George Michael–a Lover and a Fighter

The BRIT Awards 2012 - Show

       On this boxing day, I have learned that George Michael has left us.  Another one gone who might have had more to offer yet, but who made the world a better place by being in it, certainly in his philanthropy, but also through his canny music craft and an intelligence of heart. The man had a way with a pop hook, for sure, but it was his lyrics, as he matured, that intrigued me.

I grew up steeped in pop pablum, but I was dismissive of empty pop by the time he emerged as the implausibly handsome half of Wham! And certainly there was a gloss and glib to their songs. But even those early hits had something irresistible (or at least forgivable) to them: The shameless abandon (and pun) of “Wake me up before you Go-Go,” the articulate contrition of “Careless Whisper,” etc….

And when he outgrew the gravy train, he bit the hand that fed him. Though he lost the battle with his record company, maybe he kept his integrity. I doubt he regrets it now. Ain’t no walls in Heaven to hang gold records on.

I own precious little pop music from the 80’s, but I have ended up with George Michael’s Best of, and solid handful of those songs still stop and hold my attention, even stir my heart, my admiration, and my gratitude that his soul had the craft to communicate them.

Never really got George Michael? That’s okay. But if you haven’t recently, you might try giving songs like “Father Figure,” “Praying for Time,” “Freedom 90” (and others) another listen. It is not empty pop.

So, I’m feelin’ the swell in my heart this evening, the twinge of grief that is a celebration, that bathes us in remembrance and gives a good soul his send off.

Blessed Be.

Just for fun. There is a video on Youtube of James Corden’s original inspiration for his now mega-popular carpool karaoke. It’s an extended Comic Relief Sketch (a British cameo fest that has pay off toward the end), which early on features Gearge Michael clearly not holding himself sacred.  If it doesn’t play here, google it.


What is the sound of one mind’s blizzard?

As I sat staring into the true void in meditation, 

the wind-whipped rain

–which had been painting Van Goghs on the roof with BBs–

 faded to silence. 

It was not until light and rising from the cushion

 that I apprehended that it had not stopped 

but turned to snow

…still a swirling Van Gogh…

now silent and white.

Herald…The buried lead

I heard music,
Familiar music,
The voice of my oracle had become almost mundane
Until it went silent.
But here this morning
As I rose slowly from sleep,
through the humus of my fallow plot,
His voice was reaching — overtoned falsetto—from the field around, below:
“You’re instinct can’t be wrong.”
The doubt and numb looms,
like the smell of my life composting around me,
But word has come,
Reminding, redeeming…
When your turn comes round
And the light goes on
And you feel your attraction again
Your instinct can’t be wrong
The distant, insistent tribal rhythm
marches closer through the dim
from some place inside me;
I can almost see the torches.
Oh, Thank Heaven!
…I’m listening….
I will wait and trust.
In my life, Grace has many guises.
But I welcome back her favorite and mine,
Neil Finn.
Dec 13, 2016
End of Eldorado days