Icons of Youth

Having just flipped through morning news programs (Today and GMA) to catch the “latest” on Michael Jackson’s passing, I was hit with so many ‘pop messengers’ of my youth, I’m sort of reeling here!  Not only Michael Jackson, who DID rock my rockin’ soul when Thriller catapulted onto the scene (and — in what I call one of my “Forrest Gump” brushes with fame, I actually “phone met” Michael — more below), and Farrah Fawcett, whose image was held up for all girls of my day to emulate (a virtual impossibility for most of us)… but when I flipped on GMA, there was the cast of HAIR performing in a revival!  I had seen HAIR 3 times before I was of age to drive, but was already totally into “hair as Jesus wore it”!

My formative years are suddenly right in my lap today.  Interesting.

(Post script at the opposite end of this day. Just learned a party I’m attending tomorrow has become a 60’s theme! What’s with the sudden time warp?!)

So, my minor and, in a way, star-crossed encounter with Michael went like this. I worked at the time in a small, boutique software development company. One of my earliest jobs, and a unique situation: the company was owned by three partners who were very spiritually oriented. There were fewer than a dozen employees in this company, developing software for Macintosh computers, among other clients. We had stylin’ offices on a very high floor of prime real estate overlooking Lake Michigan; a stunning situation really. We meditated together daily on the success of our business and our lives. We did kundalini yoga together. The ashram these partners lived in was two blocks from where I lived, all of this on the north shore of Chicago.

The Jackson connection was by way of  the group these partners belonged to: they were American Sikhs. It was a Sikh who was Michael’s live-in (and travel-with) chef — all vegetarian, and as organic as possible at the time.  So: Michael came to Chicago for a concert at the absolute height of his scalding hot career, with his chef. The chef visited our beautiful workplace on the 55th floor with a view of almost forever across the water.  As it happened, I was in the office alone after this visit… guess I was working late that day; the receptionist was gone, as was everyone else.  The phone rang, I answered, and it was Michael calling from the hotel, looking for his chef!  ~ who was no longer there.  I simply took the message to have [chef] call Michael back if/when I saw him… a very mundane little conversation with this mega-star with an unusually high and soft voice.

What also happened during this Jackson Chicago visit was, I was offered a free, front-row concert ticket.  Incredibly, when I got my voicemail to rendezvous “tomorrow at 7:00” … it already WAS tomorrow.  I thought I had a pass for the second night’s performance, when it was the first night I had been invited to!!  So the morning after the performance at which I was expected to hook up with these people… I got a rather heated call asking where I was, how could I not show up, etc… Ack.  I missed a free front row (and possible post-show schmooze) Michael Jackson opp.  Sigh.

Michael’s career (and life) needs no further comment from the likes of me!  He went his own highly unique way, and in this one regard, I can relate.  It tends to be challenging to live one’s own truth in a world that ‘stands collectively’ for something altogether else.  At this moment, knowing what I do about the immediate afterlife experience and how the emotions of the living can affect the “newly liberated’s” experience, I imagine Michael’s soul is caught up in the tsunami of human emotion right now; the grief of his fans.  I send him — and Farrah — light, acknowledgement, and prayer for peace on the next leg of the journey.  Wonder if they saw each other on the elevator?


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