As Lennon Would Agree, Give Peace a Chance
Wonder what John Lennon would have looked like at 70? What causes he would be writing songs about? Would he have been a staunch environmentalist? Befriended the paparazzi? Continuously requested that we imagine a better world?
There were those who thought he was rather paranoid when he said the FBI had a file on him. He was right. The polarization we are experiencing in our country today is quite similar to what Lennon experienced decades ago. Yet his legacy of possibilities lives on. As he grew into himself, he became a man of all nations.
Now the legacy of seeing through a better, clearer lens had been passed to his children. This week will be the start of Lennon’s 70th birthday remembrance celebrations around the world. What better way to begin than with a photographic exhibit of older son Julian’s creative work?
Julian has John’s looks, manner, and honesty. He is able to discuss the relationship with his iconic father in a balanced and positive way, one that can be used as a model for other sons and daughters struggling with childhood disappointments and hurtful memories.
The father-son similarities are striking. John’s mother left when he was five years old, and John left Julian and his first wife Cynthia when the boy was five. John’s mother died suddenly when she was struck and killed by a car. John was seventeen. The murder of John Lennon that reverberated around the world happened when Julian was seventeen.
Both John and Julian were isolated and felt abandoned. Asked to comment on the repeating patterns, Julian stated that he was well aware of the connections and decided to live his life differently so the patterns would not be so easily repeatable.
What is so fascinating is the fact almost all of us have inter-generational patterns that have come through our histories and, if observed, understood and transformed, offer a way out of the repeating and repeating and repeating what is just under the surface of our behavior.
Julian, an artist of many talents like his dad, is giving all of us a birthday gift from the Lennon family. We can learn new ways to rethink relationships; where there have been bad beginnings and misunderstandings that end up stuck in negativity and dissension, change is possible.
Julian was angry through much of his younger life; he felt discounted and specifically mentioned how hurt he was when John gave up music to look after his half-brother Sean. “Why didn’t he do that for me?” was the thought of a pre-teen twelve-year-old whose dad was idolized out there in the world, yet had no connection with his son at home.Continued on the next page