"I'll forever be counting backwards from June 25th, 2009" ~ Betty Byrnes
How many times in your life can you say the world stopped? As humans we tend to mark time with these moments... and most are made of joy or grief. I for one, like many others I'm sure, track time with meaningful events in my life. The joyful moments of the birth of my children or grandchildren... are the very Best of Joy. ☀
There are those moments in time too where an event takes place and the entire world stops as they process... moments that will forever mark History. The assassination of President Kennedy, then Martin Luther King... and then Bobby Kennedy... the death of Lady Diana... tragic, monumental moments creating right and left turns in history... changing the world forever. These people whose passing changed our lives so greatly the vast majority of society did not personally know them; yet the bond we felt was a tangible thing. We admired and followed them and looked to them to guide us and point the way toward a better version of ourselves and of this world.
Tracking time in a lifespan capsule... truly important events over time seem to never be forgotten, yet the actual date will fade from memory. I tend to remember only the emotion, smells, sights, feelings from that moment in history. However when Michael Jackson died... that date... that moment when the news spread like wild fire around the world... it seemed as though the axis of this planet earth, shifted... every nation stopped in disbelief... trying to process the news. It was surreal. Yes the axis of earth seemed to shift and definitely the axis of my life shifted... paradigms shifted as life forever changed for me.
Michael Jackson, an old soul, had the ability at a very early age, over his entire career, and still today even after his passing via his music and artistry to reach into the psyche, soul and heart of a person... to places where most musicians and artists, if they are very good, only scratch the surface. He could reach into the collective heart of an arena filled with 100,000+ people and move them like no other, hold them captive with his magical touch. In history to this day his performace ability is unparallelled. His love for this planet and all the people on it regardless of race, creed or nationality was all encompassing. In the highest sense of the word he was a true humanitarian from an very early age, an instrument of peace in a dark and dreary world. His music infused with God given energy still today inspires, brings change and love into this world. He shared his lifetime moments via his music, expressing angst, love, frustration or awe, wonder and joy. He made it possible for us all to vent our pain or share our love experiencing MJ's music... it is like we knew him... truly knew him. His art, his music and his love for this world is timeless.
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou
An inexplicable need to write came over me only weeks after Micheal's death. He had touched my heart and life on so many levels. I felt guilt and remorse over how he had been treated and maligned in this world. I was truly blessed with time for my parents before they passed to their heavenly home. I gratefully spent many days and months with them sharing about our lives together... laughing, crying, talking things through, sometimes arguing as families do, sometimes just sitting in silence with nothing needing to be said. I was able to say my long goodbyes to both my mother and my father... express love to them, hug them, kiss them and hold no regrets. When Michael Jackson passed I was shocked to feel although I didn't know him his death affected me as if he were a family member... only sadly there were so many regrets. What had I missed? Why had I not prayed more for him? Who else in my life had I ignored when they needed me most? In reality I knew as a regular average human on this planet I'd never have been able to known the super star MJ on a personal level... yet at the very least I could have prayed more, listened more, kept an ear tuned to the needs of others. I felt I had failed him... the world had failed him.
Yes my life stopped along with the world's on June 25th, 2009... yet unlike any other time in history the world joined together and collectively poured out their hearts and grief over the loss of this mega-star, human being with the heart of gold. This artist who literally believed that 'his' children were ALL the children of the world and literally took that burden on in his life... to Heal The World. The study of Michael Jackson's altruistic givings is a massive undertaking and extends itself to every continent and nation on this earth. He was a special human being led by his love of God and the human race. And God had imparted to Michael an enormous amount of talent and artistry... more than any other human could endure or encompass... for it was God's portion just for Michael Jackson. By his own admission his musicality, artistry and creativity NEVER stopped. It was both a blessing and curse when it came to sleep which led to chronic insomnia.
Not long after his death it seemed this gigantic slice of creativity which Michael embodied was bequeathed over the masses he left behind. It seemed as though like a sparkly, sprinkling of artistic fairy dust entered our lives... so many found a new desire to sing, write, dance, draw, paint.... create. We were drawn together on social media forums sharing this new found desire to express ourselves. For me the deep desire to write encompassed my every waking moment. I found myself grabbing little papers and napkins which led to notebooks and scribbling down words, phrases and sentences that suddenly were in my head... I had to get them out... write them down and express myself. It felt as if I didn't voice what was filling my mind and heart I'd burst. I'd never experienced anything like it in my life. Like an assignment from God it had to be expressed... once a story or writing began I'd not stop... could not sleep until I felt it was finished which led to days and nights with no sleep. Was this a thimble full of what Michael Jackson must have felt in his life?
All I knew is I had to write. The words the stories were flowing in my veins. The end result was this blog, Michael's Heart. Through this blog and Social Media I've connected and bonded with people, soul mates, from around the globe. My tiny life which previously for many decades consisted of church, children, work and home became this vast canvas of languages, cultures and friends from around the world. We were one! Fulfilling a life long dream of Michel's to bring the world together in LOVE. No matter our nationality... we were the same... our love for Michael and his music and all he gave this world was the glue that pieced together our broken hearts. Is this a thimble full of what Michael felt?
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Rabindranath Tagore
In the process of writing my blog after Michael's death a sweet memory from my childhood came back to me... would not leave me. Like a distant knocking on a long closed door... it became louder and louder with each passing day. Once I acknowledged the memory and allowed it a stage on my heart the flood gates opened. I soon found that Michael's sprinkling of creativity had opened the door to my childhood. His gift to me opened a place I felt was inconsequential in the larger scheme of things. Life had dished large portions of difficult circumstances which I'd learned to navigate and survive. For me looking back at decades passed had been a waste of time... for after all you can not go back... so why waste your time? Like a warrior I kept my eyes and mind focused forward always vigilant for the next onslaught to come my way. Being a realist of sorts I grew to believe you must deal with what was in front of you... survival is putting one foot in front of the other and praying to get to the other side of pain... and there had been voluminous amounts of pain in my life. So why look back?
The surprise here for me since Michael's sprinkling over my life was I simply had no choice. Just as he had no choice over expressing the massive amount of talent God had served him. He was who he was. He needed to create art of all sorts and styles to be all God created him to be. I too had to write these memories down... for what reason I may never know... but I had no choice. However I do know the blessed inspiration was from God and Michael Jackson. The result was a book filled with memories of a childhood I'd long forgotten. In the beginning I felt I needed to share it for my children and grandchildren. It became my mission in my own way of completing of my father's memoirs of his time as the first Manager of NASA in Houston, Texas, to relay the family legacy of strength and brilliance my father left us. However as I delved into the memories over taking me... I realized maybe it was just for me and for Michael? Or maybe for all of us? Finally I just stopped questioning. I've learned there needs to be no real reason to convey the creativity bursting to be expressed... Just Do It! God knows the reasons... the results are in His hands!
This expression has been the most cathartic and healing excursion through my early childhood. Did I expose myself? Yes. Did I have trepidation over that exposure of such personal memories? Yes. Yet ... for me, for my dad... for my future... here it is serving as a crystal clear light into my future. For today I do not exist to survive, waiting for each new calamitous happening to arrive. Today because I was given this panoramic view into my past... I live... in the now... with joy in my heart.
If you decide to read Moon Child: Growing Up NASA and I hope you do as I absolutely LOVE to share it... I do really hope you enjoy it. You will hopefully feel transported with me to another place in history... the 1960s and '70s. An exciting yet simpler place where the Space Race was at the forefront of our lives and family togetherness took prevalence over all. Before computers and cell phones, when children played out side and were called to dinner where entire families sat at the dinner table every night for a fully rounded, home cooked meal. Where the primary form of communication was the art of letter writing and the rare long distance phone call was made only for family emergencies through a long distance operator. People were closer... communities smaller and people on the street talked to one another. Children could play freely in the city and take bus rides alone into town. Black and White tube TV had just taken it's place in every middle class home in America... and a new age had begun.
☀ Come and take the journey with me in Moon Child: Growing Up NASA. ☀
You can find more information and order a signed copy of the book website:
or you can purchase it at Amazon.com
Check out the videos I made for the book... this was fun!
Working on the 60's video now. Will post it soon.