Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Don't Look In Caskets

I Don’t Look In Caskets

I've never been the one to look in the caskets of the dead. I've never found a real reason to view the body of a departed loved one. For many, it's a traditional form of paying respect. However, I am not feeling that one.

Listen, one year has passed since the death of Michael Jackson. I have not listened to any news accounts of his passing - not one. I have not read any blogs that gave the indication they were about him. I did however go to my barber shop, and of course one of the topics was about him.

When Michael became the center of discussion I walked out. Before departing, one of the young bucks asked "What's wrong with you old school". I turned around and replied that I just wasn't feeling it. I don't like to peer in caskets because I want to remember the departed through the memories I have of them, and the moments I shared with them, and not the lasting impression of them laying in a casket, dry and cold.

A few days ago I didn't want to read or hear someone’s opinion of the king of pop, I had my own. A few days ago I didn't want to share my opinion of Michael Jackson because as I said, I did not want to hear the voices of the hearsay. However, it was inevitable that I would find myself in a place of discomfort.

While visiting the Internet I couldn't help but see pictures of Michael, but I didn't want to hear anything about his debt, his father or a doctor that supposedly did something wrong. I didn't desire to see praise of Michael Jackson, only to be immediately followed by a "yeah but".

There's a clichĂ© that says, "those that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". Although that’s a generalization that many use to deflect attention away from themselves, it’s nevertheless a valid statement when voiced at the proper time. Another euphemism that champions that same thought "while you are pointing a finger at another person, 3 are pointing back" is another way to say, look in the mirror.

I’ve chosen to refrain from listening to any negative gossip about Michael. I refused to view any news accounts that may spoil my memories of him. I know there were probably wonderful articles that did nothing but praise Michael but I feared a comment by someone other than the blog's host, would tarnish those moments. I could have been wrong but I made a choice not to risk my moments with him. There are some people that don't know when to "fold them or when to hold them".

On Friday nights there's a wonderful place I visit on the Internet. It's a place of comfort and wonderful memories. A group of people from around the country gather to share old school music. A theme is posted early in the week. Everyone dusts off their old school music and posts selections that takes us down memory lane. Last week the theme was "family". Coltrane's family hit the air. This week Michael Jackson's name hit the board.

While listening to the music, I went back in time. Several of Michael's songs ushered me down memory lane, but two songs in particular caught my eye and grabbed my heart.... "It's Too Late To Change The Time" and "You Can't Win".

I believe we all wish we can go back and change the time. The words of the song YOU CAN’T WIN are so poignant... "you can't win child, you can't get out of the game". Michael Jackson will never be able to get out of the game. He will forever live in our words and our images, and, of course, in gossip filled lips.

I choose to remember him just the way he was - in my mind. I don't look in caskets. If the departed has truly gone to a better place, they might be able to hear our words.

So maybe, it's possible Michael heard my prayers I sent his way. In a strange way I think he did, cuz as I was writing this column, I was actually at an address that all true Michael Jackson fans know very well. Although I was not in Indiana, the address was 2300. Michael lived at 2300 Jackson Street, Gary Indiana. I miss Michael Jackson and I am going to remember him just the way he was, in my memories.


Moanerplicity said...

Hey Carey,

I didn't realize from the title that you were speaking in metaphors. But I get where you're coming from.

MJ is & perhaps will always remain a deeply sensitive subject for many, b/c we've known him (although not really) for the entirety of our lives. In our minds, he was one of us: a brown-skin, afro-topped, school-aged kid, but only with a HUGE talent that we could only marvel at & be amazed by.

It could be that you're a die-hard romantic, Carey. Time stands still for the die-hards. They like to remain fixed in a certain time & place when things seemed lovelier & the world was kinder (at least in the mind's eye).

It's kinda fly in that world.

As an adult, my inner child is a hushed voice. He still survives in the shadows at the corners of my memory, but he sees the world differently & not through such deeply romanticized eyes anymore.

I remember a time when MJ was a happy, mad talented black kid who possessed enough magic to take on the world & make us forget all our issues. His music made me happy to be nappy. His dancing made me see the chance of my own possibilities in flight. It was a beautiful time to be young, gifted & black... even if somewhat ignorant to what the world really thought of him, of me or of us.

Sometimes my mind drifts & darkens as if I'd just awakened from a dream, & I'm not sure if that time ever really existed,

But as Hemingway wrote:

"Isn't it lovely to think so?"


CareyCarey said...

Yeah Moan, maybe I am a fool for love. Or maybe, I have a special disdain for those that swim in negativity.

And I love me some MJ. And I am sure you know the words to Stevie wonder's "With A Child's Heart".... "with a child's heart, nothing will ever get you down"

But moan, tell me, how in the heck did you find this post? I mean, I killed it off (saved it outside the blog) and just re-submitted it, as a side reference to a debate I was having @ Jack & Jill. I even tried to hide it down in October, but you found it?

Bee said...

I clicked on this post from The Intersection of Madness & Reality blog. I'm glad I did.

CareyCarey said...

Hello Bee, tell RiPPa I said thanks. I wrote this post months ago, so I am still wondering how/why it popped up?

And, I believe I've seen you drop by before. I mean, you've never commented but coming from Nevada by way of The Intersection Of Madness, stands out.

Thanks for stopping by, and you'll have to come back and tell us why you're "I'm glad I did"