of the traffic in California and had more than ample time to be a pain in the aspidistra to my friend who was driving. I wouldn’t drive on those freeways for love nor money! What a circus! Fortunately, our driver was not bashful … being bashful on those roads could easily get you dead … and just took over. I am so grateful for her patience!

Neverland Valley Ranch was just beautiful and our little art show was a resounding success. We met so many lovely people, including a wonderful, soft-spoken MJ impersonator called RemJ,  and raised over  $700 for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. We delivered the stash directly to the hospital and saw your art pieces hanging in the hallway. An album of art from all the participating artists was given to one of the security guards at Neverland as our gift to you, Beloved. On one of our drives out to the ranch, we were stopped by a cattle drive! We followed slowly as several horses and a golf cart herded several  dozen head of cattle to another pasture a couple of miles down the road. It was a scene from an old western (except for the modified golf cart!) Very picturesque!

And, of course, Forrest Lawn was beautiful, serene, tranquil. We arrived for our first visit on the day that 13,447 beautiful, long-stemmed, red Freedom roses were delivered to the portico outside Holly Terrace … each one representing one of your children. The buckets of roses lined Holly Terrace and the small courtyard and down the stairs to the roadway. Those roses … and all the floral displays … were absolutely beautiful.

On the anniversary, itself, so many gifts and flowers and cards and posters and quilts were brought that the patch of lawn in front of Holly Terrace was blanketed with gifts and remembrances from all over the world. I saw Hong Kong and Russia, Japan and the UK represented. Hundreds of people gathered in your memory and at 2:25 PM, all of them formed a circle holding hands and held a Major Love Prayer and Heal the World sing-along led by our own MJ Ever After. It was memorable! Were you there, Beloved?

Of course, I told you I would be. I wouldn’t stand you up like that. The love rising into Earth’s atmosphere from that small patch of ground was breathtaking. And all of heaven rejoices when so many people from all national and denominational and ideological allegiances join together in a common purpose! The world wants us to believe that we are separate and divided. When we show it that We Are All ONE, all of heaven bows down before us. I was honored to be there among you all again.

An album of our artwork was also given to the flower shop at Forest Lawn to be taken inside Holly Terrace to rest beside you within The Ascension Sanctuary. The staff at the flower shop were so kind and even the security guards at Forest Lawn were kind and solicitous of your many guests. You will be thrilled to know, Beloved, that some of those roses were distributed to various hospitals and senior centers in your name and in your memory. I believe that Lullaby Land and Baby Land as well as Elizabeth received roses from the carpet of floral tributes brought to the gates of Holly Terrace by the One Rose for Michael J. Jackson campaign.

We ate at wonderful restaurants, one of them named Akasha and the food was outstanding. In honor of Michael Week, the Arclight Theater showed a very special showing of This Is It … in their largest and most acoustically-perfect  theater. I had never seen it so BIG … or heard it so clearly … and we all enjoyed Dorian Holley’s introduction to the film. It was a very emotional viewing for all of us.

Some of your beautiful children just took over Madame Tussaud’s courtyard on Hollywood Boulevard for an impromptu flash mob that lasted for several hours on the evening of the 25th. Dancers from everywhere joined in. They had not rehearsed together prior to the night, but it was fun watching and listening as Michael Jackson pre-empted everyday Hollywood traffic and activities for this one blessed night.

As always, I was enormously blessed to be traveling with my friends, to rekindle friendships formed last year during my trip and to make new friends who celebrate and honor you. We are all so grateful that you brought us together during Michael Week in Los Angeles.

Jan

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