To Quiver Or To Embrace?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Last weekend while turning the pages of The Sunday Times Singapore, my fleeting attention was brought to the headline of a short article: 'Jackson didn't want to grow old: Rabbi'.



More than 3 months after his death, stories and new claims about what Michael Jackson had said (or not!) when he was alive never seem to cease from surfacing in the media. This is to be expected given his 'super mega colossal' of a standing as an incredibly talented music icon of the universe. I reckon that if there are humans on Planet Mars, even they would know who Michael Jackson was. I love Michael Jackson! Always have been, and always will be. Like millions of others, I was deeply saddened and teared by his passing. But, if it's of any consolation, I think he had a good death. A death so peaceful and unexpected. A death while sleeping. A death while he ruled the world as the most legendary King of Pop and King of Kings in the music world and more. I chose to love him for his greatness, his unpublished charitable and philantropic acts, and his compassion for humankind and nature. I was and am not swayed by the unproven accusations nor his chosen route of facial transformations nor any of his uncanny public displayed behaviors. Like any of us, he was an individual and his fears and concerns were valid.


The latest claim above from spiritual adviser Rabbi Shmuley Boteac in his newly released book - "The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation" about Michael Jackson being fearful of growing old was not new nor surprising. It was said that the gist of the book was based on a 30-hour of recorded conversations between the Rabbi and Michael Jackson sometime between August 2000 and April 2001 in which the late and reclusive pop star spilled his thoughts on life, love and the turmoil of his childhood.

Fearing the ravages of old age, the book recounted some comments Michael Jackson had said during the time of the interview:

"I would like some way to disappear where people don't see me anymore at some point.
I don't want to grow old. I never want to look in the mirror and see that."

Scarily enough, that was almost like a self-prophecy through a crystal ball on the fate of how his life would eventually turn out to be, as it had on June 25.



Recently, I received a circulated email from my sister about Julie Andrews' (of Sound of Music) lightheartedness and brilliant wit during the commemoration of her 69th birthday a few years ago. For the commemoration, she had made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall where she belted out one of the musical numbers from the legendary movie, "My Favorite Things', with a humorous twist to the lyrics.




Here are the lyrics and if you do know the tunes, sing along (only if you're not at the work place while reading this!). Julie Andrews is 74 years old this year.


Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in a string, These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, Hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak, when the bone creaks, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobe and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin', And we won't mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad.


The point is, all living things are subject to the law of nature and aging. There is no magic spell that can defy this law, and certainly there is no magic potion which can completely retain our youth, regardless what all those award winning ads say!

Whether we have admitted it or not, have thought about it or not, all of us are either afraid, concerned or do not look forward to aging. But that does not mean we want to leave this world a young person either. Our fears and concerns are simply a part of human nature. No one looks forward to the potentials of rheumatism, joint pains, grey hair, baldness, wrinkles, narrowing arteries, sickness, Alzheimer's disease, foggy thoughts, bare gums and worries of abandonment which may be looming in the horizons. Facing aging has never been more challenging than the world we live in now. The world we live in now conditions us to the material world and our ever deepening attachments to youth, love, beauty, fun and all things related to it. There is no escaping from this fear. But perhaps, there is a way to managing it.

Although we may share part of Mr Jackson's fears, may we always remind ourselves that while we age alone, we are not alone in facing the challenges of this natural life process. And because of the fact that death and old age are unavoidable, we should start making the best of our lives now by adding positive values to ourselves and people around us, if we haven't already.



And maybe to also start on reinforcing our mental fortress to guard against the fears of what lies ahead should we all be ever so lucky to reach old age in the first place. And if we do, may we embrace Ms Andrews' wit and humor. And if we get luckier, we'll be able to age gracefully, healthily and where we can joyfully sing along to the above lyrics...



...and lucidly remember the great life we had!!


21 comments:

A Year on the Grill said...

I chuckled along with your post for abit...

But This is the best example of the way I think of Michael Jackson. He is just about the same age as i am, and I watched him grow up with the cartoons, and the bubble gum phase. I disco ed to Thriller, and was uncomfortable in his later years.

Sad that that wonderful talent could not embrace what he was and his journey with the same dignity as Julie Andrews.

This is among my favorite blog posts I have ever read... Nicely done

petite nyonya said...

Which part made you chuckle? Where I professed my love for MJ? Hehehe!
2 of the very first songs I heard were Ben & ABC and they stuck and grew and grew...! You must be quite a groovy guy yourself! LOL!! It's really sad that we no longer have him around. Anyway, thank you for your compliments ;-)). May we all reach ripe old age healthy & happy :D.

Keith said...

Hello there. Great post as usual. I really do enjoying seeing what you will post next. I hope you've had a wonderful weekend. Take care. Have a fantastic week ahead. Cheers!

petite nyonya said...

Hi Keith, thank you for your lovely comments. This post just came up unexpectedly :D. You have a great week ahead too!

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Nyonya, age is just a number. What and how you feel is what counts.
And today's matured women can anytime put their younger friends in their pockets....

Regret I was never a fan of MJ, but loved Julie Andrews and her singing. Saw the movie, 'sound of music' 5 times all the years too.
She's a typical English rose.
You have a nice day, Nyonya, Lee.

petite nyonya said...

Hi Uncle Lee, yes, age is just a number...as long as the wrinkles are not visible yet. Haha! Thanks for your comments & you have a nice day too. Cheers!

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a wonderful post. I also loved the pictures of MJ as a young man. The song was very funny! I saw her on an episode of Rachel Ray once. She really does have a great sense of humour and seems so down to earth. Have a lovely weekend!

petite nyonya said...

Thanks Heavenly Housewife! the song is indeed funny & tells us to look at old age with a hint of humor.

3 hungry tummies said...

hey its a great blog, thanks for visiting mine :)

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Nyonya, you an MJ fan, huh?
I have never seen, nor listen to any of his songs or TV shows more than 5 minutes, ha ha.
I guess I'm more the sentimental oldies songs and Country and Western fan.

But I sure love 'The sound of music'...and Julie Andrews. Seen that movie on TV more than 8 times all the years.
Here's wishing you a pleasant weekend, and keep a song in your heart, Lee.

wenn said...

i love MJ and his songs..so sad..

petite nyonya said...

hi 3 hungry tummies, thanks!

hi Uncle Lee, I love MJ to bits and I also love oldie songs as I grew up listening to many songs of that genre too.

hi wenn, yes just so sad.

What's Baking?? said...

Ash & Cait sometimes will ask me if mom had known about MJ and I told them that Yes. Grandma had known and now would have met MJ as he and the King of Rock & Roll (they don't know who elvis is anyway) are singing together to entertain Grandma and Tua Ee up in Heavan!

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

MJ is gone but his memories live! Gosh! Julie Andrews has grown!We can't forget the 2 of them:)

goodgame77 said...

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ARUNA said...

Great post, lot of info....MJ was so cute n innocent in his childhood pics!

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Arti said...

Love the pics of young MJ.. Seeing them for the first time!!!

www.myyatradiary.blogspot.com

明偉誠秋 said...

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