MJ Reflections

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Story: Yours and Mine

It's been a tradition of mine for many years to purchase one new Christmas CD each year to add to my collection. This year I decided to purchase the Trans-Siberian Orchestra CD entitled "Christmas Eve and Other Stories". To tell you the truth, I had never listened to their music before, although I had heard of them. This particular CD was produced in 1996, so it's been around a while. My general preference for Christmas music leans toward instrumental versions of classic carols or those sung by choirs. I also have artists such as Josh Groban, Jim Brickman and Michael W. Smith in my Christmas music library. Music that inspires is what I like to listen to, especially this time of year. Anything that tells the Christmas story and instills a sense of wonder and gratitude for the joy of the season and the precious gift of the Christ child.

I took my new Christmas CD to work with me the day after I purchased it, popped it into my boombox and began listening. But because I was busy working, I wasn't totally tuned in to most of the music except when a squealing electric guitar caught my attention. It surprised me because it wasn't what I was expecting - you might say I was even a little disappointed. Not that I don't like electric guitar, but it didn't feel much like Christmas music to me when I heard those parts! Nonetheless, I continued to play the CD as I worked. Soon there came a song that made me stop what I was doing to listen closely. A man's voice, a bit gritty and raw, was singing a ballad accompanied by an acoustic guitar. At first, I only heard his voice which touched something deep inside of me with its expression. I felt tears welling up and I didn't even know yet what he was singing about! I replayed the song and listened more carefully to his words and what I heard was a message as told in a story...MY story...OUR story of how Michael Jackson walked into our hearts and got our attention!

As you listen to the song and read the lyrics, think about this...For many of us, before Michael died, we were closed off, couldn't see past the end of our noses. We didn't even realize that there was anything we were missing...until June 25, 2009. Michael came into our vision and brought it into focus...he danced and sang his way into our hearts and taught us about all the things he had been noticing all along. Things that caused him heartache and concern for the world.

He noticed when a child or a fan in the crowd needed a hug...and he gave it. He noticed when a family or an individual needed help...and he offered it. He noticed when the world directed its prejudice or hatred toward certain kinds of people...and he spoke out about it. He noticed when we were blindly destroying our earth and not caring about the long term consequences...and he sang about it with passion!

He noticed when a sick or dying child just needed a touch or a smile...and he gave it with tenderness and Love in his heart. He was the little boy who came through the door into our sheltered world to show us what was happening outside, to shake us free from our comfortable places and help us to see that we could make a difference!

So, I decided to share this song with you here in hopes that we could be inspired to "somehow make this Christmas thing last"...

I wish you Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and always Inspiration this Christmas and throughout the coming year. May we continue to arrange to change the world as the Christ Child and our man-child have inspired us to do!

Old City Bar
In an old city bar
That is never too far
From the places that gather
The dreams that have been

In the safety of night
With its old neon light
It beckons to strangers
And they always come in

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The music was low
And the night Christmas Eve

And here was the danger
That even with strangers
Inside of this night
It’s easier to believe

Then the door opened wide
And a child came inside
That no one in the bar
Had seen there before

And he asked did we know
That outside in the snow
That someone was lost
Standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed
Through the smoke and the haze
Through the windows and ice
To a corner street light

Where standing alone
By a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said
Could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The bartender turned
And said, not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I’ve noticed
If one could be home
They’d be already there

Then the bartender came out from behind the bar
And in all of his life he was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw
When he took all the cash from the register draw

Then he followed the child to the girl across the street
And we watched from the bar as they started to speak
Then he called for a cab and he said J.F.K.
Put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away
And we saw in his hand
That the cash was all gone
From the light that she had
Wished upon

If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last

By helping a neighbor
Or even a stranger
And to know who needs help
You need only just ask

Then he looked for the child
But the child wasn’t there
Just the wind and the snow
Waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside
Somehow different I think
For the rest of the night
No one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say
That some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums
In the world where they hid

But they weren’t there
So they couldn’t see
By an old neon star
On that night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
And in case you should wonder
In case you should care

Why we’re on our own
Never went home
On that night of all nights
We were already there

“Christmas Eve and Other Stories”
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 1996

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Remember The Gift

As we begin this season of waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I would like to offer a series of poems and reflections based on the weekly themes of Advent - the first theme being HOPE. The following poem was published in an Advent devotional booklet for my church this year which was written entirely by its members. I am pleased to share it with you here. I fully respect and honor the diversity of beliefs that make up our colorful world - a world that is filled with beautiful and unique individuals, all a part of God’s magnificent Creation. No matter what your beliefs, I think most will agree that there is a power which is greater than ourselves at work in the universe - a power grounded in a great love. My heart extends its warmest wishes to you during this season of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love!

Remember the Gift
Holy Spirit come, fill me with your love
wash over me, enlighten me, strengthen my belief in Thee
I need discipline to travel, this mystery of life to unravel
I vow to give my best, take time to nurture my faith
let it simmer while I wait
‘til Your guidance reveals which path to take

God of love and compassion
through my trials you have been my constant companion
but my patience is tested when it’s time for a rest
in my prayers I seek answers to my questions
You don’t always lead where I want to go
Your timing is not always mine
please give me the courage to believe what you know 

My Creator,
You gave me fire in my spirit
then said, don’t fear it!
be bold, be brave, share the love which I gave you
it is true, it is right
it’s your beauty, your passion, your own special light!

So, why must I wait, this flame to embrace?

Remember the Gift, the sweet Kiss of Love
Magical Child sent to earth from above
your soul to save from its own mistakes
His arms outstretched, ready to embrace
awaiting your surrender to God’s amazing grace!

The Gift accepted, my soul awakens
this waiting, this nurturing reveals the message
Peace, Love and Hope abide within each soul
the Gift cannot be denied
I must strive to be God’s Glow
a voice of Hope to a world in need of Love

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

That Smile

That Smile

It lights up a room
Changes the atmosphere
Obliterates gloom
Piercing my defense
It invites me to dance
Sends love on a journey through my soul
Bathes me in light
Gives me courage to take a chance

Joy and tenderness
Reflected from within
An offering, a gift from your heart
Shining through the veil of shadow
It opens the door
Becomes a part of me
Extends an invitation to make a new start

That smile could end wars
Dispel hatred and fear
Bring peace throughout the land
A simple gesture bestowed in love
Creates harmony
Bids all people of the world to walk hand in hand

Accept it
Embrace it
Absorb its light
Let it warm your soul
Feel it down to your bones
Hear its music
Move to its rhythm
Take that chance
Open your heart
Invite others to join in the dance

Allow that smile to work its magic
As a flame ignites a burning love
Melting hearts around the world
A gem that sparkles and shines
Transforms humankind
Like a grain of sand turned into a pearl

That smile…
Created to beguile
To inspire, to delight
Brings darkness to its knees
And offers LOVE to light up the night

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Michael's Magic

What an amazing adventure this has been so far! Riding this wave of discovery, pain and love has been one magical experience after another. Yes, even in the pain, as difficult as this may be to comprehend. I think it's something only those who are on the same journey can fully understand. Others may hear our words as we attempt to describe the impact Michael Jackson has had on our hearts and on our souls. They may nod their heads and even say they understand, but in all reality, they can't possibly. It's just not understandable - it defies logic. How does one feel such a strong soul connection to someone they have never met? And how can one say they are grieving the loss of this individual more than they've ever grieved for anyone, including their own family members? That just seems wrong to anyone who has not been on the receiving end of Michael's immense light and love. I can understand their questioning and their doubt. I've had plenty of that myself along this path.

So, it occurred to me several months ago that my family members might be a bit bewildered by some of the poems and stories I had written about this experience, should they come across them by accident. What if something happened to me tomorrow and all that is left for them to piece together the mystery of this phenomenon I've been speaking of for the last year and a half are my poems and other writings which are kept in files on my computer? Some of the poems are quite personal and could appear to be proof that maybe I had lost my mind just a little bit! These more personal poems are some of my most treasured, and I would not want to leave them in the hands of someone who didn't understand the depth of this experience. If I had the opportunity to explain all of this to them through my writing, knowing they would be reading it after I was gone, what would I say? And recognizing that when someone dies, their loved ones suddenly see them more in the light of truth and goodness, I knew that anything I left behind for them to read would hold so much more meaning after I had gone than it would right now.

I decided to create a file that would hold all of my most treasured writings with a personal message about what this experience has meant to me and what I hope they will hold in their hearts after I'm gone. I would like to share a portion of that message with you here.

Funny...when I started writing, the first thing that came to me was a poem...

Michael’s Magic

To those who may read what’s in this file
After I’ve gone to heaven’s domain
I want to explain
So you won’t think I was totally insane!

Rest assured, there’s more to this than meets the eye
Michael has touched hearts with his love worldwide
I have no illusions of physical love, my head is on straight,
Just ask God above!
Because He’s behind this, you can be sure
In His grand plan, Michael was the lure
His life was designed to get our attention
Send the messages and make us question:

How do we live?
Are we contributing to a better tomorrow?
Or are we feeding humanity’s darkness,
adding to the world’s sorrow?

How do we love?
Are we kind and thoughtful, always forgiving?
Or do we judge harshly how others are living?

When in our presence, do others feel our peace?
Or do we cause tension, discomfort, or great dis-ease?

Think about it and read my words
His love is a gift, it’s changed my world
He made me realize
That a love such as this can be the prize
For a life of bliss, no surprise!

Our soul connection is just as true
As anything between me and you
God gave him to us for just awhile
To teach us about a love worthwhile

Anyone can claim it
It’s free to those who seek it
His example was perfect
No need to change it or rearrange it

To those who judge
You’re missing the boat
The greatest story ever wrote
In plain sight for all to see
His message of love will set you free

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Michael never hesitated to express his love - for his fans, his friends and colleagues, his family, and most of all for God, as he expressed over and over his humble gratitude for his divine gift. He was a dynamic force for love in the world and all who knew him will tell of his other-worldly presence, the way he made them feel, always bringing out the best in those who could see and feel his light. They say that you won’t see the light in Michael if you don’t see it in yourself. To that I say, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘If I don’t see the light in Michael, what am I missing in me? Why have I buried my light? And why am I afraid to bring it out into the open? What is it about love and goodness that frightens me so? I want to know!’

If you really want to know, God will take your hand and show you his plan - you can be certain of a journey you will never forget. The path to your light may be difficult at times, even painful, but the love and enlightenment you experience along the way will be the most perfect, pure, and soul-freeing feeling you have ever known!

When I speak of my love for Michael and my soul connection with him, it is with an understanding of him being so special a gift to many, many others around the world. I’m not alone in this! But it feels personal to each and every one of us; and in a way, it is! It appears we have been “chosen” to share his messages in the world, for our own individual reasons. Our unique life experiences have drawn us each to his light, and we have been transformed. Michael’s love is a pure, perfect, selfless kind of love that most of us find very difficult to express in our “humanness”, for we are not perfect, nor are we entirely selfless. He has transformed millions of hearts around the world during his lifetime and since his death. He gives us hope for a better tomorrow, and makes us feel that it IS possible to make the world a better place.

We can only hope to live our lives in a way that brings out the good in others. To express and give the kind of love that has no conditions upon it, as a child does. The pain and suffering we experience in life often hardens us to that kind of love. Michael was unique in that he was gifted with an inner knowing, an understanding about that kind of pure goodness - the importance of love - and he expressed it so freely, showing us by his example that no matter how much life knocks you around or how much hatred and cruelty you encounter, it’s LOVE that lives on and conquers the darkness of man! He died trying to bring that message to us one last time, even after certain factions of humanity beat him to a pulp and judged him for things that were based solely on lies, creating a global misunderstanding of his true nature. Because man is so tainted by his own darkness: greed, ego, lust for power, call it what you will - but the reality of what happened to Michael reflects the darkest and most sinister aspects of humankind.

Michael was gifted with an extremely bright light - so bright, in fact, that we didn’t quite know what to make of it. He spent the majority of his life being very misunderstood, judged for being ‘different’, and portrayed by the media as a freak. He had a strong faith and a clear understanding of his purpose in life, his divine gift and how he was to use it. He stayed strong through all the ridicule. And although Michael attracted much darkness to him because of his bright light, his love lives on and is ultimately the most powerful force in the world! This is the message God is sending to us through Michael!

Michael’s entire body of work, everything about the way he lived his life, including his struggles and how he handled them, his appearance, his health issues, his childlike nature, his gentleness, his kindness, his passion as expressed through his music and performances, even his anger over the injustices in this world, were all designed to get our attention - to make us sit up and take notice! His death was the starting point of an “awakening” around the world. This phenomenon is growing, it’s gaining strength and numbers as more and more people realize they are not alone in this experience and as others come to a new understanding of the truth about Michael Jackson. As difficult as it is for many of us to accept, I believe he had to die for people to start searching, wanting to know more about this man who was such a huge presence in this world. Efforts to understand why many judged him so harshly have led to a new knowledge of the real man behind the mask. Technology has given us an opportunity to view and read about his entire lifetime of music, interviews, speeches, performances, humanitarian efforts and even unguarded moments captured on film. Altogether, we see an entirely different man than what was portrayed by the media all these years! Shock and disbelief at how we could have been so fooled has been a common reaction among many. Or maybe we just weren’t paying close attention. Even those of us who were not "so fooled" are still discovering many new truths about this genius who lived and loved among us for 50 years.

We have come to the realization that this is a time for us to take a look at ourselves as a human race, to become aware of the things about ourselves we would like to change, and to BE that force for change in the world! This is everything Michael was trying to tell us when he was here! It’s all in his music - and in his example, his entire life - available for us to see and hear, to finally understand why he was here! If we don’t see it, we are losing out - we will miss the miracle that is right in front of us! I believe that Michael was a spiritual messenger, sent by God to teach us, to show us how to live and love. To show us the darkest side of humanity, so that we would be inspired to make a change in ourselves and to do everything we can to make the world better.

The Boomer generation knows more than any what this is about. When we were younger, we believed we could make a difference in the world - change it for the better. We marched, stood, sat, chanted, rallied and sang for peace, love, equality, justice, and freedom of expression in an effort to make the rest of the world see that there was a better way. Previous generations had gotten too comfortable with their way of thinking, and it didn’t work anymore - things needed to change! And it was our time to bring that change about in the world. We did have an effect - change did happen and we made progress toward those ideals. But somewhere along the way, the Boomers' passion faded. Many of us “gave up” the cause when we grew up a bit more, got married, settled down, raised a family, got busy just making it through a day in our lives with all the demands of simply existing.

Michael represented the hope we had when we were younger - the hope for a better tomorrow. His messages echoed everything we stood for. And as he continued to rally for change and enlightenment, we stood by and watched with interest this force, this powerful energy in one single human being who never gave up - who stayed the course on our behalf, and he did it alone! God’s timing of Michael's life here on Earth was immaculate! Michael’s death, and the subsequent awakening of the world to his purpose was preordained in my opinion. The Boomers are now coming of age - full circle so to speak. Empty nesters coming into retirement are now ready to receive the message, and to do something once again to effect change in the world! Michael knew this. These lyrics from his song, JAM, reflect that awareness:

The world keeps changing
Rearranging minds
and thoughts
Predictions fly of doom
The Baby Boom
has come of age
to work it out

Although the Baby Boomers are not the only generation experiencing this awakening and receiving Michael’s messages, the timing of his life and his death, I believe, was part of a plan to bring the boomers back to a state of enlightened consciousness to lead the way, creating another global movement for change!

One of the most amazing things about this experience has been to see how he has touched people of all generations. Every age from toddlers to seniors are feeling his energy, not only in his music, but they are also experiencing his love and his goodness in ways that we could not have imagined just over one year ago. We have so much to learn from him, and my hope is that minds will continue to open up to the possibility that Michael Jackson may just have something valuable to impart to us all. Those who resist because they don’t understand, or they don’t “get” this thing about Michael, will spend their life missing out on one of the greatest gifts in our lifetime.

I feel so utterly blessed to be one who knows - to be "chosen" to receive this remarkable understanding! I hope and pray my loved ones and friends will join me on this journey, or at the very least open their minds to the possibility that what I am sharing is absolutely everything I say it is! Even if you don’t get it until after I am gone, please know that I LOVE YOU with all my heart and soul and I wish for the same kind of awareness to come to you in your lifetime - no matter what form it takes, no matter who the messenger. For you to know that this immense light, this perfect kind of love can be real for anyone who seeks it. And for you to understand why I behaved the way I did, why this was so important to me, and why it changed my life forever!

Now...to get to the question I know has been nagging at you since the beginning of all of this: "How in the world could she feel so deeply about someone she's never even met?" I'll do my best to explain. Along this journey, I have felt a sense of knowing Michael, of our souls being connected somehow, somewhere, without really comprehending how or where or why. This feeling was very challenging for me to come to terms with in the beginning - it took months for me to finally accept that it could be. I don’t profess to know with 100% certainty whether I have ever "known" Michael before, and I don’t imagine I will know with 100% certainty in this lifetime. What I do recognize is that God has worked very hard at cracking my heart and mind wide open to receive this Gift. It is a calling which I cannot say "no" to - it comes from God! And I have come to know without question that there IS a connection of some kind - a spiritual bond between two very like-minded individuals with numerous "threads" connecting us throughout our lives. These threads went undiscovered until his passing. And I didn’t go looking for them - they came to me! Too many synchronicities to make this connection only a coincidence. And too many "coincidences" to be anything less than part of a very grand plan designed by The Master himself! I have my own ideas regarding what it all means, which I have already told you about here. But I am certain there will be pieces of this grand puzzle which will remain a mystery until I leave this world. I have come to accept that and, in the absence of 20/20 vision, I have called upon my faith to simply BELIEVE that God, the infinite power and authority of the entire universe, knows what He's doing! As Michael sang in the song Keep the Faith..."the power's in believing." Now that I have come to believe, my part is only to seek direction and a willingness to act on fulfilling my specific calling.

Beyond this, I must add that I do believe Michael’s essence represents a universal kind of spirit and love in the world. There are many around the globe who have expressed the same feeling of a soul connection to him, so I am not under the illusion that it’s just me. His universal presence and appeal is, I’m sure, part of the plan to get his messages to as many people across the globe as possible. This makes sense, but it doesn’t change the feeling inside that it’s personal. And I believe that feeling is intentional. It's something God has gifted to us and he wants us to accept the Gift!

The poems and writings I have posted in this file are deeply private and they represent the very personal nature of my feelings about Michael and my connection to him. These are not the unfulfilled fantasies of a crazed fan, I need you to know that and believe it! These writings are my way of processing my feelings about this personal connection, my understanding of what it may mean, and my coming to terms with it. They express my deepest emotions, and they hint at how I am drawing from the inspiration I received from him in this process. Yes, I do feel a deep love for Michael - his heart and soul - Michael the person. I believe he represents the kind of love I have longed for all my life. I honestly don’t know if I will find it with another person in this lifetime, but Michael has helped me to believe in it again. I beg you to respect my experience and to help me continue his legacy of love which I hope I have passed on to you.

These writings are everything to me - they express all that I am at the deepest part of my being! If you destroy these, you destroy my being in this world. These pieces, along with everything in my journal, represent the culmination of my life experience. Through this soul awakening, I have come to understand that my entire life, all 57 years of it, was preparation for this moment in time. That’s how big this is! And that’s why it may have seemed to you at times that I was overly obsessed. Do not judge me until you have walked a mile in my moccasins! I assure you, this experience is as real as anything you experience in your day-to-day living!

How does a person explain an entire lifetime of something missed? A sense that a true spiritual kind of love has passed you by - that everything you believed in as a child was wrong and would never come to be in your world. How does one explain the feeling of emptiness in your soul because of the mistakes, the dead ends and the days of just existing? How does one explain that they’ve never felt a sense of purpose or known what God intended for them in this lifetime? How do you approach the latter part of your life without ever having resolved that? There has to be more to one's life than this! And then, the answers come! Completely out of the blue - totally unexpected - and through a person you never dreamed would be your muse! It’s been life-changing, to say the least, and I hope that you will find it in your heart to honor me and my memory for what I am striving to do with my life - that you can tell your children and grandchildren that their grandma and great-grandma made a difference in the world and you are so very proud of her!

My true hope is that you will gain an understanding of my heart and my soul - an acceptance of who I was during my time here on Earth, mistakes and all. That you will cherish and respect my memory and you will know and feel this great love as I have been so blessed to receive. If I have truly lived as I have been called to live, the things I have done to contribute toward a better tomorrow should give you pause for reflection on your own life and whether you are contributing to a healthier, more loving humanity. And you will remember this all began with a little Moonwalker from Gary, Indiana!

I have no doubt Michael Joseph Jackson will be remembered for generations to come, not only for his musical talent, but also for the ways he contributed to changing the world for the better and inspiring others to do the same. I expect the “flavor” of what we will hear and read about Michael in the years to come will change from the sensationalistic stories of a "weird" eccentric genius, to a more realistic view of a man with a heart who shared his immense gift in order to make the world a better place. A spiritual messenger living among us! May HIStory tell the real story, the truth of this man who lent his light, his magic and his heart to us for 50 years and beyond!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Looking at You

I know what’s beautiful
Looking at you
Fireflies that light up in the night
Dewdrops on a flower in the morning sun
Stars that sparkle and dance in the sky
A bird singing her lullaby
Summer rain, its sweet fragrance filling the air
An evening’s sunset that makes me sigh

Through the eyes of a poet
You take me there

I know what’s beautiful
Looking at you
Your smile, so innocent and bright
The light in your eyes when you look upon a child
The way you just know what’s right
Your soul that glows from within
Dignity and grace in all its glory
Your love that touches me, lends its light

The truth of your heart
The telling of your story

I know what’s beautiful
Looking at you
Sunlight bursting through the clouds on a beam
A falling star on a warm summer night
Dolphins that frolic in the sea
An eagle commanding the air in flight
Children at play on a beautiful day
Their innocence and magic, laughter and glee

On the 4th of July

I know what’s beautiful
Looking at you
Dancing in your arms ‘til the break of dawn
Whispers of love at morning’s light
Holding you close ‘til the pain is gone
A touch to say it’s gonna be alright
Feeling your heartbeat next to mine
While in your embrace, you sing me your song

The Gift of your heart
A love for all time

I know what's beautiful
Looking at you...

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Daddy Dear

Daddy dear,
What did you fear?

Did someone tell you
You weren't good enough
Belittling and bullying to make you feel small
Is that why you thought you should pass it along
Reclaiming your power to make you feel tall

Daddy dear,
What did you fear?

Forever a prisoner of your own mistakes
Losing hopes and dreams
When others held your fate
Your life coming apart at the seams

Daddy dear,
What did you fear?

Did I get in the way
Of everything you hoped to be one day
Was it my light, my passion, my love for life
Did I challenge you to look in the mirror
Did my radiance cause you fright

Daddy dear,
What did you fear?

The legacy of your forefathers
Passed down through the ages
Being threatened by a new generation
Calling your authority into question

Daddy dear,
What did you fear?

Loss of control in a world that was changing
Turning to love
Hearts and souls rearranging
Boomers coming of age to work it out
Standing for justice
We would sing and shout

Daddy dear,
What did you fear?

Was it love, peace or equal rights
Freedom of speech, truth or justice
When we got tough 'cause we'd had enough
And we wouldn't give up the fight

Daddy dear,
What did you fear?

Did you not understand
God's purpose
God's plan
For a world filled with love, no more fear
God's dream was in our hands, daddy dear!
Don't you know there's only one way
Truth and Love are here to stay

Daddy dear,

Why do you still fear?

I pray that you will find your peace
Forever held in God's loving embrace
Don't worry 'bout me
I'm finding my way
Through the clutter of doubt
In a world gone astray
It's time to finally make that change
For a better tomorrow
For the whole human race

Daddy dear,
Have no more fear!

Your trials are coming to an end
I forgive you, daddy
And I'm moving on
For God has given me a true love friend
Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Michael Forgive Us

I’m so sorry I was not there
To lift you up, let you know I cared
When things got tough, the world so cruel
It wasn’t enough just to say “those fools!”

Your dignity was trampled
Your light snuffed out
Your faith in humanity
Was plagued with doubt

How could one so gentle and pure
Be tortured more than anyone could endure?

You always gave your love and kindness
Showing us how to be our best
For this they told the horrid lies
For money and greed, to claim the prize

Your soul did not matter
They held your heart on a platter
To be diced and sliced, chopped into bits
They were not nice, but you took the hits
Held yourself with dignity and grace
You stood tall, the demons to face

And even though you were found innocent
The light in your eyes would remain reticent
Never to quite fully recover
Its former brilliance went undercover

Safe and protected from the enemies of your heart
Cushioned from harm you made a new start
Healed a bit, but still not the same
Your light was beginning to burn through the shame
Peaking through the shield of pain
It started to shine from your soul once again

This Is It was the plan
A gift for the fans
We were thrilled beyond measure
Singing and dancing your dream, your adventure
You would give us such pleasure!

To us, your brilliance was never gone
We held you in our hearts all along
Waiting for your wounded soul to heal
Returning to the stage to make us feel
The heat and passion
of your love and affection
We would once again be wooed by your amazing perfection!

Then….out of the blue
your life was taken from this world
On June twenty-fifth, our minds were in a whirl
Can it be true? Is this for real?
In shock and disbelief, we could not feel

Numbed by the news, the world went silent
The stage was now empty, your light stolen from it

Is there something we could’ve done to prevent it?
Loved you more? Healed the planet?
Would that have changed your story in the end?
Would sleep have been your friend?
Did we not do enough while you were here
To show appreciation for your gifts so dear?

For sacrifices made to deliver the message,
was our offering no more than a mere vestige?
A sample so small, you couldn’t see
That you were making a difference
How could this be?

We let you down, fell prey to the shadow
Apathy conveyed through our lives so shallow
Did you have to die for us to know
The importance of your life, your message, your show?

If we had only been
more like a true friend
Listened to your heart from the start
You knew all along that what you had to share
Was critical for the world to hear
You tried… gave us everything you had
Your joy, your anger, the good and the “Bad”

We heard your message, but didn’t respond
We just wanted a piece of you ’cause we were so fond
Your love was pure, your beauty bright
Your sweetness made our hearts take flight

And even though you loved our adoration
It wasn’t enough to prevent your ultimate submission
The pain was too much, the darkness very real
It took you from us, I don’t think we’ll ever heal

I’m not sure what I could’ve done
Written a letter? Called you on the phone?
I am nobody… would you have known?
Could I have made a difference, kept you from goin’?

Put the light back in your eyes for the world to see?
Restored your faith in humanity?
Taken your pain? Kissed and made it all better?
Turned the rain into sunshine with just a letter?

Now that I know, now that you’re gone
I cannot change it, the past is said and done
But I can beg forgiveness for my apathy
Try to make a difference in your name… throughout eternity

The messages you worked so hard to impart
Continue to be real, still rendered from your heart
Now free of limitations
I can do my part
Heal the world, change human relations
What I should’ve done from the very start

Making amends to you in this way
Will not bring you back, but it will make “them” pay
Justice for you will take a new form
For love and kindness will become the norm

All who love you are joining hands
A gesture of unity among your fans
creating a new community
With love at the center of all we do
Your lessons remembered, this is our cue
To make the world a better place…for you!

Let us not forget, always respect
Your example was perfect
No need to change it…dissect it…or reject it

May the Force of Love continue in your name,
Dear Michael…
One who is most like God

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Friday, October 29, 2010

Here to Stay

“O Christmas Sun! What holy task is thine!
To fold a world in the embrace of God!”
~ Guy Wetmore Carryl ~

Christmas Day 2009...Six months since Michael's death. Six months of extreme emotions and still not understanding it all. Why was his death affecting me so powerfully? And why was I persistently compelled to learn more about this man, and driven to dig deeper with every discovery? I didn't know the answers to these questions, but I did know that God was moving mountains inside of me, and there had to be a very good reason. The love that was growing in my heart for a man I never knew was very real and intense. The palpable reality of a world in need of change along with a growing awareness that I was somehow to play a part in its healing became more apparent to me as time went on. But I still didn't understand the "How?" or the "Why?" of it. And, to add to this challenge, there was a nagging, shadowy doubt that would visit me frequently along this path, causing me to question the validity of my experience. In spite of that, a part of me knew that no matter how confused I was about all of this, I just needed to believe, and to know that God would reveal what I needed to know when I needed to know it.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I had been feeling called to the ocean. The last time I was near the ocean was about a week after Michael’s death, when I bought his “Number Ones” CD and began listening to his music again after many years without it. I drove through the majestic Redwoods and all along the Northern California coastline while listening to him sing to me those familiar tunes...his passion and energy infusing itself into the deepest part of my soul! I had forgotten how powerful that energy was - it was beginning to work its magic on me once again, touching me and opening my heart after years of living in a self-imposed protective bubble. It was the beginning of a remarkable journey of discovery for me. It was also the beginning of my extreme grief over his loss - to myself and to the world.

A private coastal retreat over the Christmas holiday in 2009 would prove to be a major turning point on this journey. Michael's spirit touched me in a way that is difficult to explain. Three days entirely devoted to communing with nature...meditating and talking with God...listening to Michael's music...and writing daily journal entries after 6 months of intense grieving and soul awakening moments, would set the stage for a remarkable spiritual experience and an unwavering connection to Michael. He found a way to let me know in a very personal and clear manner that not only was this connection very real, but also that he wasn't going anywhere - that he would stay with me through this experience and I could count on it! I felt in my heart as if Michael's commitment was God's gift to give me strength for the journey ahead.

The day I was to return home from my ocean retreat was the day I wrote my very first poem. It was short and sweet, a simple verse, but the words flowed through me like running water. I'd never had that experience before and it was quite profound! I cherished that little verse because I thought it was the only poem I would ever write - my "Christmas Sun" miracle - but God and Michael had other plans for me. This new gift of writing was also here to stay!

O Christmas Sun

O Christmas Sun, My Love, My Light
You’ve given me strength to endure the night
In a fleeting moment you did appear
You gave me hope, took away my fear
You touched my soul, so deep, so true
And brought me joy at the sight of you
Your heart is warm, your beauty bright
Your gift is Love, My Sun, My Light!
Forever and Always, Michael…
“I thank God!”
~ Charlene ~

Copyright © 2009 by Charlene Burgess

Several months and many poems later, on a beautiful spring day in March, I went to a local park on my lunch break. Enjoying the warmth of the sun as well as the sights and sounds of children playing, I was inspired to write the following poem...

Here To Stay

It's a beautiful Spring day
The leaves of April are on their way
The sun warms me through and through
Love so intense coming from you

Reminds me of that Christmas Day
Not so long ago
You let me know
You were here to stay

You offered your light
and said, "Let it be
your strength… forthright…your soul set free!
Share the warmth with tender care
And remember...
Love is the temptress, the gentle snare

When challenged, hold fast,
shine your light,
be true to yourself, you know what's right
Your soul was created to carry this cross
With courage and vision, commitment to the cause

Facing down your doubts and fears
when those who judge come forth to jeer
Confronting, challenging the truth as you know it
Just breathe…
Remember the love...
Remember to show it."

I will call forth the lessons you left behind
For others to hear
Change their minds
Their hearts transformed, no longer conformed

Love is the weapon of choice to use
In defense of your voice, my heavenly muse
Your beauty, your courage, displayed through me
The Gift illuminated for all to see

Higher expectations, raising the bar
You’re still getting our attention from afar!

You knew that, didn’t you?…goin’ in
Your light would be forever stayin’
In the hearts of those who’d be your messengers
The legend to tell…your truth…lessons learned

Children at play
On this beautiful day
Remind me of all you stood for
Their souls so pure
Would be the lure
Your music inspired, to open the door

Help us to see the need that exists
To care for and love them without remiss
Value their souls, so they can be
Happy and whole, their very best

You've asked us to nurture
These little ones
So close to God
For they are the hope of the future
Why would anyone consider this odd?

They will carry your message, your perfect love,
for generations to come
They’ll see the world become a better place
Turn this one ‘round, change its face!

Years from now when I look back
To see what kept me on track
The sun warming me through and through
Love so intense coming from you
I’ll remember that Christmas Day
So long ago
When you let me know
You were here to stay

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Several months into this journey with Michael, my confidence in what I was experiencing continued to grow. But it was by no means a straight path! Trust in my intuition as well as belief in Michael's presence would take many dips along the way into that dark pool of doubt. And sometimes the notion that Michael Jackson's spirit could actually be touching base with ME just seemed too outrageous to be true! I mean, we're talking the biggest star in the world here! There were times when the reality of this would hit me and I would ask myself why I would ever think that Michael Jackson would even have the slightest notion of who I was. It just seemed insane at times!! It didn't always make sense from a practical standpoint, and that was the gauge I was accustomed to using - my practical sense of earthly things - things I could see with my own eyes. My faith in God was probably about the only exception to this. In every other spiritual sense, I had been playing it safe far too long and had very little trust in things unseen or in matters of the heart and soul.

I had been considering attending a local "Holistic Faire" for some time to get a reading from someone with psychic abilities. I didn't know much about it, but I had been to one of these faires previously with my daughter, sat with her and took notes while she received a reading. I was mostly curious to hear what someone with this special gift would feel or sense coming from me or in the energy field around me. In a way, I think I was wanting to receive some kind of validation of what I was experiencing. A complex mix of thoughts and feelings were having their way with me about taking this risk - putting myself out there to be examined on a spiritual level by a complete stranger. Not knowing how reliable their "gift" would be and knowing that mistakes could be made caused an inner conflict with my need for validation. What would I hear? And what would I DO with that information? Most important, how would it effect my own perception of my personal experience? Would the reading be so vague that I would not find the answers I was seeking; consequently, adding even more weight to the doubt which already plagued me from time to time?

In March, after much inner deliberation, I made the decision to attend the Holistic Faire. The plan was to just wander around the room to get a feel for who was there, how I was feeling about being there, and to make a decision at that time whether I would go for a reading. Well, almost as soon as I entered the building, I felt a sense of dis-ease about it, but I wasn't entirely sure why. There were many people attending this faire, so there was a noticeable "buzz" in the room. It was a positive energy among people who were already well acquainted with one another, lending a sense of community to the environment. Under normal circumstances, this would be a good thing; however, my vulnerability caused me to feel very much like a stranger in a strange land. I proceeded with my original plan, picked up some information at the front table and walked around the room, reading the bio's on all the participants and getting a feel of the space. A variety of psychic gifts were represented, all of which I knew very little about. Each booth was only semi-private, with other people waiting in line for their readings. It all seemed too distracting and impersonal. My experience with Michael and our connection felt very personal to me, and the thought of exposing it to a stranger in this environment was quite unsettling. It didn't take me long to decide that I was not ready for this! I determined that I might consider a private reading later on, but for now, it just didn't feel right. When I left the facility, I went for a drive to process my feelings, stopped at a favorite spot along the river, and wrote the poem "Exposed" which is printed below.

Later on, I told a friend and mentor about the decision I'd made and she affirmed my choice, saying that I had done the right thing by following my intuition about the discomfort I was feeling, and she thought it was important for me to discern from my heart what my own truth was about this experience with Michael. Imagine that...me, getting back in touch with my heart and trusting it! I'm happy to say that I have made much progress in that area since March. Now, for the most part, I "just know" when Michael is present, communicating with me in his own unique ways to let me know this experience IS, indeed, authentic and he will be there when I need him. I no longer feel the need for human validation of this incredible journey, as this adventure has been affirmed by God and Michael in all the ways they make themselves known to me. As I stated in a previous post...they're in this together, you know!

Getting back to my heartspace and trusting it has been such an amazing gift, and I celebrate this Gift every single day! Although the path is still not entirely straight, my confidence in the truth of this experience has grown tremendously. I no longer question it. And Michael has been nothing if not consistent at showing up at just the right time to give me a loving nudge, sharing a little more of his light with me so I can see my way to the next thing - moving ahead inch by agonizing inch toward the goal of making the world a better place! Perseverance is one of his greatest virtues!


Feeling exposed
Walking into a crowded room
Filled with those who would know my fate so soon

Can I trust their gift to get it right
May cause a rift, what is their insight
My soul laid open for all to see
What lies inside of me

Escaping the prison that was my life
My wounded soul sliced open with a knife
His death would be
The start of a new journey
My broken heart revealing
My truth, all that I’ve been feeling

This awakening
Charged with joy, fraught with pain
Something inside me come to life again
I’m learning to trust, to understand
The message, my part, his guiding hand

Not always sure of my sanity
Someone said, that’s ego, it fears its own mortality
Be gentle with it, it’s like a child
Selfish needs will try to rule, resist, defile

But if I believe in my calling
Love will rule the day
Keep me from falling prey
To those who doubt, including my fragile ego
This is not about self, God is freeing me to go
To places I’ve only dreamed
Experiencing love in the extreme
My gift to impart to others from my heart

The journey so far has been resplendent
Overflowing with love, light and encouragement
Taking me beyond my wildest expectations
His light so bright, filling all the empty spaces

Wanna hold on, never let go
Can I keep the light burning all on my own
Is my belief strong enough to withstand
Comments from those who don’t “get” the man
Can I still love and know as God knows
What lies within must be exposed
Still wanting to protect this precious gift
If others inspect, will the treasure be lifted
Invasion of privacy allows them to judge
Can I be exposed without bending to the nudge

Vulnerable, but strong, taking a stand
For truth, love and justice, he’ll hold my hand
He won’t let go, for this is the call
The mission to send his message to all
If validation is what I seek
Remember his courage and don’t be weak
All that he endured for the cause
Will give me strength and conviction without pause

Being exposed is part of the test
Persecution from all the rest
Will be my cross to bear
For this great love I am blessed to share

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Sliver of Shimmering Light

His spirit abounds
Among the stars, the moon, and the clouds
I look up to the sky
Whenever I step outside
Just to see if I can find
A hint of him hiding behind that tree
Magical, mystical, wonder of light
I see him nearly every night

One night in April I found to my delight
The crescent moon curved up in a smile
Made me swoon
A tiny sliver of shimmering light
Hanging out with some twinkling stars
Casting their glitter about
Like fairy dust on Mars

Framed by dark silhouettes
Of trees and mountains in the distance
He gave me a ringside seat
For a momentary show of his beautiful glow
Peeking out from under his home
A stunning reflection of his love
… Pure perfection

I said, “Well, hello sweetie!”
And he smiled right back at me!
He captured my heart
Ignited that spark
It was our private moment in the dark

Then a cloud came by
Covering him like a blanket to say goodnight
A nod, a wink, and a wave of his hand
Gave me a clue this was not the end
Descending behind the mountains
His light glowed on the western horizon

I thought, what a gift to behold!
To see him in that moment
As if he was there just for me
Long enough to say hello
This child would be
Playing peek-a-boo behind the moon’s glow
Letting me know he's still beside me
Cheering me on
Singing for me his heavenly songs
Encouraging me to stay on track
Not to be discouraged, he’s got my back

This journey is long
The way is not always clear
The answers will come when the time is right
God will help me kick it in gear
Take the next step to own this light
Face the shadow and change the world…without fear!

Oh, what a night!
Believing in magic and moonbeams
Adds a whole new dimension to my life!

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess