Photo by Jack Mitchell/ courtesy Wikimedia Commons
John Lennon–photographed here with Yoko Ono–was killed 40 years ago this week on Dec. 8, 1980.
Imagine an eighty-year old man today, peering over the frames of his glasses, smiling as he stares out the window of his apartment as the birds alight on the leafless trees of winter.
Imagine him strumming gently the strings of a guitar, or his fingers finding the right chords on the piano, as he composes a melody to the poetic lyrics, he has just penned.
Imagine him walking, holding hands with Yoko, his wife of many decades, as they saunter through the park, bundled up against the cold days of December, in the city… in the country he was adopted into.
Imagine the creative energy, along with his bandmates that provided a soundtrack to enable us to rejoice and move; to distract so many of us from the darkness of the times.
Imagine the styles; the fun and outrageousness of the clothing, the hair… the attitudes, the innocence, the questioning— and the spirits rising— with the laughter of new days unfolding.
Imagine seeing him evolve from a skiffle band, to a rock ’n’ roll band, to a Plastic Ono Band; from simple rhyming lyrics and hooks, meant to excite and explode us outward; to sensitive ballads of love and vulnerability, that brought us inward—to our hearts.
Imagine him forty years earlier, lying on the pavement, in front of his home, mere hours away from his physical presence being no longer.
Imagine the shock and sadness of the world responding to a human being, beloved, for his artistry: his music…his drawings…his writings…his humanity.
Imagine the welling up and unreserved outpouring of grief— as of a family member or friend being taken much too soon. The people standing, singing his songs, holding candles, holding his portrait—holding each other—bowed down, with tear-stained faces.
Imagine what his response to all this would be—that “all you need is love…love—love is all you need.”
Now! Imagine—he hasn’t gone anywhere—he is still here.