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