Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Day the Music Died

I plead guilty to watching the entire Michael Jackson memorial today with tears streaming down my face and it was good - the release that is. I avoided most of the media retrospectives throughout the week in an attempt to focus on my own memories of the man, his music and his impact on my life.

In the end, I’m glad his memorial spent a good deal of time on Michael Jackson, humanitarian. Media never focused on it much but if you paid attention to the music, it was easy to remember how his heart overflowed. Michael Jackson expected no less from the rest of us than to Heal the World.

So we must, but he could also make us dance! The magical combination perks me up in spin class and was central to a favorite story from my 2002 Breakthrough Ride.. Day 11 of 12 from Seattle to San Francisco, cycling a long, hilly stretch from Davis to Napa on a sweltering day. A crewmember asked what he could get me to make the ride more comfortable and I asked him to blare some tunes from the top of the next steep climb, maybe something from Michael Jackson. Several miles later I was well into the climb up Cardiac Hill when I heard it, oh so faintly at first but once I caught the beat, I too “Beat It” right to the top with a smile on my face.

The young man was amazed at the affect but not me. The Michael Jackson musical medley may have come to an abrupt end but I’m grateful for a robust playlist that continues to inspire my most challenging uphill climbs – to the top of a mountain, to defeat a disease, to end the discrimination and stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, to heal the world.

1 comment:

kim cook wright said...

so very well said!