I see you Mr. Obama!

Last night Mr. Obama made a cameo appearance in my dream. I rarely dream about people I know or people in the public eye, so when I do, I pay attention. I don’t remember anything about the dream except the little snippet of Mr. Obama standing at the window looking out onto the grounds of the White House. He was pensive, stroking his chin, his expression earnest. How I cleared security to do this, I have no idea, and it is the wonder of dreams that we can so manipulate reality, but I was standing on the grounds just outside the window. The only thing I remember outside of this is how I felt and my plea to him: “Step away from the window Mr. Obama!”

I was frightened for him. He was much too vulnerable there in plain sight. He was an easy target for a sniper. I just kept shouting the same phrase over and over. Didn’t he understand that he should be more careful? Didn’t he recognize that people are “gunning for him” spurred on by the hate mongers in the media?

So I woke up this morning with this image of our president in my head, wondering what such a dream would mean. And I have come to this: it is time for all of us to be “in plain sight.” It is time for me to be willing to speak my mind for what I believe. I am fascinated by the fervor over his attempts to do SOMETHING. And horrified that we seem not able to have civil conversations about what to do. What is certain is that with the level of divisiveness that we are experiencing NOTHING will change.

In the much ballyhooed speech to the children of our nation, he said in his way what President Kennedy had said:

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

I do not know what is the best way to handle health care reform. I do not know how to fix the education system. I care not to enter into the world of politics per se because that is not my forte. And as my sister-in-law has reminded me, I am probably too forthright to be a politician. But it is clear, people want to be heard. People want their voices to be heard. And this is where I can help.

I can contribute to the freedom of man by helping one person at a time understand the power of his/her story. I can contribute to improving your health by helping you to appreciate your life’s story and work on the trajectory of the plotline to include healthfulness. I can supplement the educational system by helping students to gain a love of the language and to strengthen their writing voices for practical and emotional reasons.

So in my waking state I say: “I see you Mr. Obama. And I thank you for your courage and your fortitude in these trying and transitional times.”

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Michael Jackson’s Funeral: History in the Making

I heard a woman interviewed on the evening news about her “great fortune” in getting one of the 17,000 tickets to attend the funeral of Michael Jackson today.  She said, “I’m so excited to be able to be there; it’s history in the making.”

Every day, every moment is history in the making.  YOU and everything you think and do is history in the making.  Be excited for yourself.  Focus on YOU.

May Michael Jackson’s soul rest in peace.

The Heart of Michael Jackson

The Heart of Michael Jackson

 

Crowds spontaneously

started to gather

at the Apollo,

in front of the hospital

where his still body lay,

in fact,

across the globe

hordes poured out

into the streets

after the news

broke

that Michael Jackson died.

The man who could achieve

with music

what he had said

in a rare interview

politicians with laws

and clever speeches

could not achieve

once again focused

our collective consciousness.

 

In unison, strangers

sang his words,

and together danced

his signature moves

to celebrate the man

who had for decades

embodied our collective desire

to express the ineffable.

We had cheered                      

him when he captured

in lyrics our loves and drives

and measured in beats

and energetic gyrations

our moments of ecstasy.

 

But then, because

there is the overlooked

law of polarity,

we vilified him

when he reflected

our phobias and fears

about looking different,

acting different,

being different,

than cultural expectations

deemed appropriate.

We forced him

to endure our collective

need for perfection

in an imperfect world

then ridiculed him

for buckling under the pressure.

 

In the requisite

media montages of his life

with the ubiquitous Barbara Walters

who blurs the line between

reporting and gossip

that we openly crave

or loudly abhor,

I was struck

(yes I watched)

I was struck

by how many times

Michael tapped

his chest

over his

heart

and asked

in one way

or another

that it be

respected,

accepted,

remembered:

“I am a person.

I have feelings.”

 

Once hailed

as an icon

can the heart

survive?

Once asked

to carry

the collective

weight of our emotions,

can we

be surprised

that a heart

gives out,

gives up,

gives in

to mind and body

numbing drugs?

 

We speculate

and titch, titch

over the tragedy

of his finances

and wonder aloud

over the unlived

lives of his offspring.

We splash the screens

of television

and all the media forms

that have evolved

in the course

of his lifetime

and now participate

in creating revolutions,

evolutions, de-evolutions,

we splash the scenes

with recounts of accusations

of his alleged salacious behavior

knowing that only

a handful of people

know the truth

yet we feel compelled

to sully his memory.

 

In my heart,

I carry memories

of a man robbed

of his childhood

(yes he gained

from our theft

but at what price?)

who spent his life

seeking to regain it,

a man driven

to perfect his talent

so that he could

gift to you

and gift to me

the love of melody and movement.

 

 I surrender to his request

to remember his heart

and  hear his  call:

“Let me fill

your  heart

with joy and happiness.”

I tap my heart

and bow my head

to the memory

of a man

fearless enough

to dance

to the beat

of his own heart.

I let his music

enter my soul

and run out

to join the celebration

in the streets.

“I’ll Be There.”

 

 

Robin Ridleycopyright 2009