Yellow Blog, Up High in Banana Tree

I love the beautiful world at night.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Michael Jackson and rapture.

Beanie likes to hear Michael Jackson's album, Thriller. He loves the whole album, but the title song is his favorite -- he never tires of hearing it. I think he's memorizing the words. Today, he quoted Vincent Price's spoken word part to one of the other mommies at preschool, saying that a shark's teeth were as "sharp as the hounds of Hell". Nice, huh?

Anyway, that's not what I was going to write about. One of the other songs from Jacko's Thriller album, "Human Nature", sends me into a delightful reverie every time I hear it. I feel a bit of the original euphoria I experienced when I first heard the song:

I sat on a brick step outside our house in Linfen, Shanxi Province, China. It was late spring, I think, and I was twelve years old. The day was hot, but not uncomfortably so. I'd just finished feeding my beloved pigeons and offering them their daily bath in an enamelled basin. Some pigeons sat in the sun around me. They fanned out their wings and tails on the ground, basking after their baths, drying off, enjoying the heat.

I looked up. I was struck by the incredible deep blueness of the sky. "Human Nature" started to play, loudly, from our neighbor's house. Colored tiles on the towering temple next door glowed with color against that impossibly blue sky. Swifts nesting on the temple wheeled around in circles, seemingly to the music, to Jackson's piercingly sweet high notes, and I was overcome by joy. It felt like more than I could hold. I was flying with those birds. I almost cried.

The moment passed, of course; such moments always do. But I love that every time I hear that song, I'm still transported. I'm twelve again, and I can feel the music lifting me, see the birds looping around the temple, and enjoy the echo of that perfect happiness.

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