Saturday, December 08, 2007

Peace Now

I don't know what I am doing today. Because "today" has not yet come... I am writing this entry some time in your past, since I would not dare to grapple with this simple issue of mortality on the day it has such resonance.

You see, I do not know what I am doing today. But I know what I was doing 27 years ago. That would be 8 December 1980, the day John Lennon was killed.

That night I was sleeping.

The next morning my mother came into my room and woke me. Before I had properly even opened my eyes she said. "John Lennon has been shot. He's dead."

My response was simple, and to her credit my mother has honoured my request to this day. I said "Don't ever wake me up and say that again."

This sounds like a joke but it isn't. Here's another.

Lennon created the own potential for his death by living such an open life. Read my article on the Life with the Lions album if you do not know what I mean. But the man himself knew it, and often joked that he might be killed by some loony. You can't put your most intimate thoughts and fears out into public without attracting all sorts of unwanted feedback, a proportion of it violent.

I am now older than John ever lived to be. I'm not sure if that means anything.

But I'm thinking it does. It means I have to try harder. Can we all try to live as hard as Lennon did? To work through our problems, burdens and issues? This doesn't mean you have to play electric guitar or pose naked on an album cover. Just do something you really need to do and don't care if it works. Do it because you know it is right for you, your family, your neighbours. Do it because it will make things one teeny tiny little bit better.

Do it especially if you lived past forty and were not gunned down on the way home from work to check your child was ok.

Peace to you as you do.



Ross said...

I remember the 9th of December 1980.. I remember having a conversation with you about John Lennon... I made some comment about it being a bad year for John's in refernce to John Bonham's recent death. Now that was the wrong thing to say :-) The response was quite swift, to the point and called me to task on comparing Mr. Bonham's 'death by vomit' to the cold blooded murder of John Lennon. Its odd what you remember. Later in that same school year Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan were also shot but both survived. It was also the time of the death of Terry Fox just before the start of school. Robin, its really fascinating to see you write about how your mother woke you up on Dec 8, 1980. I do not remember how my mother woke me up on that day.. more likely was my nasty alarm clock. I do however have that specific memory of the December 9, 1980 conversation that we had. What a remarkable blob of stuff the human brain is.

robin said...

Wow, that is quite the memory!

I remember being very upset when Reagan was shot... seeing the drama unfold on TV in realtime. My dad naturally misunderstood this to mean that I somehow respected him or appreciated his politics. Instead I was upset because I realised this proved someone else was pulling the strings... someone far more evil than even Reagan appeared.

Of course it was his V.P. and we have seen the Bush legacy in the world ever since.

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