Tuesday, December 8, 2015
I remember that I was walking through the park along the cobblestones. People were zipping past me, running, going to work, not paying attention to what was around them. I heard someone playing a guitar. The song was vaguely familiar. I approached the man on the bench - to whom no one was paying attention. It was John Lennon. I stopped and listened. I stopped and watched. Everyone else was too busy it seemed.
This was the dream that brought me to New York City.
I had only seen Central Park in pictures. The song in question was Watching The Wheels. I remember when I moved to New York, going to Strawberry Fields was first on the list. It was almost exactly the same as the dream except that the park was filled with people who did stop to listen to all that was around them. It was also filled with sounds other than music: talking, cars, dogs barking. It was filled with smells - the pretzel vendor, the leaves, the city itself. No, John Lennon was not "there" but he really was.
John made New York City home - he was in love - he was happy. When you think about how much this man, this 40 year old, contributed to our culture, it is astonishing. In ten years, the Beatles changed the face of music history. They went from the mop top band to the political and social activists. They also remained four completely different individuals.
I may not agree with all of John Lennon's political beliefs, but there is one I subscribe to each day: Love is the Answer. All you Need is Love, Love, Woman, Mind Games ... Love Love Love. That was what John Lennon was all about. No, he was not perfect. But, he had to discover what love wasn't before he discovered what it was. Look at the pictures of John and Yoko in Central Park - you can feel that love.
Thirty-six years on and people still cry when they think of this day. John Lennon now represents a way of life and a way to move through our world. Imagine has become the battle cry of hope.