What do John Lennon’s birthday, Paul McCartney’s Nuptials and The Imagine Peace Tower have in common? They will all be in the news, Sunday, October 9th.
It was 71 years ago today, that Sergeant Pepper’s co-creator was born to play.
John Winston (Ono) Lennon, born on Oct. 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, would have been 71 today, had it not been for a deranged lunatic taking his life outside his New York City apartment building, the Dakota, on December 8th, 1980.
All across the world, Beatle fans are honoring the peace loving Lennon by visiting memorials en masse, attending prominent locations where statue’s were unveiled and making treks to peace gatherings.
But, this year, the greatest tribute being made to John is from his former songwriting partner, Paul McCartney. According to Reuters, Paul and his betrothed, New York heiress Nancy Shevell, will be married in a civil ceremony at central London’s, Marylebone Register Office in Westminster, before 30 invited guests.
They have been given special dispensation by the council to marry on Sunday and have chosen what would have been the groom’s former bandmate, John Lennon’s, 71st birthday for their big day, the Daily Mirror said. It is the same venue where McCartney married his first wife, Linda, over 40 years ago, on March 12, 1969, following the January release of Yellow Submarine.
McCartney was happily married for 29 years to American photographer Linda Eastman, whom he described as the woman who gave him “the strength and courage to work again” after the break-up of The Beatles. Linda died of breast cancer in 1998. He said at the time that he and Linda had spent just 11 nights apart during their entire marriage. We can only hope that his love for Nancy will be even more life changing and equal to the love he gave, to Linda.
The Daily Mirror quoted a source close to McCartney as saying, The wedding is in keeping with the way Paul and Nancy have conducted their entire relationship — low-key, understated and fueled by goodwill. Neither of them want a huge fuss made and the main priority for both was family.
John Lennon’s 71st birthday will also garner peace gatherings elsewhere on the planet. Two in particular, one in Liverpool, England and the other in Reykjavik, Iceland. On this day in 2010, Liverpool celebrated with John’s first wife, Cynthia, and his son, Julian, unveiling a $350,000, 18-foot structure, designed specifically in John’s honor. Many more will gather again, this year.
The other peace gathering is annually in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono is responsible for fueling the peace train with the re-lighting of The Imagine Peace Tower. Both ceremonies were in memory of John’s dedication to promote peace.
According to ‘Click Liverpool’ reporter, Philip Coppell, Lennon’s firstborn son, Julian, along with his mother, Cynthia, unveiled the huge sculpture on this day, last year, that takes pride of place in Chavasse Park at the Liverpool ONE shopping centre. The 18ft high monument, entitled Peace & Harmony was witnessed by 2,000 dignitaries and fans. Commissioned by the Global Peace Initiative, it was created by American artist Lauren Voiers in Phoenix, Arizona. Sculptor Lauren was asked by Julian to incorporate within the monument’s design, a white feather, which is a symbol of both his father’s spirit and of peace. The art work has a globe at its base with musical notes and a guitar spiraling upward with a keyboard wrapped around the globe. It is topped by a dove of peace holding a white feather in its beak. There are two hands outstretched to the sky, doves of peace and a white feather.
Julian was quoted as saying, One of the things my father said to me was that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be OK, it was by, in some shape or form, presenting me with a white feather, he said.
A little over 1500 miles slightly Northwest, in Iceland, another event illuminated the war on peace. The Imagine Peace Tower is a work of art conceived by Yoko Ono as a tribute to John Lennon and a symbol of peace. This work of visual art was dedicated to John, by Yoko, on Videy Island, in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, at its unveiling October 9th, 2007, Lennon’s 67th Birthday.
Since its consecration ceremony, the tribute lights are illuminated only on selected nights during the year. The Imagine Peace Tower, with its title inscribed on the Well in 24 Languages, is a symbol to the famous couple’s dedication to peace throughout their marriage and Yoko Ono’s continuing mission.
The Imagine Peace Tower, a three-year-old art installation composed of several strong, vertical beams of light which can reach up to 4,000 meters (13,100 feet), is lit up every year and stays lit until December 8, the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. The composition of light is naturally illuminated. The electricity is generated entirely geothermally from hot water, at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant and is one of the reasons for situating the artwork in Iceland.
This tall shimmering tower of light is lit during selected nights during the year. The tribute is visible from October 9th (John’s birthday) until December 8th (the anniversary of his death). In addition, the tower is illuminated during the Winter Solstice (December 21-28), on New Year’s Eve and the first week of spring (March 21-28).
One of the alluring features of the artwork is that the strength, intensity and brilliance of the light from the Imagine Peace Tower continually changes with the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions unique to Iceland, creating a clear pillar of light on a cloudless night, iridescent in the rain or snow, and brilliantly reflecting off and through any layers of cloud.
One of several definitions of peace is, …a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations. . The prior description is achieved by yet another definition of peace, …cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension or freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity. True peace comes from within. Then, and only then, can one attempt to infect the world with this personal freedom from strife.
Symbolism in peace is all well and good, but much like “…faith, without works, is dead”, – James 2:17, so then is attempting a dramatic change toward world peace without human interaction and effecting change. According to scripture, if we have an attitude of gratitude, or thankfulness, then we will experience God’s peace, personally. “Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 4:6,7
John Lennon’s legacy of promoting peace has endured for almost 30 years, comparitively, God’s endowment of peace, more than 10,000 years. The prophet Isaiah wrote about God’s peace, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.” – Isaiah 26:3. Words of wisdom.
The gifts that the world has given in honor and memory of John Lennon and other notorious peacemakers is certainly a step in the right direction, but, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, said, “I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And, the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27. True peace can be found but only if we seek the truth and let it permeate our entire lives.
Symbolic of Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ legacy, last year, family members came together for a rare gathering, sharing warm hugs, including his first and second wives, Cynthia Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as her son Sean Lennon, in order to show support for Julian Lennon’s photography exhibit in New York City, which opened on September 17th, 2010, at the Morrison Hotel Gallery and ran through October 17th, of last year.
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