Well, as a musician and an ever-endeavoring artist…it goes without saying what my topic of choice will be this month given the recent events.

Of course whatever your vocation, everyone has somehow been touched and emotionally affected by the tragedy of Michael Jackson’s death…be it empathy, judgment…or something in between.

I caught a bloggers post this week that, although unrelated to this topic, provoked some introspection about how a life might be lived. In the blog, “The Power Of Dichotomies In Our Quality Of Life” the author reflects that “The more I experience life the more I come across the wisdom of dichotomies.” –and how it relates to “the importance of being present” in one’s life.

It occurred to me that Michael’s artistic brilliance and ‘out-of-this-world’ giftedness versus the obvious detrimental lifestyle choices made by this iconic artist are yet another one of these dichotomies in life. As hard as it is to swallow, there is no tidy way to wrap the messiness of his story—and that it may be necessary to accept, albeit painfully, the beautiful artistry that was delivered through such a broken vessel. With every remembrance of his ingenious skill and ability will come the deep ache of sorrow for the flawed humanness that was he. However you rationalize it, it’s the same flawed humaneness that each of us shares…

Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Hendrix, Charlie Parker, Jaco Pastorius…the list of ridiculous and senseless losses could go on. But the loss will never diminish the tremendous light that was shown through those vessels of beauty.

On the other hand…Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Studs Terkel, Miles Davis, and Duke Ellington also remind me that artistic brilliance and a life well lived are not necessarily juxtaposed ideas either….

Wishing you your own brilliance in life,


Michele ThomasComment