MJ Reflections

Sunday, August 29, 2010

There's Just Something About Michael

On August 29, 1958 a little bundle of energy and magic named Michael Joseph Jackson entered this world and would leave it forever changed on June 25, 2009 when his earthly life ended at the age of 50.

Such a short time for one gentle soul to make such a huge impact! But it was his gentle spirit which ended up being exactly what the world needed. We just didn’t know it yet! Many around the world would experience an overwhelming awareness of the true spirit of Michael following his death. And there are many more who have yet to discover the depth of this tender soul and his reason for being on this planet. Time will reveal even more of the profound truth of this unlikely messenger who was sent here to show us the way to love. His brilliant light shone brightly for nearly 51 years, 40 of which were lived in the spotlight of the world on the musical stage. His star reached heights unknown to any other artist before him and will likely remain unreachable for generations to come. This little fella with a heart as big as Texas blessed us with his talent, his charm, his childlike spirit, his humility and his genuine love and compassion for others.

In 1969 when the Jackson5 signed with Motown Records and hit it big right out of the starting gates with 4 consecutive #1 hits, things would never be the same for their youngest member and lead singer, Michael. He was magnetic, super talented, a natural at singing and dancing, and cute as a button to boot! This young entertainer was born with an immense gift, and his talents were as natural to him as breathing - you can’t teach that. Even when he and his brothers were all doing the same dance moves, there was just something about Michael - your eyes would naturally be drawn to him. It's been said that there could be 60 of the best dancers on stage with him, all choreographed and dancing their hearts out, but you would still only watch Michael. He didn’t just have the “it factor”, he was the it factor! He didn’t just have the beat, we was the beat, as Debbie Allen so aptly stated. Michael’s mother, Katherine, has said that from the time he was born, she knew he was special. She said he didn’t have the same jerky movements that most babies have. His movements were smooth and controlled even as an infant. She has also told the story of when Michael was a baby, still in diapers, dancing and moving in perfect time to the rhythm of their old warn out washing machine. You can’t teach that!

Throughout his career, the energy Michael projected from the stage was clearly unlike any performer we had ever seen! If you watch his hands closely during a performance, there are times when you'll see the fingertips on his free hand fluttering like the wings of a hummingbird - pure energy! And this is only one very subtle example. It was an energy that came through him or from a source deep inside which responded to the music, traveled through his entire body and commanded it to move in ways that were not always predictable! People who have performed with Michael have said that they had to be prepared to improvise during a performance because Michael would sometimes do something entirely different than what they had rehearsed, depending on how the music or the audience was moving him! Michael himself stated in the infamous 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey that he wasn't always aware of certain dance moves he would do during a performance - he was just responding to the music. You can't teach that!

Michael shared some of his own reflections about his natural gift of dance in his writings, one of my favorites being from “Dance of Life” in his book Dancing the Dream:

“…my body has always been moving. Since childhood I have reacted to the moon this way, as her favorite lunatic, and not just hers. The stars draw me near, close enough so that I see through their twinkling act. They’re dancing, too, doing a soft molecular jiggle that makes my carbon atoms jump in time.”

This speaks volumes about the creative soul of this musical genius we had in our midst for 50 years. Michael's carbon atoms have been jumping in time since his birth in 1958! He was truly magical and, as some have said…other-worldly!

With an intense charisma on stage and a shy nature off stage, his complex blend of personality traits would intrigue the public and the media for his entire life. As a young entertainer he sang ballads with the soul of a mature man, expressing emotions through his voice that only a person with a rich history of life experiences would know or understand. When asked by interviewers about his ability to understand the mature themes of many of his songs, he humbly proclaimed, “I just feel it… I don’t sing it if I don’t mean it.” This single statement spoken as a young boy would establish an understanding of everything he would sing for the rest of his life! Michael taught us how to feel the music. And his commitment to offer only music that he honestly believed in set the stage for a lifetime of delivering messages through his lyrics and passionate performances that would take the world by storm, grab our attention and never let us go!

Michael knew from a very early age that he was gifted and that he was to use his gifts to bring joy to people and, once famous, to use his success for good. He just seemed to understand that, which in and of itself is an amazing kind of awareness for such a young person. I recently read an article in which one of his brothers stated that Michael was still quite young when the Jackson5 did a benefit performance at a children’s hospital. After coming home from that performance, Michael spent the night crying in his room because he couldn’t bear to see all those sick children. It was then that his “real work” began as he started writing letters to children in hospitals, just reaching out and being friendly, hoping to bring some joy into their lives. Many of these children were near his own age. Can you imagine any other 9 or 10 year old doing the same thing? This kind of compassion is usually not something that comes naturally to children at such a young age, especially those that are rising stars. You can’t teach that! This would be the beginning of a lifelong quest of Michael’s to make the lives of ill or disadvantaged children around the world just a little bit better by visiting them, inviting them to his Neverland Ranch, or sharing his resources with them in whatever way was needed. A deeply generous man to the very end, he left the world a much better place with his kind heart and compassionate spirit!

As his career and his fame progressed, he never lost touch with his Divine partner and he always recognized that his gifts were not of his own making, often stating that he was the instrument through which the music and the dancing were delivered. Whenever I see a picture of Michael as a young boy looking as if he’s deep in thought, I wonder if those were the times he was thinking about his life’s purpose. Was he planning even then his strategy for delivering the messages he knew we needed to hear? Did he understand the magnitude of what he was sent here to do, and how he was to do it? Looking back on his life’s work and all the ways he got our attention and prepared us for those very important messages, it seems as if it was all planned ahead of time - choreographed to make the most powerful impact at just the right moment in time! Could this be? Was he aware of this early on? Is it possible for someone so young to understand this kind of thing - to establish a mission and to see it through, never losing track of the goal throughout his entire life? If so, his instincts were tuned in to a much higher frequency than the rest of the world. You can’t teach that!

In the early years, Michael was often called an “old soul”, and as he matured he carried with him into adulthood the heart of a child. It was this childlike spirit that would endear him to children all around the world. Just as he was drawn to their innocent souls, they too would be drawn to his gentle nature and his magnetic and innocent charm. They felt safe with him, as well they should have! He had only the purest kind of love in his heart for them and they instinctively knew that. Today, there are many young children around the world who are being drawn to the magnetism and sparkle of Michael Jackson through his music. They are his youngest fans, learning of him since his death from their parents and grandparents. They are feeling his magic, dancing to his beat, and learning the lessons he taught us through his example and his music. His love and his energy are infectious. There is a magical kind of joy that comes through the frequency of his voice and the music that just makes you want to move and dance and sing along! Children can feel it, and they respond to it. And I can confidently say that any adult who is in tune with their own inner child can feel it also, and they respond to it as well! Michael said as much in his poem “Magical Child” from his book Dancing the Dream:

If you could for one moment know
This spark of creation, this exquisite glow
You would come and dance with me
Kindle this fire so we could see
All the children of the Earth
Weave their magic and give new birth
To a world of freedom with no pain
A world of joy, much more sane
Deep inside, you know it’s true
Just find that child, it’s hiding in you.

Michael's youngest fans, children of all ages, will be the ones sharing his messages, passing them along for generations to come. They will see the world become a better place because of him. And they will be the first to tell you, there's just something about Michael!

Although Michael is no longer physically present on this earth, his energy and his love live on through the millions of people who have heard his messages, received his love and who have been touched by the immense light he left in our hearts.

May the Force of Love continue in your name, dear Michael..."One who is most like God!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Did You Know?

Did you know how special you were from the beginning?
God’s gift for you, unparalleled dancing and singing!
Did you know your gift would take you to the cosmos,
Far beyond anything anyone’s ever known?

Did you know how much of an impact you would make?
Our love and attention would be yours for the taking.
Did you know that millions would scream at your feet?
Hearts pounding, heads spinning, reeling from your passion and heat!

Did you know how badly the world needed your help?
You would teach about loving and giving, forgetting yourself.
Did you know all the work you did here on earth
would show your true colors, your sacred worth?

Did you know some would hurt you before they would love you,
Judging your actions without really knowing you?
Did you know you would be crucified for all you believed in,
Enduring much pain for the wages of their sin?

Did you know you would have to leave your children so soon,
Paying the price for your fame and fortune?
Did you know our hearts would break into a million parts,
Never to be fully whole again?

Did you know your true genius, your heart, your depth,
Would be so misunderstood until after your death?
Did you know that people who barely knew you existed
Would sit up and take notice, be amazed by your gifts?

Did you know that we would finally understand
Your soul, your innocence, your goodness, your plan?
Did you know we were paying attention all along?
We just didn’t realize what we had…‘til you were gone.

Did you know generations of new fans would come around?
Toddlers to seniors singing and dancing about!
Did you know your popularity would grow beyond measure?
The rest of the world finally appreciating your treasure!

Did you know that your love would be felt ‘round the world?
Changing hearts and minds, transformed like a pearl.
Did you know your messages would be heard ten-fold?
When This Is It showed the truth, your genius to behold!

Did you know we would ultimately “get” your passion
for life, for love, and for the children?
Did you know our lives would never be the same?
Knowing you and loving you, we could feel your pain!

Did you know you would inspire a world full of soldiers
to carry your message, broadening our shoulders?
Did you know we would come together in your name,
teach the world your lessons and tell them why you came?

Did you know how much God must have loved you,
Sending you here to show us what to do?

Did you know how very much we loved you then,
And how much more we love you now?
Until the end…of time!

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rainbows and Love Messages

Have you ever had a series of incidents happen, all tied together creating a beautiful and inspiring story, wrapped up with an “ah-ha!” moment at the end? When the first one or two happened you were touched; they were special, but not particularly remarkable. And you didn’t quite see the connections between these events until the very last incident came along and slammed it home so hard you were blown away by the sheer magnitude of meaning behind these events. You then realized there was a purpose for each one, leading up to the grand finale when all the pieces fit together into a cohesive series of remarkable coincidences which could not have been more perfectly planned! I call these “God-incidences,” and more recently “Michael-incidences” because for me they usually involve some sort of message from Michael. Well, friends, I have an amazing story to tell involving rainbows and love messages. Messages for you and for me. But first, let’s rewind back to the summer of 2009...

When my life-changing journey with Michael began last summer, I was grieving so heavily that for months, all I did was cry whenever I was alone. I could barely hold it together to get through my workdays or times when I was required to be with other people. I did my best to keep it under wraps because I didn’t entirely understand what was happening to me at first. I couldn’t explain it to anyone else if I didn’t understand it myself. My boss noticed something was wrong one day when I came back from lunch with watery, puffy eyes and all I could say to her was, “God uses very unlikely vessels sometimes to get our attention. And this one has got me stumped! I‘ll let you know as soon as I figure it out.” I was so confused and dazed by my extreme grief over Michael’s death during this time that I wasn’t keeping track of all the amazing ways he was touching me and awakening my soul. I could see Michael’s light, and God was changing my heart with new vision and profound awareness about who this man was! I mean, I always knew Michael, but I didn’t really know him, you know? Through watching his performances and interviews and reading anything about him I could get my hands on, through my dreams and discoveries of our many “soul connections” along the way, as well as through prayer and answers to prayer, I was learning the truth about Michael Jackson from the inside out. God was showing me everything and I was like a sponge, absorbing as much as I possibly could, saturating my spirit with the essence of this man who came out of nowhere to inspire me! It was so overwhelming at times, my head was literally spinning, my stomach was constantly in knots, and my heart felt like it was going to explode from the sheer volume of light, love, and knowledge that was streaming into my consciousness every day. I remember thinking, “If I tell anyone about this, they will surely think I’ve gone insane! Nobody else around me seems to have caught this wave. Why is that?”

I soon realized that this ride was going to last a while and I needed to start recording my journey somehow, so in December I started a journal, and soon after that I began writing poetry, to my shock and delight! I would never have called myself the creative type. But something was stirring…no, something was brewing up a storm inside of me! And all the ways in which Michael was touching me were crying out to be expressed. He seemed to want to show me my potential as a creative being. And what I thought was just a quirk when I wrote my first poem, has turned out to be so much more than that. My entire creative spirit has been awakened! I look at everything differently now. I see beauty in art of all kinds and I am often moved to tears just by looking at a drawing a child has made, or watching a bird perched atop a small tree begin to dance in front of me! All things of nature are suddenly more vibrant: cloud formations in the sky, the moon and the stars, the way the leaves rustle in the trees when the wind blows, a perfectly formed flower, crickets singing on a warm summer night, a child’s laughter, and Michael’s voice in all its forms and expressions as he sings to me every single day.

My intuition has also been awakened by this experience and, for the most part, I have “tuned in” to that force within me that just knows. I questioned it at first, but I don’t anymore. I just know when Michael is connecting with me or when God is communicating with me through him. When I started my journal in December, I attempted to record some incidents that happened prior to that, but many of them have been lost in the haze of this mind-boggling experience. That’s OK, I have plenty of “Michael-incidences” to keep me going for some time. There’s one in particular that I’d like to share with you now…

It was right around the third week in May. I had been feeling somewhat alone in recent weeks, not sensing Michael’s presence so much, wanting to know if he was still with me. I was running an errand after work one day, walking to my car with headphones on listening to “Someone in the Dark.” Just as Michael was singing to me "look for the rainbow in the sky," I turned around to get into my car and there it was. A full double rainbow! It was so beautiful it took my breath away! And from where I was standing, it looked like the end of the smaller rainbow was near my home, so I set out to find it. Driving toward my neighborhood, I realized once I got a little closer that it was farther away than I first thought and I couldn‘t get to it, so I abandoned my search. But I wasn’t disappointed, it was still an awesome experience! I was once again reminded of Michael’s presence and his surprising ways of letting me know that he’s still with me. I was grateful for this little message and I thanked him for it.

“Then somewhere in your heart you can feel the glow
A light to keep you warm when the night winds blow
Look for the rainbow in the sky
Oh, I believe you and I could never really say goodbye”

Now, fast forward about a month, right before the one year anniversary of Michael’s death. It was June 22. I received an email from my sister. It was a forward - you know, one of those with an inspirational message attached. Well, this message came with a beautiful picture of a double rainbow. I immediately recalled my rainbow sighting in May accompanied by Michael’s magical voice. And thinking about it triggered another memory from years ago, which I wrote about to my daughter when I forwarded this rainbow photo & message to her. I wrote, “Do you remember years ago when we were driving on the freeway and we drove right through the end of a rainbow? It was like this bright yellow light all around us when we drove through it - all golden! Just like they say, there's a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow... and we touched it! (or it touched us!) Pretty amazing, huh? That can only happen once in a lifetime!” This statement triggered the flow of words into a simple little poem written very quickly and sent to my daughter and friends, telling them the story of how this beautiful rainbow touched me.

Once In a Lifetime

Touched by a rainbow
Golden light
Embraced me, caressed me
Renewed my inward sight

Warmed my heart
Enticed a vow
Penetrated my soul

One precious moment
The pot of gold was mine
Changed my world forever
Pure love, so divine

Miracle of nature
The essence of You
Captured in its radiance
Love, Perfection, Truth

Once in a lifetime
A rainbow touches you
Golden light
Its gift is life anew

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

I feel compelled to add here that the words written in this poem express how I felt on this day, June 22, 2010 as I recalled the moment we drove through the end of the rainbow many years earlier. I don't remember feeling these things then or being so spiritually moved by the experience at the time, other than a sense of awe at the odds of something like that happening to anyone, anywhere! I feel that my words here are more a reflection of my journey with Michael over the last year and the fact that he had touched me twice in recent weeks with his rainbow messages. But, as I mentioned earlier, these first two incidents were very special, but not extremely remarkable…not yet, that is.

Even though I was briefly inspired by these "Michael-incidences," my mind was intently focused on the impending anniversary date of Michael’s death. Feeling an underlying sense of dread in anticipation of the emotions which would be evoked by the memories of that day, I knew the harsh reality of his being gone from this earth and the overwhelming awareness of this tremendous loss to the world would be driven home with cutting precision like a stake through my heart, re-opening those slightly healed wounds from one year ago. After watching a few of the specials on TV, reading and viewing many of the wonderful tributes about him on the internet, and participating in the Major Love Prayer, the date was forever marked as a day to honor the remarkable life and contributions of this amazing man. My grief intensified and I felt somewhat lost and very much alone. I wanted to write something…anything about how I was feeling, but the words didn’t come. I couldn't pin them down.

I was also reminded once again of the immense task in front of me - continuing to do Michael’s work in the world - and I was not so sure if I was up to it. Oh, I had some good ideas and I had done a few small things already, but it didn’t seem like much. Not in comparison to Michael’s life and everything he did! Nor did it seem like much in comparison to things I'd seen other fans doing. I could tell I was heading down that path again - you know the one where you feel very small and insignificant in the larger picture. Incapable, unworthy, and oh-so alone. Even when I know I’m heading there, I can’t always stop myself. I have to get to the point where I break, where my soul cries out for reassurance and I need that extra little push to believe in myself again. I reached that point a few days after the anniversary.

I was at work, alone in my office during the afternoon hours, and I could feel the pressure building. Emotions were on the verge of breaking through to release the pressure, threatening to spill over into a waterfall of tears. I managed to find time to go to a place where I was safe and where I knew I would be completely alone. I entered my church’s sanctuary. It was empty and still - the light coming through the stained glass windows cast a warm glow throughout the room. The ornate woodwork and the beautiful windows lend themselves to the simple charm of this historic little place of worship which still captures my heart every time I enter its sacred inner space. It's a place of comfort and protection for me - a place where I can feel God’s presence and His constant love. I sat in a pew a few rows from the front, looked up at my favorite stained glass window of Jesus praying in the garden at Gethsemane the night before he was crucified... and the dam inside of me burst. A waterfall of tears flowed freely accompanied by deep soulful sobs. Although I still cry every single day, I had not cried this deeply in months. I got angry, and in between tissues I prayed and I asked a lot of questions. “Who do I think I am to deserve this gift? I’ve been selfish! Please forgive me. I don’t know if I can be as loving and kind as Michael is. I don’t know if I have what it takes to care about others the way I should. I cannot write from my heart anymore…it’s gone…I feel silence inside! It’s as if that creative spark has found a place to hide again. That feeling of deep love and truth has run away from this undeserving soul. How do I get it back? And how do I keep Michael in my heart without preventing him from moving forward? I’m afraid that with time and being left to my own devices, I will go back to the way things were, losing this precious gift for good. I think I would rather die first! Is this gift for real, or was it just temporary - only a fantasy to be short-lived? If it IS real, I need help to find that light again! How can I do what you want me to do if I keep losing sight of my own light? I need him to hold me while I cry until I can’t cry anymore! I need him to reach out and hug me until my need is diminished by his loving embrace! Yes, this is selfish, but right now I don’t know any other way to express how I’m feeling. I’ve been lonely a long time now. You know my heart…You know my truth. Help me so I can do what you’ve asked me to do.” My sobs were reduced to soft weeping and I lingered there in silence for a while, breathing deeply and steadily, slowly regaining my composure. The silence and the warm glow from the windows cradled me now and settled my spirit. I knew I had said all that I needed to say, and it was time to go.

Feeling emotionally spent and exhausted, I gathered my pile of tissues and headed home. I don’t really remember much about my evening. I was still numb from my emotional tirade, and I think I was just going through the motions - checking messages online, looking for any news or stories about Michael, as I did every evening. Falling asleep listening to Michael sing his ballads, I slept longer and deeper than I had in a very long while. When I awoke, the tune from the song “Hold My Hand” was playing in my head - the one Michael recorded with Akon - and I had an image of Michael standing in front of me holding his hand out for me to take, looking right into my eyes with a sweet, gentle, coaxing look that said, “Come on, take my hand, it’s OK.” It gave me a very comforting feeling and I didn’t want to fully wake up from this lovely dream. But I was curious about why I had this song in my head. I had only heard it a couple times before and I didn’t know it very well. I decided I needed to get on the computer before going to work, find the lyrics and write them down because I was interested to see if they held any answers to my prayers from yesterday.

I forgot that I had left my computer on the night before and when I logged on, I noticed I was still connected to facebook. I was just about to click on the “logout” button when I noticed something at the top of my home page. It was a message from an MJ friend sending a link to a YouTube video entitled “The Rainbow is My Love Message.” I thought, “What? You’re kidding me, right? I have to check this out!” So I clicked on the link and watched & listened to the video. It was a tribute to Michael using the song “The Rainbow is My Love Message” (partial lyrics below) which is sung in Italian. Someone had taken the time to translate the lyrics to English and they were posted there. When I read them, I cried another bucket of tears!! Michael led me to this, I just know it! He wanted me to find this. It holds the answers to all my questions…and more! This was the final piece in the rainbow series of “Michael-incidences” which made everything clear. His hand was reaching out to me once again, as in my dream! I don’t usually get online before going to work in the morning - but my dream enticed me and I just happened to have time on this day - very rare! I would not have seen this message later in the day...

The Rainbow is My Love Message

I've left suddenly
I had no time to say goodbye
Short moments, but still shorter
if there is a light that pierces your heart

The rainbow is my love message
Maybe one day you could touch it
With the colors it would cancel
the most discouraging and distressing pain

I've become the sunset of evening, you know
and I speak as the leaves of April
and I live inside of every sincere voice
and with the birds I live a soft song
and my speech more beautiful and dense
expresses with the silence its sense

Some things I didn’t understand
that are clear as the falling stars
And I have to tell you that it is infinite pleasure
to carry these heavy suitcases

I really miss you so much my dear friend
and so many things I have to say
Listen only to the real music
and always try to understand

Listen always to the real music
and try to understand if you can

God has brought me back to my light with this one simple, yet profound message from Michael! With these words, Michael has let me know that he was holding me while I cried, until I couldn’t cry anymore. He heard me and he wanted me to understand that every time I look at a rainbow, that is his love message. He is there - I can count on it! Every time I see a sunset or new life coming forth in the spring, every time I hear a sincere voice or a bird’s soft song, he is there! And the silence...oh my, the beautiful silence - he is there as well. From now on, I will embrace the silence when it comes and I will not doubt that it has a purpose! I was very touched by the line “I have to tell you that it is infinite pleasure to carry these heavy suitcases.” Every single time I “bother” Michael with my questions and my need for reassurance, he comes around and lets me know that he continues to believe in me. And I never get the feeling that he is growing impatient with me - he has endless patience - and I have even felt that he takes great pleasure in being able to touch those of us who need him in our moments of despair.

I am sharing this story with you because I believe Michael wants all of us to hear these messages - they‘re not just for me. He wants us to feel his love because it is true and real! And he wants to help us gather strength and inspiration for continuing his work in the world. By sharing my experience with you, we can hold each other up, give each other strength, and share our mutual love for this beautiful soul. I wrote a poem back in March called “Whispers at Morning” in which I asked how I could make a difference and be inspiration for others. The words that came through me in answer to my question were not my own. And it was very clear to me that the message I was receiving through those words was to use my words about my experiences and the things that inspired me to share with others so that they may be inspired also. These experiences feel personal to me, and on one level they are - just as your Michael experiences are personal to you. But I also understand that Michael belongs to the world. He loves each of us individually and universally. There is no doubt in my mind that Michael wants to give us as much encouragement as we need to stay strong and steady in our mission to heal the world on his behalf! He was an artist of the highest magnitude and the purest form. It was through his art that he communicated his deepest emotions and his most sincere longings. He continues to deliver messages in ways that are poetic and divinely inspired, just as he did his entire life. If we are open to receiving them in surprising and unexpected ways, he will not disappoint! God Bless His Beautiful Soul!!!

And now, just for good measure, here are partial lyrics to “Hold My Hand”… gotta love it!

Hold My Hand
by Michael Jackson & Akon

This life don't last forever
So tell me what we're waiting for
We're better off being together
Than being miserable alone

Cause I've been there before
And you've been there before
But together we can be alright
Cause when it gets dark and when it gets cold
We hold each other ‘til we see the sunlight

Hold my hand
Baby I promise that I'll do all I can
Things will get better if you just hold my hand
Nothing can come between us if you just hold my hand.

The nights are getting darker
And there's no peace inside
So why make our lives harder
By fighting love tonight

Cause I've been there before
And you've been there before
But together we can be alright
Cause when it gets dark and when it gets cold
We hold each other ‘til we see the sunlight

So if you just hold my hand
Baby I promise that I'll do all I can
Things will get better if you just hold my hand
Nothing can come between us if you just hold my hand.

I can tell you're tired of being lonely
Take my hand don't let go baby hold me
Come to me and let me be your one and only
So I can make it alright ‘til the morning

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Make That Change

Magical Child
You went the distance
Captured our hearts
And made a difference

Now we know
We were part of the plan
To change the world
The destiny of man

You cried and proclaimed
Your heartache to all
And in spite of the pain
You stood tall

Your children are now
Ready to stand
Convey your messages
Do all that we can

Proclaim your love
Send it ‘round the globe
Share your story
Your truth be told

Although some will insist
You were not what we claim
We will hold fast
Carry on in your name

There is no doubt
Among those who believe
You were the Light of the World
So much more than a king

Magical Child
You showed us the way
To live and love
In a world full of hate

There were no barriers
You could not shatter
With humility, love and passion
You lived what really matters

Although some will insist
You were not what we claim
We will hold fast
Carry on in your name

Magical Child
We’ll be proud to take the stage
Now it’s our turn
To make that change

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Friday, August 13, 2010

Called To Do Great Things …Who, Me?

In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. ~ Mother Teresa

Michael Jackson: King of Pop; worldwide mega superstar; musical & artistic genius; phenomenal dancer and singer; greatest entertainer of all time; creator and producer of the largest selling album of all time; trailblazer; trendsetter; fashion leader; spiritual messenger; love guru; global humanitarian; philanthropist; donator of hundreds of millions of dollars to charities around the world; winner of more awards than anybody…ever! I’m certain I could come up with many more adjectives and titles to describe this man-wonder who left behind the largest following of anyone…ever…to continue doing his work in the world.

One of the things that impressed me the most about Michael Jackson is the way he never stopped pushing the boundaries, striving to go beyond the limits of anything anyone had done before, including himself! Great things? That’s just about all this man did for his entire life! From the time he was in diapers dancing and moving to the rhythm of the washing machine, until his untimely death last year at the age of 50 when he was poised to give us the greatest show …ever! He gave us nothing short of greatness, perfection, and magic in everything he did.

And he loved at the same level! No matter what the challenges he faced or the ridicule hurled at him from all directions, Michael Jackson never gave up his belief in the power of love. He gave all of himself in order to show us how to be the kind of people who could make a difference in this world. He believed in our ability to heal the world and he believed in us. What a remarkable gift!

Those of us who have experienced an awakening since Michael’s death last June have felt compelled to find ways to carry on his work. Not unlike his dedicated long-time fans, we heard the message, we received the invitation, we recognize the need and we are determined to keep his legacy of love alive. We know Michael’s dream of a world with no fear, no hurt or sorrow…for the children. We know that he lived for the children and that he needs us to take his place - to do everything we can to make his dream come true.

Michael’s love has inspired the discovery of new talents and breathed new life into old ones for many of us. We have been so moved by the staggering scope of gifts he shared with us while he was here, that we have achieved heights we never dreamed possible with our own gifts and dreams. Sometimes I ask myself if I am worthy of such a treasure, and I have to say, I’ve had my doubts. I have spent a significant amount of time on this 14 month adventure vacillating between feeling bold, confident, capable, and worthy, to then wondering if Michael and God really knew what they were doing when they recruited me! I ask myself, “How in the world am I going to do anything big enough to make a difference on this great planet? Could it be really me you’re calling to do this tremendous work? What’s the catch? Is there a punch line to this huge cosmic joke?”

I have struggled sometimes to understand what I was being called to do while on this journey of discovery about Michael. Many of my earlier poems reflect that struggle, because I just couldn't understand how little ol' me could make a difference - especially when compared to the difference Michael made. Nobody will ever come near to making the impact he did, just by the sheer number of people whose hearts he touched all around the world! If I allow myself to think about it too much, it becomes very overwhelming!

Well, along this path, I have learned a few things here and there about this recruitment business and I have come to realize that, first of all, I can't say 'no' to this calling - it's virtually impossible! My whole being has been changed forever and it's like my entire life - everything, good & bad, that's happened leading up to this point, was all in preparation for this moment in time! This is where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing from now on. This Is It! All I have to do is remain open to receive divine guidance and inspiration from God and Michael. (They're in this together, you know!) It's not too difficult when I put my mind to it and when I invest my heart and soul into seeking the truth. Every single time I pray about what I am to do to help heal the world, answers come to me, usually within 24 hours. And I know when it's the right thing for me - it just fits, you know? Like Cinderella's glass slipper - it will only fit one foot, and you know when it slides right on without effort, there is no question about it. It's crystal clear.

And these things that he lays before me - they are not small. They may look small to the outside observer, but they feel huge to me, because they are each and every one a very precious gift for me to experience the joy of doing something significant that touches another. Something that will make a difference in the bigger picture, whether it's for one individual or for many. By doing one "small" thing, it grows and blossoms as it ripples out to many others who catch the wave of love and are touched, directly or indirectly, by the light which is cast from its origin. Nothing we do with great love is small! That's the bottom line. And I believe that's what Michael was here to teach us.

There is also great power in numbers. There have been times when group projects have come to my attention and I will lend my own individual abilities to help put it together. One small part, but a team effort. Each part is just as important as the next, and if any part were left out, it could not be done. Working together on a mutually inspired project increases its value and its impact. As Michael sang so passionately in the powerful song We've Had Enough, "There's nothing that can't be done if we raise our voice as one!" When I think of what Michael left for us - all the people around the world who love him and believe in his goodness - we have a rich and fertile foundation of many who share a common belief and a common goal to carry on Michael’s work in the world, to make a difference in his name. Altogether, we are a powerful force for good which is bound to have a significant impact!

When individuals work on projects alone, they can share their ideas through the use of modern technology, providing inspiration for others to do the same. I have a friend who happens to be gifted not only in making beautiful videos about Michael, but also in coming up with creative ideas for projects she can do in her own community. I was intrigued with a particular project she worked on recently when she shared her video with me, showing what she had done. I was so impressed with this “small” project which was done with such great love, I knew immediately that this was something I would love to do, and I am planning to do it very soon in my little corner of Oregon. I also have made plans with another MJ friend in Oregon to meet half-way between our two communities and spend a day together spreading Michael’s love in this very special way.

My friend, Wednesday55, has given me permission to share her video with you here. You may have already seen it as it has recently been featured on the Tribute Portrait website and has been spreading among the MJ fan community on the internet. Take a look:

Now, doesn’t that just fill your heart with warmth and love? This idea - sharing pieces of Michael's heart & soul - his words, which were one of the most precious gifts he left for us - so simple, yet so profound!! What a wonderful tribute to him and a beautiful way to give some very blessed people an opportunity to have a glimpse into Michael's true heart and to feel his love! I just know Michael is grinning from ear to ear over this wonderful project being passed along from one to another and spreading with love around the world! By doing this, people who may not otherwise have noticed are unexpectedly receiving the gift of his brilliant light - his Divine inspiration!! How divine is that?

Sometimes we may feel that the “small” things we do are insignificant in the bigger picture, but when we perform a random act of kindness from our hearts with great love, as in this project, and when we share it with others via email, facebook, twitter, YouTube - any of the mediums available to us - there starts the ripple, and the wave of love & light spreads far and wide. Imagine for a moment the people who will stumble upon these little gems. Maybe one of the messages is found by someone who needed some extra love that day, or who had been searching for something to add meaning to their life, but hadn't quite found it yet. Upon reading this message from Michael, their hearts are touched by his words and they decide to find out more about this man, just as we all have done, and thus begins their journey back to their own heart and to a place where they can help others too. This is not small! This is how we as individuals and as a collective force for goodness and love, will make a difference in the world - and that is bigger than the moon and the stars!

Small things done with great love ARE great things!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Call

We don’t always know what form it will take
Whisper of creation sends an invitation,
Makes the call
God’s message delivered to seal our fate
Asks us to serve, to give it our all

Can’t ignore the call from The Man
It’s the real deal, part of the plan
Of what we are to be and do
An amazing gift for me and you

The wind holds the clue
Holy Spirit, life anew
Speaks to your soul from heaven above
Wrapped in a blanket of love

Listen carefully and you will know
The greatest show in all of creation
Is yours to unfold
Your light to behold!

God will take your hand, never leave you alone
As you make your stand and set the tone
For love and peace and harmony
The world is your stage for eternity

You may wonder, how can one person be
Everything to all humanity?

By joining hands with others
One cause, one message, i
ts strength will grow
It’s all for LOVE, don’t you know?

Plain and simple, it shouldn’t be hard
Love is the answer to all that we are
This world needs it right from the start
Good for the soul, feeds the heart

Creation sings to one and all
The message is LOVE
This is the call!

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Those Eyes

Those eyes
They hypnotize
They give me a clue
Of what’s inside of you

Your heart, your soul, your vision, your dreams
Love, playfulness, plans and schemes
The parts of you the world couldn’t see
Are all right here in front of me

The depth, the meaning of your life here on Earth
Gives me pause for reflection, what of your birth?
God planted in you the brightest light
A gift so rare, we couldn’t quite
Understand it, you see, you caught us off guard
Challenged our thinking, shone your light in the dark

Those eyes, they tell a story
Heaven’s purpose, your wisdom, God’s glory
Dancing the dream your entire life
Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
You instilled a passion in us we never knew
It was there all along, just waiting for you

Love comes through those eyes from your soul
Giving warmth, compassion, endurance, to extol
Our flame ignited from the spark within
By your love, new life is given!

Our burdens are taken, absorbed by you
Exchanged for freedom to be and do
All that God has intended for us
To change the world, our mission or bust!

Those eyes, they do inspire
They hypnotize, set my heart on fire!

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back to My Heart

I don’t want to leave this place
At the edge of the sea
I feel that you are here
In the wind and the waves
In the cry of a seagull
In the moon that hovers in the sky
Watching over me as I cry

Touching me
Bringing me back to my heart once again
The place where I always want to be
I never want to leave that place in my heart
Please….keep touching me

Every time you touch me
I become a hero
Barriers disappear as if by magic
All the impossible becomes possible
Because of you
Now I know what I can do

Words will sing and dance on the page
Expressing from my heart
This love
Your light
Awareness of all the beauty around
The things we must keep
Ever close, ever safe

My heart sings the song
And I understand
What it is I need to do
Because of you

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean..."

~ from Robert Frost's poem, Devotion

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Had This Feeling...

A Chance Encounter: Was It Divine Inspiration?

07/05/10 Journal Entry: Letter to Michael

Dear Michael,

I met someone on the beach today. A sweet young woman with lovely long dark hair and large brown eyes like yours. She was very beautiful and kind. I was sitting on a log near the path that leads to the beach when she and her family came along. We exchanged hellos and friendly smiles as they all walked past me single file with her at the rear. After she passed by, she suddenly stopped and turned around to face me as if something compelled her to stay behind and chat with me. She noticed I was writing in my notebook and she seemed intrigued by it. She was very touched when I told her I was writing poetry. I wanted to tell her that it was Michael Jackson who inspired me to write, but somehow it didn’t feel like the right time. We needed to get acquainted first!

I sensed that she wanted to stay a bit longer and visit, so I set my notebook aside and gave her my full attention. We engaged in small talk for a while, exchanging information about where we live and what we were doing here on the Oregon coast. I learned that she and her husband live in San Jose, California, and they are here on vacation with his parents who are visiting from India. They are showing them some of the beautiful places here in Oregon and their vacation will include a visit to Portland, and then Crater Lake before heading back home to San Jose. She said she had never been to Crater Lake. I told her how stunning it is, how it takes your breath away when you approach the rim and first lay eyes on it. I told her how the pictures are all very beautiful, but none can show its true magnificence like being there in person.

She asked if I came here often. If she had not been so sweet and genuine when she said it, I might have laughed at the humor of her using this classic get-acquainted “line.” I responded, “Oh yes! I come to the coast two or three times a year. I love it here! I moved to Oregon from the Midwest 25 years ago. My family still lives in the Midwest, but this is my home now.” Her eyes lit up and she asked where in the Midwest I was from. When I rattled off the names of four Midwestern states, including Minnesota, she became excited to hear this and said that she and her husband lived in the Twin Cities for 7 years. I noticed a little glint of pride turn to sadness in her brown eyes when she said it. She added that she misses her friends there but she also said that she likes it here on the west coast - it’s a nice climate. When I told her I had attended college in Mankato, Minnesota, she once again perked up because she knew it well.

We had found some common ground - these two strangers on the beach who felt a kinship, but didn’t know why. It was as if there was an unknown force or energy that drew us together, even if for a very brief time. Why did she make the decision to turn around and speak to me after she had already passed me by? What was it about me that caught her attention, and what was it about her that intrigued me so? I was certainly taken with her kindness and beauty, but there was something more. I couldn’t put my finger on it. This was a chance encounter that seemed orchestrated…but why? During our visit, I sensed a longing in her for something she may have missed in her life. Her friendly demeanor and sweet smile were quite charming, but she seemed sad somehow. I’m not sure what it was, but there was a clear feeling that maybe her life had taken her on an unexpected journey, and she was still trying to find her place in her new world.

We chatted a bit more before she left to join her family on the beach. After she walked away, I had this feeling… I can’t explain it - it just came to me out of the blue - something in my gut or my heart, I don’t know. It was like a whisper, a nudge. I shook it off at first because it seemed so unlikely, but it came right back and was hauntingly persistent. There it was again, that whisper, that nudge. I know this is going to sound crazy, Michael, but… my inner voice was telling me that this was about your son Blanket! In a flash I realized that, yes, I could see Blanket in her face, in her eyes. The very thought of this was so random that it didn’t make sense, especially since I wasn’t thinking about it at all during our conversation. It’s as if the thought was planted from somewhere outside myself as she walked away. I don’t have a habit of thinking about Blanket, other than my usual concern for all your children, nor do I wonder about his mother. It doesn’t concern me. And you know I’m not the kind of person who engages in gossip about you or even speculation about the things in your life that are none of my business. But…this feeling…it wouldn’t go away. Could it be? She looks too young to be his mother, but then I could be fooled, maybe she’s older than she looks. She did say that she and her husband lived in Minnesota for 7 years, so they‘ve been together for a while. And, of course, now they live in San Jose, which begs the question, “How did they come to live in San Jose?” This didn‘t come up in our conversation, so I was left with only the question. I said to myself, “No way! What are the chances?” I’d say only about one in a million, or even less. But then I remembered who I’m dealing with and I realized that anything is possible when it comes to you, Michael! Unlikely connections abound with you - synchronicities and coincidences that leave me shaking my head in disbelief. So, who knows? I am left to continue wondering as I return to my notebook to finish the poem I was writing when this chance encounter began, permeating my entire being with so many puzzling questions. Why was I even thinking about this??

A little bit later, as the family was leaving the beach, they came by my log again and this time, they all stopped to chat. I couldn’t help noticing how genuinely nice they all were. The parents expressed their amazement over the beautiful scenery here in God’s Country, a name penned to describe the state of Oregon when the first settlers arrived on the Oregon Trail. After a bit more friendly conversation, we said our goodbyes and wished each other well as they departed. I wanted to reach out and hold her back for a moment - look into her eyes once again, only this time to find the answer to my question. But instead, I watched as they headed down the path away from me, and I knew that I was not meant to know…only to wonder. I didn’t even know her name.

Michael, I have to say, there was just something about this young woman that touched me deeply. She had a very kind nature and an innocence about her that warmed my heart. Maybe that’s what it was that made me think of you and Blanket. For a few moments, I allowed my mind to wonder at the possibilities. What if? What if this is one of those amazing coincidences - a brief moment in time when I looked upon the sweet woman who gave you a son? So close, yet so far away… for I will never really know. You have been so present with me all weekend, I just can’t help but think that this miracle encounter could be a possibility! One last time, I allow myself to wonder…how would she have reacted if I had told her that you were the one who inspired me to write poetry?

After they left, I looked up and saw the moon hovering over me, so faint in the daytime sky, and I feel once again as if you’ve touched me. Maybe it’s just because I know about your connection to her homeland - your love of the people and the culture - and that’s what gave me this feeling. I don’t know…

But, one thing I’ve noticed since you’ve been gone is that I want to touch everything you’ve touched. I want to know everything you’ve known. I find myself being drawn to people of all colors and cultures. Something about this beautiful rainbow of color around the globe is calling to me like it never has before. I often reflect on my own place in this world in relation to everyone else - all people around the world. And I want to learn more about every culture, their traditions and their beliefs. My heart is more open than it’s ever been. I can see the beauty in everyone as you saw it… and I understand. My eyes are open wide for the first time in my life and I see all as God intended for us to see! It reminds me that we are One. There are no boundaries that separate us, and we must do all we can to heal this world - to put more love and tolerance back in it! Each culture must be celebrated and honored for what it brings to the whole of humanity. Our children, and our children’s children must learn to embrace the diversity that IS this world we live in! We are all God’s beautiful children.

I want you to know that I don’t need to know the answers to my questions. In the end it doesn’t really matter whether this young woman is Blanket’s mother. I do believe that our chance encounter on the beach was divinely inspired, but for what reason I may not ever know. God works in mysterious ways and my faith tells me that the answers, if I am meant to know, will come in God’s time, not mine. What I do know is that you have opened my eyes to the truth about myself and the needs of the world. And that is enough for today.

Thank you for touching me and bringing me back to my heart once again.

I love you forever,