I've thought more about Michael Jackson in the past few days than in my entire life. I was never a fan. It's not that I disliked him, it's that I never bothered to listen or watch.
Yesterday I watched some videos on YouTube: "Billie Jean," "Thriller," a compilation of dance moves, a performance from MTV. Suddenly, I'm a fan. He possessed such beauty and projected so much energy and light. His dance style is mesmerizing--and not just the big moves, like the Moon Walk, but the smallest gesture.
I have to admit that I also looked at videos that traced the alterations he made to his face. I don't know whether to understand these as symptoms of a profound mental illness or manifestations of artistic impulses, a courageous willingness to shape his face as a sculptor shapes clay.
Ultimately, I am filled with a kind of awe for the man and sadness at his untimely (and probably unseemly) death. I hope his family, especially his children, can move through their grief with dignity and find their path, their work and their love.