by DRM

Some moments capture the senses and remain imprinted in an immediate and permanent way. Mercer Eliade spoke of Sacred Time, the way that ritual transports us from our everyday experience of time into a state that is connected to our social being.

iStock_000006366024MediumI think of these moments as being fulcrum points of our identity. When you pass through one, a stillness seeps into your awareness, and you know, intuitively, in the future, that recreating a bit of that moment is a path back into your original self.

Michael Jackson died today. He and I were the same age. When I watched him growing up, I was so taken. He was so good.

And, in one moment, for me, transcendent.

It was in our living room in the old house in East Bridgewater, sitting close to the black & white television because I couldn’t hear. Diana Ross introduces the band, the camera follows her gesture back into the shadows, and then the music starts, a lucent voice lifts over the gloom and he starts to sing.

What can an 11-year old boy gather about the determined devotion of true love? What can another 11-year old boy understand in what he hears?

I don’t know, still. In that moment, though, time stopped and I heard in a clear path the connected my heart.

02jackson5.jpgYears later, in New York, I searched out the 45 with the song issued. I don’t remember what the b-side was. But this was a totem that would connect me with a moment that I still have never forgotten.

He’s dead now. I like to think that the young boy never really died inside him, that at the moment of final passing, as the body seizes up against the terminal point, his soul lifted up, like the sweetness and sincerity of this young voice, the voice of glee and constancy, and passed through the heavens into the stream of music that binds us all to each other.

I hope.

Here’s the clip of that first time.