Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Today would have been John Lennon's 73rd birthday had he not been shot and killed when he was forty years old and that's been thirty-three years and I still can't believe it. Still can't wrap my mind around the fact that he's gone.

God damn.

I'm having a rough time of it today.

I read Grady Doctor's beautiful post about her daddy's 70th birthday and I started crying and the tears just flowed.


Sometimes when I'm low, so low, it all goes back in my mind to not having a daddy which is ridiculous but perhaps it's not. I doubt I'll ever get over missing my father after my mother left him. And she had to leave him, there's no doubt about that. Combine some serious alcoholism with a gun and you gotta get out of there. And she did and she was brave to do it and there was no choice and the daddy I missed wasn't real and the real one could conceivably have killed me and my mother and my brother, given one push further towards the edge of insanity, but you know. A little girl wants a daddy and that's all there is to it.
Which is why having a stepfather who took that incredibly innocent vulnerability and need and abused the hell of it for his own personal insanities made it even all the more horrendous and this is how dysfunction (such a nice, tidy, scientific word) occurs: one messed up situation leading to another which leads to the establishment of really unhealthy patterns of behavior and hell...where I am going with this?

Yesterday I listened to our president speaking about what's going on in Congress and I thought about something John Lennon said in one of his last interviews about government. He said that every four years we elect a new daddy and I think he's right.
Obama spoke calmly and without rancor. He tried to walk the thin line between scaring the shit out of us about what's going to happen if the US goes into default and making us all very aware of the dangers of that. He named names. He made his refusal to sit down and negotiate with the petulant bad-seed children who have arisen from the Tea Party quite clear. He was strong, he was firm, he was reasonable.
I wished he was my daddy.
I'm glad he's our country's daddy at the moment.
We, as a nation, have gotten into some extremely unhealthy and dysfunctional patterns of behavior and now it's gotten to the point where the health of the country is clearly at stake. "This is not how democracy works," the president kept saying.


It's John Lennon's birthday. I should post one of his joyful songs because this is not the anniversary of his death but of his birth but instead, I find myself thinking of this song which is one of his most painful. Still, I think it is one of his most beautiful songs because it comes straight up from a time of deep suffering with unwavering honesty.

All lives hold those times, as do the lives of countries and so much of the pain and the unhappiness and suffering, whether of individuals or of countries, come about through disease, bad choices, selfishness, and dare I say it? Religion and the way it is used to brainwash the masses, which is one of the tools in the Tea Party's tool box along with fear (death panels?) and flat-out lies which are all being used to great advantage.
There will always be people like that. Too many of them.
But there will also be those who are born to speak the truth, no matter what, no matter how painful the message is.
May they forever be honored and their voices never stilled.

I miss John Lennon. I did not have a daddy but I had, in some way, John Lennon. So did we all.
And as with all truth-tellers, whether of artists or presidents, their messages, their voices, do not die.


  1. I love you, Sister Moon. I could name 70 amazing things about you, too.

  2. I wanted to write something profound about fathers and how you've prevailed without one, but I can't seem to get past the fact that I JUST NOW realized that my father is the same age as John Lennon. Freaking me out for some reason...

    So nothing profound. I'll send you a hug instead.

  3. Without candor? Don't you mean without rancor?

  4. I miss John Lennon too. He would have been such a dynamic 70-some year old. Your words on President Obama were quite impressive. I don't know why people don't realize how lucky we are lucky to have someone with such grace and subtle strength.


  5. Whoops, an extra "lucky" got in there, but that won't really hurt anything.


  6. oh. what a heavy deep sadness this all brings to my heart, set to the perfect music. It's a gray morning here, I miss those fiercely blue skies but you comes and it goes.

  7. Ach, Mary. I don't know about the substiture daddies. I liked Obama so much, but he is sending drone bombs to fall on little children in other countries, he's continuing to give military support to countries that use child soldiers... CHILD SOLDIERS. He's supporting Monsanto''s crusade of evil and letting them into your food unlabelled.

    I don't know if he's the daddy I want anymore. I want Patrick Stewart. I want Neil Gaiman.

    None of that's going to make you feel any better though. So... it doesn't get any better, but the acuteness of it will pass again. We know this, at least.

  8. I believe having a loving daddy is one of the most important factors in establishing a child's well-being for a lifetime. It breaks my heart that you didn't have that, but gladdens my heart that your children and grandchildren do!

    You know I believe everything you said about politics and religion, so I don't need to comment on that.

    I will say that one of the big thrills in my life came when I was twelve years old and realized I had been born on John Lennon's birthday ~ actually, it's still a pretty big thrill! I grew up with him and his music and it continues to have a huge impact on my life. Thanks for honoring him, as you often do.

  9. I wonder what John would think as well. I do like the President and think that he does care. He is a smart fellow so hopefully there is a plan that he is going to pull off to get us out of this mess. I hope so.

  10. Thank you for reminding me. I've lost my mojo for revolution lately and John Lennon always reminds me who I am. So sad. I love Obama too - such a difficult position.

  11. Ah, sometimes my hubby sings this one, it's so evocative... (he plays the guitar, that was part of his attraction! )My daddy left us for another family and repeated that story several times...I never got to have it out with him really, but did tell him to try to stick it out with the last family and kid he had...he did...and I have a baby sister who is 21! I love her, and am still getting to know her... life....

  12. Dear Mary, such a painful yet beautiful post. Here is the thing: You stopped that dysfunction with you. You took what you suffered and you created something different and whole and good in its wake, and if ever you doubt it, look at your children, look at your grandchildren, feel your tall man's arms around you, and also look right here, in this place, to which we each and all make our daily pilgrimage, because your love and wisdom and profanity, and willingness to call it exactly like you see it, heals us, heals me every single day. I love you. I so hugely do.

  13. I cannot say one word better than Angella so I won't even try. Just ditto every single thing she said to you x 100. Sweet Jo

  14. Gradydoctor- You made my day. You and your good man of a sweet daddy. Thank you.

    The Bug- Some people are ageless and timeless. This is the profound truth.

    Anonymous- Thank you. I need a damn editor. Obviously. So seriously. Thanks.

    Georgie- We can use all the luck we can get.

    Ms. Yo- It was gray here today too until the late afternoon. A grieving sort of day. I suppose we need them.

    Jo- When you compare this daddy to the one we had before, we just have to hope that he truly does know what he's doing. That he is doing the best he can. I know there are things going on that I don't understand, don't like. But. So much better than the last.

    Lulumarie- Oh, happy birthday Beautiful Woman! It is no coincidence that you share a birthday with John Lennon. Two beautiful souls. Love from me. I hope it has been a good day of celebration for you.

    Syd- I know he's not magic but he is smart. Bless him. And I think he's good.

    Anonymous- John was a good preacher and a good comforter and a good inspirer. Weren't we lucky to have him?

    Big Mamabird- I have a feeling that I have half-siblings I will never meet. Life is so odd. Men can be so cruel and misguided. Sad for us all.

    Angella- You are a comfort and a joy to me. I thank you for coming here. I love you in some deep, special way. Thank you.

    Sweet Jo- And you, too. So much.

  15. Or maybe WITH candor. :)

    Obama isn't perfect but I'm pretty happy with him as a president. I think he has the perfect demeanor for a national leader and he's a great communicator. Seriously, I'd elect him again. These Tea Partiers just need to bite the bullet and realize they're on the losing end of things. People don't agree with them!

    Rick Scott. My god, don't even get me started.

    As for John Lennon, it is so shocking to think that he'd be 73. It would be interesting to see what he'd be like as an older person. I'm guessing he'd be more in-your-face than Paul McCartney, though I admire Paul a lot too.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.