Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Little Afraid of Living

Thanks to the kindness of my yoga instructor Tim, I've been catching up on some back issues of Ebony. By back issues, I'm talking the mid 1970s, my favorite time period. (What's not to love about a time when people drank without so much condemnation and magazines advertised formulas to help women gain weight?, ie, Wate-On will put curves on your backside!) The Ebony in my hands is discussing Marvin's comeback after a five-year exile from Motown. Anyone who knows me that I'm gravitating to this issue over the one with Bill Cosby or even the great Stevie Wonder on the cover. I've been obsessed with his music since I was a little girl, but as an adult, I've come to appreciate the sort of person Marvin was.

To quote the article -- "That he is a man of stark contrasts and seeming contradictions does not set him apart. What really marks Marvin Gaye is his own bemused recognition of those contradictions." In the last years of his life, he was certain someone was going to kill him, travelled with bodyguards and even wore a bullet-proof jacket at times. He never felt safe except when he was in his parents' home. There are two worlds, Marvin says, that of the spirit and the flesh. Fear, he claims, stems from sin and he was always afraid of things, small and big -- flying, enclosed spaces, premonitions of being killed, of stardom,"a little afraid of living." Never felt safe except when he was at his parents' home where he died famously at the hands of his father. Sometimes Marvin performed in bullet-proof vests when he did big shows. But his fans loved him without reservation. It was at that safe place when he relaxed that he got shot. It's an irony that Marvin himself could appreciate if he'd lived through it.


Michelle's Spell of the Day

"There are still times I feel unhappy and I must smile, and there are times I want to cry and I must laugh... people rarely see the real Marvin Gaye." Marvin Gaye

Trouble Man

2 shots of Hennessey over ice. Drink slowly with "Inner-City Blues" playing.


Benedictions and Maledictions

Making Love While Conscious

Open your door and nobody’s there. That’s
as good a place to start as any. Startle at sounds.
This part works especially well if you live
with someone. Forget he’s there. Be reminded.
Sometimes he sneaks up behind you and laughs.
You laugh too. Tell yourself that none of this
matters. Keep telling yourself this for as long
as it takes. As for the nights, act like you’re dying
for it to keep what’s left of the peace, make him
happy. And who knows anyway? Maybe you are.

13 comments:

Cindy said...

Michelle,
To quote Marvin, you're a wonderful one! I remember his music from high school, the dances I never had a date for because I didn't know who I was yet. Here's to living without fear of that at least! xox, Cindy

Jason said...

Thats kind of funny considsering how derailed 50 Cent and 2Pac were for wearing bullet proof vests.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Family is instrumental in so many of the things we do--dying prematurely shouldn't be one of them. --Jim

Anonymous said...

Today's triple-header "Quote of the Day"(dedicated to the memory of M. Gaye):#1: There are six stages in the powers of the soul--the senses, imagination, reason, understanding, intelligence and the summit of the mind or the spark of conscience. We have these stages implanted in us by nature, deformed by sin and reformed by grace. They must be cleansed by justice, exercised by knowledge and perfected by wisdom.--St. Bonaventure;#2: If a man is not rising upward to be an angel, depend on it, he is sinking downward to be a devil. He cannnot stop at the beast. The most savage of men are not beasts; they are worse, a great deal worse.--S.T. Coleridge;#3: Step by step, slowly I crept--Lou Costello.

Sheila said...

michelle,
nice post today. I did yoga for a little while, and by little while I mean a week in the comfort of my livingroom last year. They make it look so easy. How do you do it michelle? hehe like the marvin gaye quote. it's so true. how many people actually see the REAL you?

Cheri said...

I have that same bra. =D

luma said...

Taste to hear the music of Marvin Gaye at exclusive moments of relaxation. It arrives to be playful. If it believed the separation of the body of the spirit, who knows the comfort of the body was not of the spirit? or it is the the opposite? (laughs). However, it seems that it looked its destination. Beijus

Anonymous said...

So the question is, Michelle, what was Marvin's "sin," since he was always afraid of something?

Anonymous said...

Michelle, based on your reading of the Marvin Gaye cover article in Ebony,it's obvious that your synopsizing ability is professional quality, natch. Bravo.

Trouble Man said...

Love that dress. You're beautiful.

paul said...

My Foxy Lady, I like that outfit too and Marvin was a great one. We used to play him all the time. So sad when he got killed seems like only days ago.

R's Musings said...

I agree w/trouble man...the dress is beautiful & so are you! Great photo! --R

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,

What a lovely picture and post for an evening such as this, bracing for a heatwave. Marvin was the Inner City man, seems to fit your spirit well. Bravo and here's to you and yours.