Saturday, July 25, 2009

seven years/one month

as of this past april, i've been blogging for seven years. seven. years. i can't believe it. and what's more, in those seven years, i have never once blogged on july 25. the 24th, sure. 26th? absolutely. never ONCE on the 25th. so i thought perhaps i'd break my seven-year itch and lay out some words, for what they are.

it's saturday and i'm one week out from the beginnings of a throat and sinus infection thing that definitely knocked me down; i'm assuming that one or more people at work with their own brand of ill got me this way, but no matter. i've been taking steps to rid my body of the unwanted.

perhaps more significant, however, is that michael jackson has been dead one month today. it feels so strange to type that, still, because my world has always had him in it, and it still does, in a way, but obviously it's not the same. i'm not gonna lie - it's been really hard to come to terms with that truth. it's like i miss someone i know, and i feel so disappointed at the realization that he'll never make any more music...that there will never be a chance for him to do anything remotely similar to the brilliance he laid down on some of his earlier tracks. to manage this, i've been surrounding myself either with his music or with music that makes me feel similar things that his does. of course, nothing moves me like the grumbling guitar at the beginning of 'billie jean' or the disco beat and soaring vocals of 'rock with you'....and yeah, i'm even a sucker for the slightly saccharin sweetness of 'will you be there' and 'man in the mirror.' i can't help it, man...he felt every word....

as a white girl growing up in suburban america living in a house where a lot of classical music was played (along with folksy stuff and early pop/rock of the 70s and 80s), michael jackson opened my world in a way that no other musician ever could. sure, my folk-loving, poetry-infused heart still belongs to james taylor, but my soul and my rhythm and my love for the funk can be traced back to michael's 'off the wall' and 'thriller.' no doubt.

and that's probably why i love all those r&b boys who croon and sing their high-pitched 'hooo' and do their runs and what-not....because all of them have at least a little of MJ in what they're doing. they took his basic palette and brought their own hues and nuances to add to the art...but let's all just acknowledge that if he hadn't been painting the way he did, they wouldn't be doing their thing now - and fooling all the young girls into believing that they did it best or first or with the most swagger. but if you look at that 10-year-old kid belting out any number of songs, he had it all inside of him, even then. a slight turn of the head, a jutting of the jaw - the funk was already there.

so, i'm sure i'll still cry for awhile when i hear some of this songs, and in a few weeks, i hope to have a little memorial of my own with a few friends who will gather to watch one of his concerts and just talk about our memories. he may be gone from this earth, but his music got into me—and into countless others—and even though "the groove is dead and gone (yeah), you know that love survives....so we can rock forever on...." and we will, michael. i promise you that.

1 comment:

epub novice said...

Sarah, i've already told you how much i love this post--how deeply it resonates for me--but I wanted to leave a comment, too. you, better than anyone, know how helpful it has been to share my own feelings about this significant event with people who feel the same way. thanks for posting your thoughts on this!