Twenty-seven years ago today John Lennon's life was taken from him in front of his New York City apartment with his wife Yoko by his side. Like millions of others, I remember to this day exactly where I was when I heard the news (in my case, in the cold, dark parking lot of Mt. Hood Community College following a late night jazz rehearsal on campus). We were all shocked. Stunned. Deeply saddened. John Lennon was only 40. Today we are reminded what a great loss and a tragic waste his death was. And yet, in only 40 years of life, John Lennon made amazing contributions to the human race that people continue to talk about today and will still be talking about for generations to come. To paraphrase a piece of Apple ad copy (if you'll forgive me), you do not have to agree with everything John Lennon said or even everything he stood for, but there is no denying his impact and his genius...and his compassion. He changed things. And he is still changing things. He certainly saw things differently. He wasn't always fond of rules or the status quo, and he was just "insane" enough—just "crazy" enough—to think he could change the world. We all have that kind of "insanity" inside us. John Lennon's legacy is a reminder that we need to let that bit of ourselves out—that bit which others may call "crazy." Inventors, creators, explorers and all those who inspire greatness in others have always been called "crazy." And they are the ones who do indeed change the world, or at least that little slice of the world around them. In this sense, there is a little bit of "John Lennon" in all of us (if you want it).
War is Over!
On imaginepeace.com today there is a very interesting video presentation and a letter from Yoko to John that many of you will want to check out. The letter and the video (especially the Happy Christmas music video at the end) are evocative, and for many provocative perhaps. But you can not read the letter and watch the video presentation and not feel something. First I read the letter from Yoko to John. It is very simple and very beautiful. It speaks to the loss all of us have felt, (feel, or will feel) when we lose the person most important to us. For many, you'll feel something quite profound. Read the letter, then watch the video; you will surely feel something. Click on the image below to read the letter and watch the video.
Three video presentations for peace
I didn't expect to be moved so deeply while simply checking a few websites in the morning while having my first cup of coffee on this lazy, sunny Saturday in Osaka. But I was floored by this short documentary-like footage of John, Yoko, and the peace message. Then I thought I would revisit two other video presentations set to John's music that we've all seen many times before. But today it seemed like an appropriate way to remember John Lennon and his message. Below are Give Peace a Chance, Happy Christmas (sans the interview footage), and Imagine. "Happy Christmas" may not be what you expect — no Santa, no snowmen, etc.— but it is a strong example of the power of imagery working in harmony with "voice" (in this case, a song).
Give Peace a Chance