Saturday, December 8, 2012

Forty Years and Fifty-Nine days

Today, for all those who came of age with The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, marks the 32nd anniversary of the murder of John Lennon by Mark Chapman. I'm offering that link in the interests of  further proving there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. That our two children were both born after Lennon's murder gives me pause about the world I helped give them. 

John Lennon was a part of the soundtrack of my growing up years from teen through adult. If I were being truthful, and today is probably as good a day as any to try some truth, there was a portion of his post-Beatles material that never spoke to me in quite the same way as his earlier solo work or any of the Fab Four material. 

After his five year self-imposed silence, his comeback album (which is what everyone called it at the time) in the fall of 1980, Double Fantasy, was, as I referred to it on air at the radio station I worked for, 'a decent EP' (Extended Play), with some material that didn't work for me at all. However, I always felt "Beautiful Boy" was exquisite (even more so when our own was born less than twenty month later). Obliviot that I was, I just assumed Lennon and his music would always be a part of my life (and that of any children my wife and I were to have).

How perversely ironic that he sang of 'patience' in that song and less than a month after the album's release, he would be dead. His son, Sean, the inspiration for the song was to grow up without his father (as did all of us, though to a different degree) and has worked everyday to live within and without the shadow of the legend and near-myth his father became. 

The two most challenging days over which we have the least control are today and tomorrow ("Nobody told me there'd be days like these"), but in looking at the darkness that both often have in such abundance, Lennon's music should help make our appreciation of the light and this, The Season of Light and Hope, that much more pronounced for all the days that remain whose number is unknown to each of us.
-bill kenny

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