“THIS IS THE PLACE THAT YOU CHOOSE TO BE WITH ME
WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD BE IN ANOTHER WORLD.”
“A PLACE WITH NO NAME”
“He was lightning in a bottle. The air was different when he was around. It’s hard to explain, but, you could feel him before you saw him.”
Here we are, once again…reaching another marked occasion. It is August 2014 and in just a few short weeks Michael’s 56th birthday. My head is swimming in indecision as I continue to struggle with the juxtaposition between practical and spiritual, warrior and peacemaker, activism and acceptance, “take-down” and love. As magical Neverland slips into the cold, hard world of finance, we are forced to divert our attentions from celebration to predators. Which do I hold onto…Cicero’s philosophy, “Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.” Or, the thought that destruction of achievements erases history as if it never existed. Is death the only way to arouse the engine inside people?
I have begun to entertain the thought that repeated blows to Michael are as much required now as were the attacks upon him while he danced the planet. Why? Michael’s life afforded every opportunity for prejudice against it. His death has done the same. Truly good people bring out the worst in mankind, of that there is little doubt. The utopia Neverland offered encouraged cynical minds to thrust their dark secrets upon it. Their ultimate goal was to destroy the purity there…for, in their minds, the place was simply too good to be true. Just as they looked upon Michael’s inner and outer beauty as too good to be true. Normal people don’t go around destroying other human beings…says Diane Maas. That goes for sanctuaries as well. But, small, twisted, abnormal minds cannot comprehend Michael’s range of emotion and love. Instead of “choosing to be” with Michael, they choose to destroy him. His home? We’ll destroy that, too. So, now that Neverland is no longer a part of Michael’s children’s inheritance, it can be carved up and raped all over again. And, will that be the end of it?
That brings us back to Cicero and memory.
“Truly, Neverland was Michael Jackson’s soul made manifest. Neverland was an oasis of innocence. And, the last thing organized racists would do after carrying out a lynching? Seize the property of the lynched.” Syl Mortilla
“The time will come when some science, as yet unthinkable, will reveal other kinds of blueprints. Michael Jackson will be one of those discoveries. His life, work ethic and ethos will be exposed for what it is. His Neverland Ranch was the physical manifestation of the ‘it takes a village’ philosophy to grow a new kind of human being. It will be recognized that his possessions, his clothing, his books, his gifts, his writings, his philanthropy and humanitarianism are part of the cultural treasure he was. Neverland is part of that treasure. In the real estate business, empty land is not an asset. It makes no money. The ranch is not readily accessible and the locals do not want the area groomed for a deluge of tourists into their quiet and pristine neighborhood. No money can be made from Neverland. Because there is no return on investment from this inaccessible part of the Jackson legacy, it will be auctioned off just as his other things have been. Its value and cultural relevance unrecognized. Until evolution catches up, the value of that loss will remain undiscovered until it’s too late and already gone. Just like the man himself. Another cultural treasure unappreciated and unrecognized in its own time will slip away because of a society that reveres money more than beauty; that does business devoid of responsibility for the future; exploits and trades resources without compassion or vision; that acts from a place of tightness instead of freedom and abundance; that lacks maturity to think beyond the here and now; that thinks it’s all about money instead of IT’S ALL FOR LOVE.” Barbara Kaufmann INNERMICHAEL.COM
Our memories value and honor Neverland’s magical world. Michael said that it represented the totality of who he was, and now, it is the totality of change he has encouraged us to live. This “lightning in a bottle” man has ignited us. We are empowered. “He’s a warrior, and he knew how to fight, and I think one of the things that really intrigued me about ‘Mike the Warrior’ is that he went to war without accusation. He didn’t say, ‘this is wrong,’ he would just say, ‘this is right’. He always took the positive road, he didn’t name call, he just pronounced the positive names and it’s a very different approach. He just wasn’t someone playing soldier when he wore those military clothes, he was making it clear he was at war and he understood war tactics.” Amalia Amaki
In the darkness there is a need for light. For me, Michael is the brightest light I have ever known. He provides clarity as I walk in this world. I am empowered with his history. And, kicking and screaming all the way, I have finally accepted that blows offer more people the opportunity to “TAKE MICHAEL”…”TAKE ME!”. I have decided to accept the wisdom of Cicero while embracing the need to hold on to history…never erasing achievement.
Hundreds of thousands of people have magically escaped into utopian Neverland, many actually spending real time, others being swept away in their imaginations. The cold world of money cannot erase the beauty of thought while we…TAKE MICHAEL FOREVER. Neverland has never been about money. NEVERLAND IS ABOUT THE INNOCENCE OF PURE LOVE.
Thanks for this lovely tribute to Neverland, Michael’s dream and what I call his grand social experiment: What if you created a place that was for nothing but happiness? What if you created a place that had no profit motive, just a joy motive. What if? While I’m saddened at the news, and only wish I had the money to buy and restore it, there is something I can do; I can — as much as possible — turn my own home into a Neverland of pleasure and happiness for my guests. I can make and give the best of whatever I have, with the goal that my home is not just a sanctuary for me, but a welcoming place for others. That way, I can keep Neverland in my heart — and hearth — forever. Miss you Mike! <3
Ann, both you and Jude have written powerful words. Thank you for connecting the big picture to our own small sanctuaries, and helping us transfer the ideas. May we all carry out the dreams of love and light and happiness in our own small ways. For it is never small when it is done with love.
Thank you Jude for this article which I read with tears in my eyes. Neverland was truly heaven on earth and I always thought that as long as Neverland was still there Michael’s spirit would live on there. When I am sad and need to connect with Michael I close my eyes and imagine what life must have been like living at Neverland, so far away from all the trashy commercialism in the big cities far away! I would have never left Neverland it had everything there! I dream that it would be a wonderful place to have an animal sanctuary for all the abused and unwanted animals to spend the rest of their lives in peace. Michael was always criticized for his connection with animals in the press – always being called ‘wacko’, but then again whatever Michael did was ‘weird’ according to the tabloids! Why is it no longer part of Michael’s children’s legacy? Whatever happens Michael and Neverland will be in my heart forever. My world is so empty without him in it – life is just no longer the same somehow! Thank you Jude.