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Archive for January, 2014

Januaey 17, 2014

Wrapped securely in your love, I explore the final frontier. Inner space stretches out before me, but like a bashful child, I don’t wander far from your embrace. In you I find myself and my explorations always return me to the starting point.

I chart a course through an infinitude of options, but wherever I go I find you there, beckoning me further … enticing, cajoling, encouraging, inspiring … pushing me beyond limits that have no further relevance.

You dance before me, blazing a trail for me to follow, always just a step ahead. Your laughter teases, dares, incites, ignites. Like the needle of a compass is drawn to the North Pole, my focus is drawn to you, my Aurora Borealis. Your colors illuminate the corners of myself, eroding my resistance, my disbelief, my unworthiness.

In my heart, I hear a song, “I am yours and you are mine,” but who sings? In my soul, a refrain repeats, “I am the blesser, the blessing, the blessed.” Is it you … or is it me? You laugh and spin around, arms outstretched while your words ease my questioning. “Does it matter? We are ONE!”

When I questioned this love, a loving Creator placed you in the beam of my searchlight and commanded, “Look! Here it is! This is it!” … as if I could do anything else, for beauty like yours can be worshipped and adored … or vilified and denied … but it cannot be ignored.

Again,  she said, “Listen!” … as if I could not hear your sweet voice over the noise of the world and my own scattered thoughts. Your whispers shook my world.

And, once again, he said, “Feel!” … and the doors of my heart were blasted off their hinges by the sheer,  magnificent power of the love you held, gave and flung to the four corners of the world.

I only know for certain that I would be lost if you hadn’t found me and every day when I close my eyes to shut out the world, I sing my gratitude and pray for you to inhabit my dreams, leading me on further great adventures, the giver, the giving, the gift.

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Jan – January 17, 2014

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January 2, 2014

Happy New Year, Beloved,

It’s a New Year and rather than ending 2013 … and beginning 2014 … in celebrating in the typical interpretation of the word, I decided this year to end the old and begin the new in meditation and prayer.

Well, that’s a novel idea! Most people go out and party until they drop. What made you think of that?

Well, to be totally honest, it’s not really a party without you, my heart. In addition, my husband and I have never been ones to drive around on New Year’s Eve or go to parties held by friends. We figure every nutcase with a driver’s license (some of them obtained out of a Cracker Jack box) is out there on the road, most of them under the influence of mind-altering substances, and we are just better off in our own little house. Of course, living on the dark side of the moon for the past 35 years has seriously curtailed our “party animal instincts,” if we ever had any, that is … which I doubt.

Our celebrations of the New Year are usually a bit quieter and more subdued. Our typical New Year’s Eve celebrations consist of eating finger foods such as cheese and crackers, shrimp or seafood, nachos and some Asti to wash it all down. We, generally, watch something like Lord Peter Wimsey or Sherlock Holmes or Inspector Morse (my husband does love his British mysteries) for a couple of hours after which I retreat up to my room to watch what I enjoy which is … well … basically … YOU!!

I’ve always loved entertainment shows like Ed Sullivan or Sonny and Cher or Bob Hope specials – shows where people dance and sing their popular current hits. Of course, there are no shows like that anymore. Current television fare is a sad reflection of our societal culture and its fascination with a ‘reality show format’ which doesn’t in any way mirror most people’s reality at all.

Even a close friend in New York commented on New Year’s Eve that there was absolutely nothing entertaining to watch on television that night in the entertainment capital of the world, which I think is a fairly depressing comment. Just a couple of ‘talking heads’ on every single channel! Even MTV (Music Television} and VH1 offered no programming with inspiring or entertaining content. So, unless I decide to pop in a DVD, my television remains off and silent. I could care less about a ball dropping on the east coast of the United States!

When I came upstairs on New Year’s Eve at about 10:00 PM, I thought about pulling out a DVD or videotape and watching you in any of the many incarnations I have in my rather extensive library of DVDs (from your first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show to your last during the This Is It rehearsals,) but, instead, I decided to visit you in The Library. (The library is bolded and capitalized to distinguish it from any other library … like the one at the north end of the second story of my house which is a warren of my husband’s and I am strictly banned from entering or cleaning on pain of execution by firing squad!)

THE LIBRARY.jpg

For my readers who have followed my most recent entries at With a Child’s Heart, the term requires little explanation. For newer readers, The Library is my “place without no name,” my little virtual reality in which I interact with you … or meditate … or pray … or whatever name applies in each reader’s belief system. It is a quiet, serene, tranquil haven which looks exactly like the library at Neverland Valley Ranch in which we can discuss any manner of topic with little interruption or qualm. Often, I record our interactions in The Library and ponder over any revelations or discuss books or read aloud from books I find fascinating or whatever thoughts or ideas come up in my journal.

Yes, I do so love to be read to … it is a calming oasis for me. I can close my eyes and all of the characters and situations play out in my mind, creating scene after scene in vivid detail. I experience all of the emotions and build all of the drama and pathos in Technicolor and Dolby Surround Sound while the calm voice describes each in loving, soothing tones. Because when you read aloud, your voice changes from your every day voice to a gentler, softer, more introspective, more melodious, more musical resonance. It becomes a song, a melody, with peaks and valleys.

Our inaugural visits began when you read Peter Pan to me. It’s amazing how a book can open up a whole new world of imagination … how you can discover a whole new set of sensations within the pages of a book.

Yes. It was a bit disheartening for me when I realized that I could not ever remember actually reading that book. I kind of absorbed the story by osmosis and viewing countless movies on the subject, but reading the book was an entirely different experience and one which I value. In addition, reading it aloud helped me absorb and retain the story and revealed to me … or emphasized …  parts of the story that were overlooked in the movies … like Tinkerbell’s jealousy of Wendy on a day when I was battling a mild form of that exact emotion in my own life. I do so love how that happens; the timing and synchronicity of it was impeccable.

We rob our children of that experience in today’s modern world. Television has replaced the song of a loving parent reading to his or her child. It has also served to atrophy our children’s imaginations. They no longer have to imagine themselves in the story. It’s all done for them and the stories they get from television are not geared toward educating them anymore. They are filled with sexual innuendo or violence and aimed at the children’s monetary value in the marketplace … at exploiting their desires for the toys they see advertised and the influence they hold over their parent’s wallets.

I missed being read to. One of my earliest recollections is my mother rocking me on her knees and singing songs to me. She had a lovely, soothing voice that could make anyone feel that everything was okay. But as soon as I began singing with my brothers at five years old, all that changed. I was too busy … and often too far away … for those comforting moments on my mother’s knee that reinforced my belief in the beauty of the world … its safety and security. I was thrust into an entirely different world which was anything but safe, secure or stable … and I wasn’t prepared for that monumental shift.

We would do well as a society to pay more attention to our children … to giving them the tools they will need to heal our planet and bring about much needed changes … to giving them the confidence they require to try out the new and unexpected and explore the gifts they have been given.

It’s such a simple thing to do. Our children don’t really want our money … they want to be noticed. They don’t want or need the latest in videogame technology … they want us to help them build their own imagination technology. For the former becomes obsolete within two years; obsolescence is built into it … but the latter will last a lifetime, support every dream they have and contribute to a new world.

Ah, my beautiful one, I do so love these conversations.

[Michael laughs.] Me, too.

Anyway, on New Year’s Eve, I decided to visit you in The Library and I recorded our visit in my journal. What follows is my journal entry:

The Library is lit by the warm glow of the fire, the miniature lights wound through the boughs of the wreath hanging over the mantel and throughout the branches of the tree on the raised platform near the French doors that lead to the gardens. Your reading lamp beside your chair casts a circle of light on the book you hold in your hand. It appears to be about 8 inches by 11 inches in size and you turn its pages slowly, carefully … lingering over each page.

You look up as I enter the room and remove my shoes (for this is hallowed ground), your enthusiasm lighting your eyes. “Have you seen this?” you ask.

Moving quickly to stand behind your chair above your right shoulder, I place my hand on it and glance at the book while your left hand touches mine and you squeeze my fingers briefly. The book is Maker of Dreams: Creating Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Park by Rob Swinson. You turn your head to look over your shoulder at me, your eyes sparkling with the joy of discovery.

“Yes, my beautiful one, I have. Did you record the construction of the park on video, Michael? I can’t imagine such an important event escaped your videographer’s attention.”

You reply, “Of course.”

I chuckle a bit. “Where are all those videotapes?”

“In some warehouse somewhere, I think. I hardly know. But they will be discovered someday, I have no doubt.”

Your turn back to the beautiful pictures of the park’s construction, turning the pages slowly to examine each photograph in minute detail and with meticulous care. My hand resting lightly on your shoulder registers your every breath and sigh as you absorb the photographs. I get the impression that you are reliving those moments when you were so excited and bursting with joy to have finally begun your life’s work of healing the children. As your dream unfolds before your eyes, your sighs become more melancholy.

“I would have done it, you know,” you finally state. “I would have built the medical facility and shown the world a better way to heal them all with hope and faith and love.”

“I know you would, my angel, and you still will,” I reply unequivocally. “We are well on the way. And we will continue to make your dreams come true in any way we can.”

You reach up and pat my hand. Turning your eyes to me, you smile. “I love you MORE.” [End of excerpt from Journal dated January 1, 2014.]

It was a brief encounter but one that I felt strongly was full of import. I sensed that I needed to relay the incident to your friend, Mr. Swinson … to let him know that you are aware of his beautiful testament to you and that you appreciate his effort. So, on New Year’s Day, I emailed him and gave him your message of thanks. In my email, I requested his permission to write about his book and publish a photograph of it on With a Child’s Heart, which he graciously granted.

Neverland_Frt_Cover_Final_11-18-2013

Thank you! I do appreciate that.

It is so important to nurture a child’s imagination, but it is particularly important for a sick child … a child whose body has betrayed him and only in his imagination can he be free to be who he was intended to be.

The way current medical practice treats sick children is a crying shame. We’ve talked about this before in these conversations. [Reference Conversations – Installment #70 January 25 – February 1, 2013] and you heard me refer to it in the recorded conversation which was placed in evidence in the trial of Conrad Murray.

My babies are depressed. There is nothing to engage their minds or their imaginations. They are trussed up in beds, attached to monitors and tubing, not allowed to move around as they are able. Their symptoms are treated, their bodies are poked and prodded and made ill in the hopes that the treatment will alleviate their suffering, but it only increases their suffering. They are helpless to effect any change being totally under the doctor’s and their parent’s control. No wonder they’re depressed. Wouldn’t you be depressed?

There are no facilities for the children to take their minds off their illnesses – no arcades or tutors to engage their minds in more productive pursuits. They are forced to lay there in their fear and helplessness.

Even a volunteer coming in once or twice a week to read them a story would help – anything to take their minds off their illness for a few minutes would be a major improvement.

I’ve seen it happen so many times. Take a child out of that ‘sick’ environment … let him experience the joy of petting an exotic animal or watching it eat a watermelon whole … let him ride a train around a beautiful place or a carousel, even if you have to carry him to the carriage and place him on the seat of the chariot … encourage him to use his imagination to ‘eat up’ the cells that are making him sick … show him that he is important to you … pay him just the smallest amount of care and attention … and miracles happen.

This is the key to healing the sick children.

It was the whole purpose of Neverland Valley Ranch. And … it worked! Many, many times it worked … not as often as I would have wished, perhaps … I would have wanted them all healed … but occasionally, it worked!

Look at the example of Patch Adams who found that playing the clown and making the children laugh often improved their physical condition. Modern medical science has gone back to the stereotypical model of health care that existed before Patch Adams showed a better way. Just pump them full of drugs … some of which are poisonous and toxic to their bodies … but they ignore the most potent drug in the world … LAUGHTER!

Laughter … joy … engaging the imagination … that is the key to creating better health in our young people … or in any people … and, by extension, in our world … but that’s another conversation.

They need to begin to build medical facilities with joy and happiness instead of this depressing model they’ve used for the past couple of centuries. No, it’s not practical; joy and happiness seldom are but it is supremely effective and nurturing to the soul. We aren’t just numbers and nametags; we are human beings … or, more precisely, spiritual beings having a human experience … and some care needs to be paid that we don’t kill the spirit in all our attempts to cure the body.

It was my dream at Neverland Valley to show them this model, prove its effectiveness in healing. Shoot! If nothing else, even if the treatments didn’t heal the body entirely at least the children would be happier and more content until their bodies gave out.

It’s so simple and obvious to me. I see it so very clearly.

Yes, my love, it is to me, too. And we will keep belaboring the point until the world starts to pay attention … you and I … and those you have chosen (possibly without them being aware of it) like Mr. Swinson, who paints a very revealing portrait of Michael Jackson during the very height of his fame and fortune building a park to which he planned to invite all the children … whether their maladies were emotional, spiritual or physical … to heal for a few stolen moments their souls.

God bless you!

Jan – January 2, 2014

 

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