Monday, July 16, 2007

Dear John,


In keeping with the previously posted Beatle theme and upcoming journey to that which we affectionately refer to as DECIBFA ("Don't Ever Call It Beatle Fest Again"), I thought I'd take a self indulgent moment (as are all my moments) and write about John Lennon.

I was a George girl, Anne was a Paul girl and Ringo....well, he was Ringo. What you saw was pretty much what you got, which was sweet, witty and just seemingly pretty happy to be where he was.

But the beauty of John Lennon eluded me when I was younger. I think in a way, his sexual, dark, brooding nature frightened me. He said shit I didn't get. Fortunately, like my parents, John Lennon has become extremely intuitive and intelligent since I've gotten older.

John was the ultimate work in progress. He went from writing "Run For Your Life" to "Woman". His transition from an angry young teenager who rebelled against all forms of authority to a Beatle in a suit to a stay-at-home dad who fought tirelessly for peace (with a few human detours along the way) is fascinating. It's probably because I can see my own transition from an independent, relatively bright young woman to a scared, silent wife to an independent, relatively bright woman. It's just a damn shame that we won't see the full circle of John Winston Ono Lennon.

So Dear John, who would have been 67 this year, I salute you in the only way I feel I can: in your own words.

"When I feel my head starting to swell, I just look at Ringo and know perfectly well we aren't supermen."

"Women should be obscene and not heard." (note: that was from 1964).

"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted."

"I wouldn't say I was a born writer. I was a born thinker."

"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

"Reality leaves alot to the imagination."

"As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot."

"I always knew there was something wrong with me because I saw things that other people didn't."

"Love and peace are eternal."

"When you are drowning, you don't say 'I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to come and rescue me'. You just scream."

"My role in society, or any artist's or poet's, is to express how we all feel, not to tell you how to feel...art is a reflection of us all."

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."

"It doesn't matter how long my hair is, or what color my skin is or if I'm a man or a woman."

"You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are."

And finally, I must end with a few abbreviated instructions from Mr. Lennon, from his book "In His Own Write", about the importance of proper diction:

"All Abord Speeching:
1. Speak you Clear and Nasal, for distance;
2. Sing you with long voice, for discharge;
and
3. Practice davy but not if your Mutt and Jeff."

Thank you, Dear John.

4 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Amazing how he was a man who we had to grow into, isn't it?

colleen said...

And we all shine on. I was a Paul girl converted to John because of his activism, and I even liked Yoko.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm a proud Paul Girl. But a day doesn't go by that John doesn't touch my life, too. I know today it's fashionable for performers to not be artists, to just (as Laura Ingraham wrote of Streisand), "Shut Up and Sing." Oh, how I wish I could hear John whitheringly dismiss that notion! "Imagine," "Power to the People," "War Is Over (So This Is Christmas)," "Give Peace a Chance," and my favorite, "Revolution." He was involved, angry and passionate about the world around him, and fearlessly used his talent to express it. I wish we all could have grown old together. As I listen to Paul's latest, the serious "Memory Almost Full," I think of John's later, more introspective works like "Watching the Wheels." After all, it was always Lennon/McCartney, wasn't it? And I miss old John. Just as he helped me find my political, ideological center, he probably could have provided anthems for my middle age ...

Sorry to have shang hai'd your blog. But you know how seriously I take The Lads!

Anne

This Eclectic Life said...

Oh, I was a Ringo girl. I liked him because he was so ugly he was cute. But, then I thought my Pekingese dog was cute, too. These are excellent quotes. A fun tribute to read. I don't think I "got" John until I got a LOT older...like...a couple of years ago.