MJ Reflections

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Give Me Your Wings So We Can Fly!

Occasionally one of Michael's songs which I have listened to faithfully over the last year and a half will suddenly take on a new meaning for me as the lyrics resonate with something deep in my soul - something that decides it is time to come into the light and make itself known. Lately, I've been listening to the album "Michael" almost exlusively since it came out in December. I can't seem to get enough of it! The more I listen to it, the more I want to hear it all over again. As with all of Michael's music, there just seems to be something about it that you want to absorb into every cell of your being. The very essence of him - his message, his love for us and his concern for humanity - is present in every single song! The lyrics, the beat, the melody, and of course, his amazing voice in its every unique expression pulls you in and holds you there. I love to sing along too, so each time I hear a song I pick up a few more lyrics that I'm able to recite along with him, until I know it well enough to belt it out confidently, sometimes singing harmony and other times the melody depending on the range of the parts. (Michael can reach notes much higher than I can!) It is only when I have learned the entire song that I can truly enjoy the experience of being his vocal partner in a duet made just for Michael and me! :)
But I digress...

In recent weeks, I've been particularly drawn to "Keep Your Head Up" and "Best of Joy." From the comments published in the CD cover, we know that Best of Joy is a song Michael wrote for all of us. And, of all the songs on the album, it is the one that was written and recorded most recently - in early 2009. It warms my heart every time I hear him sing "I am the moonlight, You are the spring, Our love's a sacred thing, You know I always will love you...
I am forever, We are forever!" God bless him! It's almost as if he knew we were going to need to hear those words after he was gone. In fact, many of his songs are like that - even those from decades past. There's just something about much of his music over the years that feels as if it was created in preparation for this time, you know? Inviting us into a love relationship with him that would last forever, and inviting us to join him in his mission to heal the world.

"Keep Your Head Up" also feels like such a song. To me, it's not just about a single mother struggling to live day-to-day or paycheck-to-paycheck. The message is directed at any one of us who may feel uncertain, overwhelmed, lost or hopeless at any time in our lives, but especially on this journey with Michael. It's a message from him to give us strength to keep going when we may feel like giving up; because he knew the challenges we would face in attempting to make a change in this world, and he wanted to give us something to lift our spirits and bring us hope, encouraging us not to give up. He briefly mentions the plight of the planet and adds "It's never too late - just lean on me... Keep your head up, Don't give up today." And his final plea to all of us "I need your love, I need you now, I need your light right here today, I need you now!" while the chorus is singing about the sun shining it's light on us today, tells me he is urgently pleading with us to stay strong and to let our lights shine in the world... NOW! Had Michael been able to finish this song himself, I believe this is where his voice would have increased in intensity to reflect the urgency of the message. As it stands, the words speak for themselves and deliver the message just as powerfully: He needs us to be present and actively doing something... anything to make a contribution toward healing this planet.

The chorus of this anthem gives us a clue as to how we are to accomplish this:

Keepin' your head up to the sky
Keepin' your mind up stay alive
Give me your wings so we can fly

Keepin' your head up to the sky
We can just rise up, tell me now
Give me your wings so we can fly

Looking up to the sky has become a daily habit of mine. I do it every chance I get. I have found many treasures there and I always feel a strong connection to Michael when I do. The moon and the stars, cloud formations, sunbeams, rainbows, sunsets and sunrises, birds in flight... these things all carry a message or a special meaning that only a true Michael lover would understand. Michael himself found much inspiration in looking to the sky while considering all the possibilities in the universe that lie within our vision... and beyond. He was spiritually in tune with all of it. It nourished him and kept his creativity fresh and divinely dazzling. I, too, have felt this sense of connection and nourishment and have written several poems inspired by the things I've witnessed there. To me, the sky is God's canvas to paint as He chooses with colors and images of things and concepts that many an artist, writer and poet have found fascinating - whether for pure and simple enjoyment of the beauty of it or to possibly relay a message hidden in the context of the art. Metaphors abound if one is open to recognize them, and one can easily be caught in the spell of love, power, light, majesty, and awe-inspired story as told by the Creator of Heaven and Earth. It's where magic lives. I really believe Michael exists there. It's only natural, considering everything we know about him and his soul. He was and is, above everything else, an artist to his very core - a creative genius unlike any other we've ever known. His own unique expression through his art will never be duplicated, and the lengths to which he explored and was willing to go in order to take us on his adventure were unlimited!

In the verses of the chorus above, he encourages us to keep our heads up to the sky (where we will find our strength and inspiration.) And when he sings "Give me your wings so WE can fly"... he means just that. He needs our help to continue his work in the world ("I can't do it by myself... gonna take somebody's help"), and he's given us all the tools we need in his music. He holds us up with his words and his love, but he does not enable us to depend on him. He wants us to shine our own light in the world, because he knows we all have that capability. He lifts us up to help us find our own light, spread our own wings and tap into our own power to fly, and he will be flying right there with us. His message is that together, with our combined light and love, we can accomplish great things!

I'm the kind of person who has always been most comfortable hanging out in the background. Being a cog that helps the machine function effortlessly is what I do best. Taking care of logistics, details, paperwork, and anything else that needs doing in order to make a project run smoothly has been my job... in my career and in my personal life. Although my high school counselor said I was a leader among my peers, I didn't see myself that way. And, until recently, I didn't see myself as the creative type either. Oh, I had creative skills and ideas which I never hesitated to share with those who were 'in charge.' I didn't think twice about allowing them to take full credit for my ideas. To me, it was safer that way because if the idea failed, it would be on their shoulders, not mine! Nice cop-out, eh? I had an unreasonable fear of criticism, and I would be terribly embarrassed to be caught in the spotlight, even if I were to be caught doing something remarkable. But mostly I feared making a mistake for all to see because I'm a perfectionist (much like Michael) and any little error made in front of others would surely send me running to the hills to hide out in shame for the rest of my life! (I told you my fear was unreasonable.) So..... for most of my life, I played it safe. And because of this, I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I probably could have out of sheer terror of getting it wrong. Nor have I been able to reach outside of myself to help others for the same reason. This is where being a perfectionist pulled me down, unlike Michael whose perfectionism allowed him to soar to extraordinary heights and shine his light far beyond anything we could ever imagine. He is a beacon of brilliant light to all of us who have experienced pain and hardship in our lives and have allowed it to hold us back. By his example of courage and perseverance, and with his unconditional love for each of us, he has inspired us to spread our wings and fly... to let our lights shine before others!

Not long after this journey with Michael began, I had a dream that Michael came to the place where I work and was going to put on a concert there. Before the concert started, I was busily working in the background doing what I do best, making sure all the necessary things were in place so that everything would run smoothly. I remember distinctly the moment Michael arrived and he began warming up on stage. I stopped what I was doing long enough to watch this musical genius at work from across the room. Even in my dream he had a presence about him that was indescribable - I could feel it - and right now as I'm typing this, I am in tears remembering what it felt like to be in the same room with him. I was in awe!! And I stayed just far enough away and slightly out of sight so he wouldn't see me watching (or so I thought.) I would have been horribly embarrassed if he'd even looked my way! Soon, I busied myself again with my work and I didn't notice when he came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. I knew it was him before I even turned around. I caught my breath and held it there for a moment (very much like the breath Michael took in "The Way You Make Me Feel" video when he first saw the beautiful girl - I love that moment!) I summoned all my courage, composed myself and turned around to face him. He was stunning! Right there in front of me! And my knees felt like they were going to buckle under at any moment. But I remained surprisingly calm and waited for him to talk first. He then invited me to come up front with him. He asked me to introduce him when the concert started and he wanted me to join him in singing the opening song! I was flabbergasted by his request, wondering how he even knew that I could sing, and all I could say was... "What about my job? I have work to do." And he said, "Give it to her", pointing to a woman across the room who looked a little lost, as if she was wanting something to do. "She needs something to do and she can handle it just fine." So, I said "Alright, as long as you don't make me dance!" and, after giving the woman a few instructions, I joined Michael on stage. I woke up about this time in the dream. I don't remember doing the introduction or singing with him, but that wasn't the point. The point of this dream, for me, was that he was inviting me to share my light up front for all to see. He seemed to see something in me that I didn't see in myself, and simply because he noticed, he gave me permission to shine... without fear... to spread my wings and fly!!! And the fact that he knew I could do this without even knowing me, gave me the courage to do it. He took me out of my comfortable place of hiding in the background where it was safe and he lifted me to a place of prominence where my gifts could be shared with others, bringing joy and inspiration just as he has done his entire life. This dream represents everything he has done for me since he cracked my heart wide open in the summer of 2009.

Now, all this talk about shining and flying brings me to the reason I started writing this piece to begin with! After contemplating the lyrics to these two beautiful and very meaningful songs, "Best of Joy" and "Keep Your Head Up", I knew it was time for me to share a couple of poems I'd written in the last year about flying. The first one "If I Could Fly" reminds me of "Best of Joy" simply because it's a joyful and playful piece. One that reflects a feeling of pure joy and abandon at imagining what it would feel like to be able to fly. I wrote it in July of 2010 when I was on one of my ocean retreats as I watched the seagulls playing in the air currents on a very windy day at the beach. I used to have dreams about flying and, to this day, I still remember what it felt like to soar above the earth. It was incredible! Somewhere along the path of my life, I stopped having those dreams, and this poem was, in a sense, a re-capturing of that feeling of being able to soar and command the air in flight.

Photo taken by C. Burgess at Brookings Harbor, Oregon coast

If I Could Fly

If I could fly
Like a seagull flies
Dipping and swooping
Playing with the wind

On a wave of air
With total abandon
Never a care

Perched atop a rock at sea
I would plan my strategy

Which way to go
To get the best lift
Make the wind carry me to the sky
Then swoop to the ground
Like falling off a cliff

Gliding with precision
So close to the ground
Like an airplane
Coming in for a landing

A roller coaster ride
On a windy day
It’s by far the best time to play

Going with the flow
I’d swing and I'd sway
Let the wind have its way
Like a kite with no strings

This must be
What it feels like
To be totally and utterly free!

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

The second poem "Just Do It!" reminds me more of "Keep Your Head Up" in that it's about taking a leap of faith - without thinking about it too much - just taking off and flying, allowing myself to soar to the heights God intended. I wrote this poem at my ocean retreat in December 2010. I was eating breakfast at the resort where I was staying, watching the seagulls take off from their perch on the rooftop of a nearby building. I had been feeling somewhat "stuck" in recent weeks leading up to this retreat and I was looking to find some answers and fresh inspiration to move forward on this journey. Watching these seagulls take off without a thought, simply because it was natural to them, is what inspired this piece.

Just Do It!
Up high, so high
I can’t even see the sky
‘Cause I’m in it!
There is no limit to what I can do
If I believe…
Just do it!

Impossible, you say?
I don’t think so
There is always a way
Turned on by the power of love
I can do anything
Once I choose to move
Into the groove

Thanks to you, dear one
Your love lights up the sky
Even on a cloudy day
I don’t need to ask why

Birds in flight
Show me how it’s done
They just take off
Without a thought!
It’s natural to them, you see
God gave them wings
To fly above me

To me he gave a spirit to fly
Above the clouds
So high in the sky
So I could see the world below
Its beauty and pain
So I would know

My heart and soul say
Step aside, make some room
For love to enter the atmosphere
No more doom and gloom!

Up high, so high
I can’t even see the sky
‘Cause I’m in it!
There is no limit to what I can do
If I believe…
Just do it!

Copyright © 2010 by Charlene Burgess

My hope and prayer is that we will ALL continue to experience Michael's "Best of Joy" on this journey, being the very best that we can be for God, for Michael and for ourselves - and also sharing our light right here today and spreading our wings so WE can fly together with him! If we continue to do this... I mean really DO this, not just talk about it... we will achieve his ultimate dream, heading toward that bliss which Michael has written so much about, doing our part to make this world a better place... for God... for Michael... and for the children. 


  1. Charlene...this is such an amazing piece that you have writen here. I am always so inspired when people look into Michaels lyrics in an effort to uncover the truth in them. The song "Keep Your Head Up" is one that is particularily close to me. This song, as well as many other songs of Michael's, have a remarkable quality to them, in that they are able to be interpreted in more ways than one. And niether interpretation is lacking. The are both complete. This ability that Michael has is astounding to me. I thing that is why His songs carry so much meaning for so many of us...because they touch us on every level...the human experience that we all can relate to, and the spiritual experience that some of us relate to on a conscious level, while others are affected subconsciously. Your reflections have inspired me today (stay tuned..lol). I thank you so much!
    The generosity in which you share your innermost musings is so beautiful.
    I love your insight into how we can CHOOSE how our personality traits affect us. You talked about perfectionism...and how you allowed it to stifle you, and make you insecure...whereas Michael used His perfectionism to excel Him further, and to reach heights of an unbelievable level. It truly is within each of us to manipulate our own unique, God-given qualities and use them to the potential that was intended. Michael knew this..and demonstated it astoundingly. It really is a disservice to God not to use His gifts as tools to become our very best, in honor and reverence - and in thanks to Him!
    Thank you so much for the time and energy you sacrificed in order to share this with us all. I appreciate you so much.

    Blessings and L.O.V.E.
    Siren xxx

  2. Charlene, When i saw the title of this piece this morning I knew it would be a message for me. Actually, the words Give me Your Wings so We Can Fly! was already a message and brought tears to my eyes. I put off reading it until now, so that I would be able to go about the business of my day without being too distracted. It was all that I imagined and more. Of course, I know it is meant for everyone to take what they need from it, but it reminds me so much of what my original intention was when I made my promise to Michael and myself all those months ago. To follow my heart, and not hold back. Recently, I have been holding back again. Afraid to step out and do what I know in my heart Michael is asking me to do, and what I truly want for my life as well.

    Your beautiful words are one of many "pushes" I have had since yesterday, and I think I am ready to Just Do It! Thank you so much for putting your heart into this piece, as you always do. Without you, and other spiritual friends sharing this journey together, I surely would not have the courage to do what I am here to do.
    Love, Brenda

  3. Hi Char,

    omg I just wrote the longest reply and then hit preview and google zipped it away. Arghhhh. Will try again.

    I love your writing. There is such an undercurrent of sweetness here, both in you and in Michael. Give Me Your Wings So We Can Fly . . . I love how Michael takes care of us, giving us the Lift that we need to launch ourselves, always held securely in Michael’s updraft until we’re flapping our wings like crazy, flying on our own! What can be better than that? It is truly amazing how he can speak to us, seemingly for all time, addressing whatever it is and whenever we need that extra lift, that extra encouragement.

    I’ve been thinking about what can I give. What can I do? And I notice I am sooo happy when I am being silly and light and humorous with my FB Michael family (and others too if only they’d loosen up, lol). And that is where I find the joy, this irrepressible, effervescent, ebullient stream of joy that just wends it’s way thru my veins, out in my laughter, and wraps itself around my heart. And I think others like hanging with me just to have some laughter and joy for a few minutes. So I am giving myself permission to be silly, joyful, zany, a little loco . . . when I do this I feel like Michael running around Neverland’s grounds playing with the kids, shooting the super soakers, and pies in the face. He was so joyful and beatific. That’s what I am giving myself permission to be. You see I always had this in me . . . but I came from a stoic family that I swear thought it was sinful, maybe, to be so irrepressibly happy so I had to hide my light under a bushel. I’ll always remember my favorite Sunday School song was “Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Bushel” . . . so there you go. After all these years I remember that song. So it is my vow to Michael that I will continue to develop my silliness, my joyful, zany, loco side. I have this silly sticker on a box I used in my prior profession that said: You are twisted, perverted and sick. I like that in a person! I always found that funny . . .

    Thank you Char!!! Love youuuuuuuu, thanks for being my friend!!!!! Thank you for your beautiful blog!!!!

    XOXO, Froggy

  4. This entry is just beautiful, Charlene. You captured so many of my recent thoughts and feelings. I too love the Michael CD and simply can't stop playing it...it keeps pulling me back in. Both "Keep Your Head Up" and "Best of Joy" are amazing. Every song on that CD are my favs for now... for they are Michael and I LOVE anything he does. His words and voice...his huge heart and incredibly deep wisdom. You captured it all so beautifully. This piece is just so inspiring and so lovely. I feel a kindred heart and spirit with you. I do so wish and pray one day I will dream of Michael Jackson. I had not had a dream in almost 20 months. Not one dream since Michael died and then this last weekend I finally had a dream. I woke up so happy I had dreamed...then I realized it was about my boss... UGH!! I was sharing this with a friend and she asked what my bosses name was. I hadn't thought of it until she asked... I had been praying for months for the Lord to give me a dream about Michael.... my bosses name is Michael. SOOOO not funny!!! LOL I need to be more specific. Your dream is simply incredible. Thank you so my much for sharing this with us. Blessings to you, my friend. *HUGS* Betty

  5. Char, I love this piece. It is Saturday morning and I decided to take some quiet time and connect with Michael's love. I read this and it resonates with me deeply. You have captured my feelings this morning. You talked about looking into the sky.......I look at the sky all the time. There is beauty and power there. Twice lately I have seen a type of lighting in the clouds that I never noticed before. It is beautiful, but I have never seen it before in my life!! It is amazing what we can see if we lift our heads up and open eyes. To me, seeing those lights in the clouds is not just about seeing new beauty in the sky, but it was a reminder that there is beauty all around me, and I need to seek it and share it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, and posting this in the Dancing the Divine page. If you had not done that, I would not have found your blog. I look forward to reading more of your writing.
    Love, Barb

  6. Dear Char,

    Each time I visit your blog to read your latest entry, I want to reread your words again, because there are so many levels: reflections on Michael, reflections of your inner self, which can be a mirror to others, reflections on life and death, God, on spiritual growth. It's not just the beauty of the words and sentences but the power of love, grace, endurance, perseverance, honesty that toucch me so profoundly.
    I love the phrase about the sky being God's canvas to paint on and reflect our inner turmoil as well as our inner beauty and strength. Michael knew all of this and was a spiritual messenger through his music and dance. The power that drove him to shine like a star transforms the music and the message into One.
    We all should spread our wings and be the best be can be, not to outshine others but to inspire others and to become what we were always meant to be - WHOLE, ONE in unity, peace and joy.
    Thank you once again for your wonderful blog!

  7. Nancy said...(via facebook)

    Starlight, I love the poem! I feel a longing in you to escape from cares on the winds...did I percieve that right? You know, throughout the ages people have been fascinated by flight. It is a magical idea and a need inside them to be able to physically soar. I think they want this ability to fly to 'replicate' the transcendence feeling of their souls.

    You metaphorically described this feeling...this need. I did too in the butterfly poems I wrote in many ways. And just the other day you posted a video of Dyer talking about MJ being a 'transcended' person in his perception. From many various places I am picking up on this feeling in the air among this MJ group.

    The need for feeling transcended inside. Hmmm? Interesting.

    Love you honey! Moonchild
    ( Yeah, I have had that 'transcended feeling' and it's greaaaaaat!)

  8. Mabi said...(via facebook)

    Thank you so much dear Char :)

    You make me fly with you and Michael...I feel like a bird and I´d want only to fly higher and higher and be near him......

    Your words are so deep and touch my soul. Sorry but I can´t say in better words, my feelings.

    Thank you my sis. ♥

  9. Bernadete "Dete" said...(via facebook)

    Thanks FOR LOVE MJ

  10. Katerina said...(via facebook)

    Great.!!! Thank you so much,Charlene, for you always remember me. Thank you.

    Lots of Love and sweet kisses to you, my friend.!!!!

  11. Marjolein said...(via email)

    Dear Charlene,
    Thank you so much for your new post. It's amazing how you write about the things that are in my heart and head, but i haven't found words for it yet. It's amazing that i find the same joy and love looking up to the sky. I'm fascinated by everything i see. The life that's in there... I find myself painting all sorts of things against a background which includes mostly sky in the last months.... ( right now i have a cloth waiting for me with a background of purple sky in different shades, i'm not sure what will come into it, but it has to be light and hopeful...)

    I didn't understand why i'm so into skies, now i do.... Thank you for helping me understand myself.

    And what you wrote about living in the background.... Wow, it's like seeing myself in the mirror, That's where i was feeling most comfortable, until the summer of 2009..... Your dream about Michael and him taking you to the stage.... Wow! Wonderful!

    And you and your perfectionism.... Girl, believe me, i know where those hills are, i've visited them often....

    Charlene, thank you for your gift and thank you for sharing it, instead of hiding it. You help me to make sense of the world, and myself. And you give words to things about Michael, i can't find words for....

    LOVE to you!

  12. Bonnie said...(via email)

    You are so insightful. It's like you have a degree in psychology or something because you touch on subjects that we need to learn about in this world. You express yourself SO well Charlene. I hope you're saving all of these, (like I mentioned before), I think you should put a book together for the fans.

    I also love what the top of your page says:
    "Heaven's glad you came"

    Thanks again Charlene.


  13. Alice said...(via facebook)


  14. Sharon said...(via facebook)

    Thank you Charlene, I really love reading your poems and reflections.

    I have often thought myself when listening to particular songs that it feels like he knew that we would need to hear particular messages of hope and strength to get us thr...ough when he was no longer here physically with us anymore. It amazes me how something in one of his songs will stand out to me just when I really need to hear that particular message.

    So nice to read about your dream you had as well ♥

    Just after Michael passed I had the words "Stop existing and start living" being repeated constantly in my head for about a week! So I definitely think he was sending me a message for me to push myself as well. I have always been one to stand in the background.

    I just think it is amazing how much Michael has opened our eyes to things. I now notice and appreciate so many things that I didn't before.

    Your writings are beautiful Charlene and always a joy to read, they say so much about how we all feel about Michael and how we are connected to him. Michael has taken us all on one incredible journey and for that I will always be so thankful to him for.

    Thank you for sharing ♥

  15. Breezy said...(via facebook)

    That's lovely, Charlene. :)
    You write so beautifully about Michael. ♥

  16. Sue said...(via facebook)

    Beautiful, Charlene and thank you as always for sharing! :-)

  17. Lori said...(via facebook)

    Thank you for getting my attention and sharing these absolutely wonderful messages of Love! Makes you feel like Michael's spirit is resonating all around and I needed to be reminded to be all that I can BE...Truly inspiring!

    -Peace & Love to all :)

  18. Thank you all so much for your lovely comments. You have spoken from your hearts and that means so much! YOU are cherished!! *♥*

    I am so grateful you have allowed me to make your comments a part of the blog. To me, the comments are what make the piece complete and bring unity to the whole experience. And that unity becomes a part of the HIStory of the blog - all the thoughts, ideas, and love that are expressed here which others will see when they visit in the future. That's pretty amazing when you think about it!

    I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful MJ community of beautiful people. I thank God every day for leading me here and for the precious gift of Michael in this world! This experience has been life-changing! And this 'knowing', this understanding that we all share about Michael is something that we can all draw strength from and support each other in carrying out Michael's messages in the work that we do on his behalf and in the way we live our lives every day.

    The power of all of it still blows me away! The impact this one humble man had on the world and God's plan for us to become a part of his legacy - some days it still seems very surreal. But then on days like yesterday, when I see his kids out there doing his work, it reminds me that we, too, have that responsibility. And he's depending on us to help them to be examples of his love and generosity in the world. To me, it's an honor, and I hope and pray I can live up to the expectation!

    Together, I know WE can!

    Much LOVE and Peace to you, my friends...
    ~ Char ~