R.I.P. M.J.

“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”

As big of a Michael Jackson fan I am, I have never written about his death. It shocked me that I hadn’t, when I was searching back through my archives for something to repost for today, the second anniversary of his death. I realized when searching, that I was going through a medication change at the time that almost put me back into the hospital. And I remembered how terribly sad I was, how achingly empty I felt, how uncreative his death left me, how sharing my feelings was not near the top of my priorities.

Many people write about his death with memories from their childhoods, but I can’t really do that. I’m only 30 today, so Michael was already a young adult when I was born. I don’t remember Motown 25 and the iconic Moonwalk, and I obviously didn’t see him as a young child as part of the Jackson 5. I do remember Moonwalker the Movie, and I remember watching the videos to “Black or White” and “Remember The Time” when they came on national broadcast television. The older stuff I learned over time, with the guidance of my audiophile parents, and through my natural obsession with music myself.

While many people loved Micheal for what he was able to do musically, I loved him for what he was able to do spiritually. He wrote songs of love, of hope, of fun, of courage, songs that had a point, something that songwriters fail so miserably at doing today. When I listen to “Man In The Mirror,” I don’t hear just a great song, I hear a convicting song, a song that calls on us to be the best of ourselves. When I hear “I want to love you (P.Y.T) pretty young thing / You need some lovin’ (T.L.C.) tender lovin’ care / And I’ll take you there,” I hear young love so innocent and fresh and new. When I see Michael dancing with people of the world in “Black and White” I am reminded of possibility for some global changes that right now seem impossible.

This isn’t going to be a long post about my favorite album (Bad) or my favorite song (Man in The Mirror) or my favorite video (Speed Demon). Music is my life; if I didn’t have it, every day, I wouldn’t be here. Over the last thirty years, Michael Jackson has been a good 10% of that life, and that’s no paltry number given how many artists there are out there, how many albums, how many songs, how many videos, but also how much crap. Some times I feel like real music is dying every time one of our legends goes. But this is how life is happens – they bless us and then they move on.

Rest in eternal peace, Michael. You did real good.

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