From email@example.com Tue May 14 15:50:38 CDT 1996
In article <clYNB7C00iV90Lf_Ir@andrew.cmu.edu> Derek W Davison <jazz+@CMU.EDU> writes:
>did you know john lennon? this is really not meant to be a flame, but
>it puzzles me how we can say that we loved someone who we never met, and
>who wouldn't have known us if we passed him on the street.
Yes, I did know him.
And somehow he knew me, as well...knew me well enough to have described elements of my life to me before they ever happened, and to put them into lyrics that vibrate with truth.
Of course I didn't know the boy his mother or aunt knew; nor the man who made himself an indivisible part of an artistic foursome. I don't know the inner workings of those relationships---their secrets, their dreams.
I certainly don't know the man who gave up what seemed (to some) to be a perfect world (professionally and privately) for a woman who inspired him to a sense of inner harmony...even if some folks couldn't always follow his logic, or hear his message.
I don't pretend to know all that.
But what I *do* know about John is accessible to me as it is to you, and the medium is his music. Your soul has only to be open to perceive it.
And it's enough of a knowledge to make me mourn his passing. And mourn the lost opportunities...I never had a chance, you see, to adequately return the great favor he and his musical compatriots gave us through their art.
There's an analogy to this---the obvious one reminding you that people claim to know or love God, or whoever's a stand-in for God, having never met him/her/it/them. But in light of John's infamous remarks about religion one innocent March day just thirty years ago, perhaps I'd better not bring that up. :-)
Perhaps another mythological/religious analogy, one that didn't become clear to me till just this moment.
In the Passover service, which one reads at home with one's family and friends, there's a moment where the "wicked child" mocks the words of the Haggadah, and distances himself (or herself) from the historical events long past. "What do these words mean *to you*?" he/she taunts... because he/she cannot possibly see the personal relevance of ancient persecution and deliverance.
And if his/her soul cannot capture that relevance---the immediacy of one's connection to the past, including the pasts of people you never really knew firsthand---then the symbols of the ceremony remain elusive and dim.
It's a warning...or a promise. A promise is more positive: the hope that such unknowable, remote mysteries can indeed be discerned, once you break down the illusory barriers of time and distance.
The truths Lennon felt and sang to us are closer than antiquity...and just as timeless.
Do you think you don't have enough knowledge of the man to really *know* John Lennon? To feel sorrow that he's gone? To enjoy the irreverence and rebellion of his life? To see the analogue of this complex man in yourself?
If you've heard his words, you do. If you know how to love, you do.
It doesn't get much easier than that. :-)
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