Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson And The End Of My Childhood

I'm in the middle of moving and am absolutely exhausted from the last few days moving heavy furniture in almost 110 degree heat! So, while I rest I felt it was time to reflect on some stuff that I've been thinking about this week.

Michael Jackson was an artist that peaked while I was growing up. I know there are probably other bloggers that are writing about this, and yet, I still wanted to write about it. When Thriller came out, I wasn't really allowed to listen to secular music. Of course it's hard to avoid it when it's everywhere else. That year, I spent time with my cousins and my Mother told me before I left that I wasn't allowed to watch MTV or anything related. There had also been advertising about the video for Thriller and how it was going to be making it's debut. Again, she told me I wasn't allowed to watch it. At eight years old, I sat outside on the porch waiting for my cousins who were in with their neighbors watching Thriller.

A year or so later, my parent's split and the level of strictness went out with it. I would always dance when I heard his music. I remembered his music before Thriller came out. Michael had great music and rhythm. He was an excellent dancer and a great entertainer. I got to see his performances through the new media called MTV.

When I was getting ready to enter high school, I tried out for cheer leading, basically for giggles. I wasn't a dancer and definitely had never done anything like it at all! All the freshly minted, high school freshmen were awaiting their instructions from the Varsity cheerleaders and on the "boom box" came Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. I was so excited to get into the routine and attempt my tryout. Sadly, I didn't make it on the squad and figured that would be OK, since I literally forgot the entire routine and got a major deer in the headlights look. *giggle*

I never stopped loving the songs from Thriller, and whenever I would hear a song on the radio, in a restaurant, or store I would also want to shake it. It saddened me that so much of his good music ability went into his eccentricity and then, what later shrouded him in possible shame. The good news was that I didn't idolize this man, he was only a very talented performer in my eyes. He wasn't some Christlike being who could make everything better like many treated him, especially during his glory days so, I wasn't that disappointed.

He hadn't made any great music recently and so I enjoyed going to YouTube and pulling him up and dancing with my daughter to some old favorites. Hearing he passed away last week, made me a little empty. Not because he was gone, rather because it meant the end of my childhood. I know that sounds silly coming from a 30 something mommy but, really an end of an era. When I listen to music of any kind from my childhood, I can remember particular moments of time. I can remember how old I was and what I was like during that moment. I can remember how those songs touched me.

I can think back on a movie I watched with the song in it and how it made me feel. Music is definitely tied to my emotions, as well as smells and a few little things. What Michael represented wasn't supposed to die so soon. I'm still too young to let go of all those things that helped shape me into what I am, and remind me of the few good times I had growing up.


Marina said...

That was a great post Melanie. Music really does create such strong connections to the past for many of us.

Jessilyn said...

Every memory I have has music tied into it thanks for the post I enjoyed it. My daughters are just now discovering Michael now that he is gone it does leave you feeling empty with the loss of a bit of childhood. Check out my blog if you get a chance ;) I'm a wanna be writter to.