“I’VE BEEN LOOKING AROUND FOR THE LOST AND FOUND OF MY HEART.”
MICHAEL JACKSON “CHILDHOOD” 1995
Yesterday, I thought of Michael’s words, “I CLOSE MY EYES, JUST TO TRY AND SEE YOUR SMILE ONE MORE TIME, BUT IT’S BEEN SO LONG NOW ALL I DO IS CRY.” Tears happen so quickly and I get this feeling in my stomach…an ache so deep that I think it will never go away. But, yesterday, the tears tracked down my cheeks for another reason. I was hearing Michael’s angelic voice as he created a new world anthem. Salty tears licked my smiling lips. For a moment, I forgot he was gone. Michael was back, in the studio, the genius at work creating, playing, stacking layers of beautiful sound just as he has done thousands of time. “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD” is Michael Jackson sound, Michael Jackson message, Michael Jackson genius. I have played it dozens of times, my body swaying, my arms lifted to the heavens…and, I am truly happy. There is a need inside my soul that craves Michael’s voice, his creativity, things we have yet to experience. I remembered Michael so many times asking Fans what they wanted. He was surprised when many said they wanted more behind the scenes footage. He answered with the Dangerous Short Films, offering Fans that peek behind the curtain. For me, I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. I adore being that little mouse in the corner.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJZIQGJGU4
In my present mood, I decided to look around in the lost and found of hearts, feeling so strongly what Paris said…WE MISS EVERYTHING. Memories are often both sweet and painful. They are a history of events and lives and paint pictures from the past. Today’s paint brush will reveal many colors, shapes and textures. When we step away, we will begin to see Michael…but, although dense with stokes, the picture will never be complete. There will always be more love to paint and our yearning will go on.
A LINE HAS BEEN DRAWN FOR DIGNITY.
There is a reason we’ve been trying so hard to tell the truth. At times, some have seemed defensive, even frenzied. It is because of this fierce sense of urgency and the constant barrage of injustice that comes at Michael Jackson…his work, his image, his legacy.
Washington, D.C. March, 2004
Sheila Jackson Lee Representative US Congress
African Ambassadors Discussion HIV Aids
“Watching Michael Jackson hold on to the issue he cared so deeply about was a miraculous experience. He was the Good Samaritan. Michael never stopped giving.”
THREE THINGS CANNOT BE LONG HIDDEN…THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE TRUTH
“I’d say he was the best cook ever. Everyone’s surprised to hear it. He was just a normal Dad, except, I would say he was the BEST DAD. He made the best French toast in the world.” Paris Jackson Oprah Interview 2010
“For we have all been someone’s child and we know that despite the very best plans and efforts, mistakes will always occur. That’s just being human. And when I think about this, how I hope that my children will not judge me unkindly and will forgive me, forgive my shortcomings, I am forced to think of my own father and despite my earlier denial, I am forced to admit that he must have loved. me. He did love me and I know that. There were little things that showed that…I was a kid and I had a real sweet tooth. We all did. My father…he did try…but, my favorite food to satisfy my sweet tooth was glazed donuts. My father knew that, so every few weeks, I would come downstairs in the morning and there on the kitchen counter was a bag of glazed donuts. No note, no explanation…just the donuts. It was like Santa Claus. Sometimes, I would think about staying up late at night so I could see him leave them there, but just like with Santa Claus, I didn’t want to ruin the magic for fear he would never do it again. My father had to leave them secretly at night so no one would catch him with his guard down. He was scared of human emotion. He didn’t understand it or know how to deal with it. BUT, HE DID KNOW GLAZED DONUTS.” Taken from Michael Jackson’s Oxford Address 2000
“Michael started a wonderful tradition during the recording of BAD. Every Friday evening about 5:00 p.m., Michael’s cooks from the ranch, Catherine Ballard and Laura Raynor, would come to the studio and cook an absolutely delicious evening meal for the entire studio crew. Eventually, it became ‘Family Night.’ Family members and friends of the crew, along with their assorted pets, were included in this happy event. Michael’s cooks were absolutely top-notch culinary experts. Quincy nicknamed them ‘THE SLAM DUNK SISTERS’ because every dinner they did for us was a winner! We had incredible delicious homemade tomato soup every dinner every Friday evening! Ten-course turkey dinner one Friday! Ten-course meatloaf dinner next Friday! It was incredible. That tradition that Michael started made us feel like a real family.” Bruce Swedien IN THE STUDIO WITH MICHAEL JACKSON 2009
“Michael had a generous nature about him. And even at a young age, he had an entrepreneurial spirit, too. Every time he received his weekly allowance, Michael spent it on candy. He set up a little candy shop around the back of our house, so he could give his treats away to the neighborhood kids.” Katherine Jackson NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE The Katherine Jackson Story 2010
“Though Michael had been raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, he told me once that he never liked the part about no Christmas and no birthdays, so he just decided one day to throw those two rules away along with a few others. He had someone get all of my family’s birthdays on a calendar and let him know when they were coming so he could plan a party, his favorite thing. He’d set up a white tent by the theater with lunch and cake and all kinds of presents. He would send Kato, all dressed up in a chauffer’s black suit and white gloves, to the house, in a beautiful deep blue, well-polished old Bentley, to pick up one of the kids and their friends. Then, it was off to Neverland for a birthday party. Bianca had a birthday all set up and on their daily walk down to the house, the elephants trashed the whole thing. The tents were knocked down and they ate the cake. She remembers it all being great fun. I remember Mason getting two birthdays in one year. Michael just called one afternoon and said they were ready for Mason. ‘What for, Michael?’ He replied, ‘For his birthday, of course!’ I said, ‘But it isn’t his birthday. You gave him a birthday party back in April.’ He responded in typical fashion without a pause, ‘Who cares, we’re gonna have another one. I BELIEVE IN UN-BIRTHDAYS, YOU KNOW!'” William B. Van Valin II PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS IN NEVERLAND WITH MICHAEL JACKSON 2013
“At our window, we viewed everything from a cold, gray world, looking into a shop where everything was alive, vibrant and sparkling with color, where children played in the street with their new toys, rode new bikes or pulled new sleds in the snow. We could only imagine what it was to know the joy we saw on their faces. Michael and I played our own game at that window: pick a snowflake under the streetlight, track its descent and see which one was the first to stick. We observed the flakes tumble, separated in the air, united on the ground, dissolved into one. That night we must have watched and counted dozens of them before we fell quiet. Michael looked sad…and I can see myself now, looking down at him from an 8-year-old height, feeling the same sadness. Then he started to sing, ‘Jingle Bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh.’ It was my first memory of hearing his voice, an angelic sound. He sang softly so that Mother wouldn’t hear. I joined in and we started making harmony. We sang verses from ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ Two boys carol-singing on the doorstep of our exclusion, songs we’d heard in school, not knowing that singing would be our profession.” Jermaine Jackson
Looking around for the lost and found of our hearts. Stories about life and childhood, some happy, some not. All a part of who we are. I find comfort in REMEMBERING THE TIMES. The portrait of Michael Jackson becomes clearer…richer…with these sneak peeks. I recall my own childhood…
THE CLEANING UP…A PHOTOGRAPH
The picture shows a little girl standing on a stool, holding a dish towel big enough to touch the kitchen floor…her mother’s hands in soapy water in the kitchen sink, both laughing, while singing songs. Or, sometimes it would be reciting poetry. For some, clean-up after meals is dreaded drudgery…not so in this photograph. Instead, these cherished times of mother and daughter were times to giggle and learn and enjoy. This may even have been home schooling, for the little girl was me and clean-up times were when I learned all my nursery rhymes and Christmas carols and even, The Star Spangled Banner. Home schooling, maybe. Clean- up, absolutely. Mother and daughter love…WITHOUT A DOUBT.
The lost and found of hearts. Celebrating our lives. Storytelling. Love. When touched by Michael Jackson, we become a part of his spirit for caring and loving, forgiving and holding onto each other. I am profoundly grateful.
This post brings in front and center with clear situational evidence that Michael understood family bonding time during dinner and in the custom of feeding someone else and importance of not only sharing food but intimacy and personal time. Nurturing the mind, the soul as well as the stomach was always uppermost in Michael’s psyche and we might ask ourselves how that came to be so important a custom that he incorporated it into his recording Family Meal time into his recording studio family tradtition as well. Remember he was on the road at the tender aga of 5 while his brothers who were a bit older and had already experienced alot of their childhood lives. What did Michael miss most while on the road as a child? We can imagine that his mother’s loving attention and her cooking. Our mother’s food is generally associated with comfort because we find her love in the recipe, as one of the main ingredients. – The dinner time ritual of sitting together eating, and conversing and commiserating the days activities of each member only adds to that feeling of safety, comfort famililal togetherness. This is what Michael missed out on .. and that is why whenever you see him finding solace within the Cascio’s home and others it feels as if it was an innate desire to seek and find that Family Meal comfort. Let’s also remember when he commented about “milk and cookies” and “lighting a fire” and “reading a book” to make a chlld feel safe and secure. These reading of books and cookie/milk time are rituals that Miss Rose Fine incorporated in nighttime rituals for Michael while on the road as the tutor for the family. Miss Rose Fine was his substitute mother, her cookies and milk his substitute for the family meal time he missed with his own mother back in Gary and him bringing them up in interviews indicate how these impression permeated his very essence. Food =comfort, Comfort=home .. God bless his soul he was always seeking the comforts of Home.
Beautifully put together article. Thanx so much Jude. Michael was such a beautiful person, we are so fortunate to have known him. He has and continues to teach us so much.xxoo