Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Love Cheats Death Every Time

It is December the eighth which means two things to me.

One, I was married the first time on that date in 1975. Thirty-four years ago. The marriage lasted long enough for us to produce two children who have made my life so much more interesting and loving and joyful than anything I could ever have imagined. And I am still friends with that man, even if the marriage didn't last very long. He is a good man and I am grateful that he is still in my life in very positive ways.

The second thing I always think about on December 8th is John Lennon's murder. I don't want to talk about that. It was a very, very bad thing that happened and I still mourn him and I still love him and I miss him so much.
But I remember him on this day and I have to mark it because it is important to me. A lot of dreams died the day he was shot and a few of them were mine and they involved my marriage.

I love the picture you see there of John and his wife, Yoko Ono, which was taken right before he died and which says everything to me: Be naked and don't be afraid to love, no matter what the world says. Every love is different and every heart can find its mate.

John could have married any super model in the world. He could have married a princess or the daughter of a president (and wouldn't that have been crazy? John Lennon marrying, oh, Richard Nixon's daughter Tricia?) but he chose a Japanese artist named Yoko which the world, believe me, did not approve of.

But he loved that Japanese artist and before he died, they had created a child together and spent some years at home raising that child and baking bread and being a mother and a father and I can't but think that John did an awful lot of healing in those years with that wife he called "Mother," that woman he loved. And then, they went into the studio together and created one of my very favorite albums of all times, Double Fantasy. If you've never listened to it, I am sorry for you. It was and is amazing and honest and it has saved my life on more than one occasion.

So I am celebrating the life of John Lennon on the anniversary of his death. I am celebrating his music and I am celebrating the love he had for his wife and their child. That beautiful boy.

The Beatles said, "All you need is love," and I believe John meant that. It may sound simplistic and it may sound trite, but when you get right down to it and really know what love is, nothing truer can be said.

And on December 8th, I think about Yoko so much. John was released. It was tragic. But his pain did not last for long while Yoko has had to live with hers for all these years.

I give you this. I hope you watch and listen because there is something so deeply and profoundly moving about it.

Love is all you need. Woman is the other half of the sky. A bullet ended a life. It did not begin to end what John Lennon created, either publicly or privately and I send this out to Yoko who loved him into something very much like peace. Love is always good, even if a marriage ends, even if a world doesn't understand a marriage. Fuck that shit.
Be naked.
Love. And don't be afraid.


  1. What a fantastic post! I'm sending it to a young friend who is going through a divorce and needs it. This is perfection!

    I remember all of that so well and also value that album.

  2. Great post and excellent points, all of them. You are right, they just did NOT care. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. DTG- I am not surprised. We are, after all, connected.

    Ms. Fleur- Yes.

    Joy- There are good things about being as old as I am.

  4. Glimmer- But they had to survive the slings and arrows and you know some of them had to pierce their hearts. But their love armored them. I believe that.

    Mel- Love and light. That's it, baby.

  5. Dear John - loved his smile, love his wit, loved his words. J

  6. Love the post. Love John Lennon. Love Yoko Ono. Love that song. I used to have it on a tape that my boyfriend at the time made for me. I loved him, too. When I lived in NYC, I lived on 73rd, right around the corner from the Dakota. Even though it was well past his time, his presence was so a part of that neighborhood -- I will always remember a black and white portrait/photo of him that hung in the little dusty pharmacy drugstore on Columbus. Thanks for the reminder --

  7. Hello twin, I came to see what's new and there is the same photo I posted today on my blog. Different, but the same.

    Yes, love. If I were offered anything in the world I swear that is the only thing I would take. I would rather die hungry than not feeling love. I thought of you yesterday and about Owen and how you offered to hold him instead of his Mamma, and I thought no, let the nurse hold him. He should only associate comfort and love with you two. When the world is as the world can be, he should know always that you and his Mamma are the safe anchor to windward. Now I am going back to my bread. It rises like a morning sun in Summer, and it makes me feel worthy, of what I am not sure, but it takes some of the chill out of this cold night. Sending you love as always. And don't get out of bed and go wandering around barefoot. Sage advice, follow it.

  8. what an awesome, nurturing post. thank you.

  9. I still love that man. I cried so hard when he was killed. Thanks for posting the video--that is my favorite song from that album.

  10. I was so in love with Lennon as a child that my parents didn't have the heart to tell me he was dead. I used to write him letters and when I went to bed at night I would think of him in a mansion somewhere with Yoko and his sons...
    Horrible idea on my parents part. They finally told me when I was in the first grade. It was devastating.

  11. Jan- Me too. Me, too.

    Elizabeth- I went to NYC (for the first and only time- I am such a country mouse) not long after he died and I could feel him everywhere. And Yoko still lives there, right? In that same apartment at the Dakota. Bless her heart.

    Allegra- I am going to make that bread. It sounds wonderful. You always understand exactly what I'm trying, so clumsily, to say. I am grateful for that, grateful that we have found each other.

    Maggie May- Let us all thank John and Yoko for loving each other and writing about it and making music of it.

    Mwa- Indeed.

    Lois- I know. Me too.

  12. Erin- That's so sad! I am charmed, though, by your love of John Lennon as a child. The Beatles were magical and I think John had the most to do with that. Lily and I were just talking about when she fell in love with Elvis (she did!) and I had to tell her that he was dead and how he died. She looked at me with her piercing brown four-year-old eyes and said, "Well, I guess somewhere there's a big fat man buried."
    I don't think she was devastated so much as interested.

  13. and now my children are learning that love. They know that nothing compares. When my oldest daughter was first searching for something besides pop music she found our old milk crate of albums and tacked up all the Beatles and John Lennon covers on her wall. Instead of getting mad , I was so blessed to feel that that intangible something about life and what is important was making it's way into their souls too.
    I have happy and sad John Lennon and George Harrison associations. But I wouldn't trade them for anything.

  14. Love this, Double Fantasy is going to be played tonight in our house.

  15. Thank you for remembering John is such a special way. He is one of my all-time favorite teachers/idols. Definitely my favorite Beatle. George was a close second.

    I thought of him, too--always do on December 8th. I also try and keep him in my thoughts on October 9th, his birthday, since it's a way more pleasant day to think of him.

    I adore Yoko. Always will. She helped John so much, I think. She tempered him and took good care of him.

    I also love their son, Sean, and think he's a knock-out musician. I always feel like he's my friends' kid, even though he's a man now.

    Love you, Mary. Thank you so much for this lovely post.


  16. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about his murder. One of those moments I'll never forget.

  17. Deb- All my kids love the Beatles. They are the most sacred of our sacred music. I think all children really like Beatle's music. It's the sweet magic of it all.

    Daddy X- Glad to remind you! Do a little dancing with the pregnant lady. Maybe during "Starting Over."

    Ms. Bastard- Yep. I always think of John on his birthday. The most important day to remember him. Sean is almost the same exact age as DTG and once, when DTG was selling pizza in Atlanta, Sean came in and bought a slice. I wish I had a picture of that. I am so glad that John got the chance to love that boy and wrote such a wonderful song for him. I have grieved for Sean for a long time, knowing the huge whole his daddy's death left in his life.
    And I love that you love Yoko too. We are a rare and special breed.

    Michelle- Me too, darling.

  18. Poor Yoko. She's still getting crucified.

  19. Nancy- Christ you know it ain't easy...You know how hard it can be. The way things are goin', They're going to crucify me.
    Remember that?

  20. Love John, love The Beatles. Can't help but feel sorry though, for his firstborn son that he had abandoned. No matter how greatly talented one is, or how in love, abandoning a child isn't right.

  21. Angie- I agree. I am sure he lived to regret that and I believe he had just started to really try to work on that relationship when he was killed.

  22. Ah. This made me well up at work. I played it aloud when no library patrons were about and Jo my young workmate wandered over and we just both watched mezmorized.


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