The world was rocked by the news of Michael Jackson's sudden death yesterday. Perhaps because in this celebrity-obsessed world his unparalleled fame was matched by his enigmatic personality.
The boy who had a stage presence well beyond his years turned into a man who was strangely childlike. Who really knows what shaped him into the person he became? An abusive father? Fame that was much too much for his fragile sense of self?
His numerous plastic surgeries, spending sprees and allegations of child molestation transformed him into a freakish caricature. But we can all celebrate his irresistible music and extraordinary dance moves - the songs that for so many of us are touchstones for our lives.
As we mark his passing we can think of Michael Jackson in many ways. I prefer to remember him as a huge talent whose music still makes me smile and think and remember. Not the man in the mirror who could never completely change his ways.
That's a page from my notebook.