Some philosophies claim that the eyes symbolize such qualities as the gift of prophecy, intelligence, and conscious awareness. In her Chakra Bible, Patricia Mercier describes the eye “chakras,” or centers of spiritual energy, as those which “feed the brain but can develop to detect extra-sensory information or send healing to others.”
That’s a pretty heavy thought. But as heavy as it is, it’s not all that difficult to entertain such luminous possibilities when considering the life and legacy of Michael Joseph Jackson. Why? Because the life he challenged himself to live turned so many dreamed theories––both his own and that of others–– into material reality. It happened while he lived until his death on June 25, 2009 and it is happening now in the year of what would have been his fifty-third birthday.
The truth of this last statement may be measured in many ways: from plans to observe annual celebrations of Jackson’s birth ––such as that hosted by preeminent film director Spike Lee in Brooklyn–– to birthday bash concerts in various cities and Facebook parties on the Internet. Yet another way is the ambitious goal of the MJ Tribute Portrait members to generate a million sponsored dots to complete artist David Ilan’s multi-faceted depiction of “The Gloved One.”
Evolution of an Iconic Idea
Work on the MJ Tribute Portrait launched August 28, 2009, and the part of it focusing on Jackson himself is scheduled for completion by his birthday Monday. The very first dot, according to the MJTP site, was drawn for the singer/philanthropist/filmmaker in the area of his heart and several others were placed in honor of his children. Since that simple beginning, hundreds of thousands of individual from more than 150 countries have pledged their support to the project and consequently had a dot drawn in their name.
“It gives people a certain kind of strength knowing that they are important and necessary in the drawing,” said the artist Ilan. “I don't add dots until people join (for free). Every dot is in someone's name and if that person did not join, a dot would not have been added.”
Among those names added are some of the most recognized in the world: Maya Angelou, Nick Cannon, Diana Ross, Evan Ross, Marlon Wayans, Dionne Warwick, François Glorieux, Raven-Symone, Jesse Jackson, Gladys Knight, Louis Gossett Jr., Larry King, and many more.
My initial response to the project was skepticism. Did Michael Jackson really need anything other than his music and the extraordinary record of his more-than-generous philanthropy to ensure his legacy? One might think not, but the incessantly negative and often outright vicious public distortions of his life’s significance would prove you wrong. For the sake of what has come to be known as Counterbalance Journalism in regard to Jackson, I also signed up for a dot and received number 4997, which is located in the singer’s left eye.
Once I learned where the dot was located I couldn’t help wondering what it must have been like to view the world from such an ordained perspective. How was it that he looked out on the same war-torn and abused world that all other eyes looked upon but saw it so differently and found himself moved to love it so deeply? Why, in the face of scorn and ridicule and abuse, did he continue not only to care but constantly give?
Please Click to Read: Looking at the World Through Michael Jackson’s Left Eye Part 2