As I made my way up the familiar road to Michael Jackson’s final resting place, I wondered what I would write about this year. Then, I saw Miyuki Amano, my friend from Japan. We both reached out to hug one another. It has been two years since she was able to travel to Los Angeles because of Covid. I met Miyuki at Forest Lawn Glendale on June 25, 2010. That was the first year that I started paying my respects to Michael and creating a blog to share with fans around the globe. My heart has been heavy lately and I hoped and knew that by heading to Forest Lawn, the magic there would help. Being around my MJ friends is healing.
Miyuki’s handmade MJ dolls were in front of a sign from Japan as the glaring hot sun was beating down. I asked Miyuki if I could make a photo of her with her dolls in the shade. It’s my favorite place to make photos at Forest Lawn because of the green grass, trees and hills in the background and I love the subdued light next to the tree. “Yes, of course you may.”
She gathered all her dolls in a bag that she put on her shoulder. After showing her the tree I liked, she started to set the dolls up in a way she liked. When I first met her, she wasn’t creating the dolls but rather was traveling from Tokyo with store bought MJ dolls. As she set up the dolls, I asked her how long it takes her to create them. “One month takes each doll with the body, clothes, shoes, everything.” Hardest to make is Remember The Time Doll.” She speaks such wonderful English. It would be so great to be able to speak Japanese the way Miyuki speaks English. “Do you check the dolls in your luggage” I asked, already knowing the answer. “No, I carry them in a backpack. I’m worried to put them in luggage.” she responded.
Every year since 2010 Miyuki travels to Forest Lawn to pay her respects. “I couldn’t come for two years. I’m so appreciative of my friends. I would send my card with friends.” A group of Michael fans in Japan would gather handmade cards for him and send them to Forest Lawn Glendale.
Miyuki’s passion for Michael always moves me to tears and is part of what inspires me to create this blog: so I can share it with fans around the globe who love Michael and cannot travel to Los Angeles. I asked her to help me create my annual MJ doll photo. Thirteen years later, the Thriller doll is missing its shoes and the Billie Jean doll have seen better days but these little dolls still make me smile.
Next I see my friend Siren. This year Siren has created multiple drawings of Michael. For years, before I knew who the artist was, I would resonate with her drawings. Finally, around 2014, I met the mystery artist and was inspired by her story. Her heart is wide open and pure.
Siren and I spoke of the spiritual discovery of Michael and our journeys. “I started to be afraid to look too hard because I didn’t want my bubble to burst but the closer you look, the more you uncover the vault of love. That vault of love is so huge of a love. It was like expanded love, oneness, universal. I couldn’t contain it. Too much for my mind and body. As I studied about Michael, I expanded. It’s not intellectual, it strikes the soul and bursts the heart open. It took me two years to unravel the threads until my mind could believe what happened.” We agreed that the pain alters us, suffering gives us an opportunity for healing. Siren continued. “Michael felt everything. He had a capacity for emotion that he would transmute into his art. We can transmute dark emotions. We are all here to learn from the anger. ” We spoke about his History album and the songs that he created after the false allegations in 1993.
And, Brenda, who traveled with Siren from Canada came over to hug me and we made a photograph as well. It felt good seeing my old friends. Brenda’s artwork is so beautiful to see up close. Her details and colors are so bright and lovely. It made me smile and happy to see her and the latest art.
It’s been thirteen years without Michael Jackson and today, more than ever, I find it encouraging to see people come from different parts of the world to celebrate him all these years later. The creativity behind the cards, paintings, letters and flowers inspire me and it feels good to be outside, amongst other people who could feel the love that this man carried within and shared with his music. Michael wasn’t just one of the greatest artists to walk this earth. He was a kind, compassionate, generous, heart centered, loving and forgiving soul. He teaches us what’s important. We have gone through some dark times the last two years and being at Forest Lawn today gave me a breath of fresh air. I’m grateful I discovered Michael Jackson and the community that he touched. We all have a different story of how we came to know his magic. Mine started after I broke a few ribs on Iron Man 2 the day Michael took his last breath. Sharing our stories brings us together in love which is all Michael ever wanted to do: heal the world. Now, more than ever, our world needs healing and being around others who understood his mission, helps heal my heart.