“Living is easy with eyes closed,
misunderstanding all you see.”
-John Lennon

Today would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday.

I have been a huge Beatles fan since I was a kid listening to my parents records in the living room or to cassette tapes on cross country road trips. Paul used to be my favorite; now John is. I also adore George. (Ringo’s alright too.)

John Lennon was murdered thirty years ago this December in NYC. I was six months old. It was certainly the biggest tragedy of my young life. Maybe of my whole life.

He was a visionary, a musical genius, a soulful superstar.

I was accepted into the prestigious creative advertising program at UT because of John Lennon, in a way. (I used some of the “Imagine” lyrics in the graphic art project I created to apply for the program.) Of course, I became a copywriter instead of a graphic designer.

John’s music — from the early Beatles to Let It Be to his solo career — is timelessly wonderful and creative.

I recently read this fascinating series of articles about Lennon’s collaboration with Paul McCartney on Slate Magazine.

I find it beautifully touching how much John Lennon has meant to me and my generation, and of course our parents’ generation and others. His peaceful, poetic message lives on through his amazing music. “Imagine” is probably my favorite song of all time. I want it played when I die.

I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking lately. Can we be mindful and still imagine? Can we wander with wonder, without so much emphasis on attachment? Can we be busy making plans and then let life happen? Is love all we need? I personally tend to imagine naturally. And sometimes daydream or fantasize or ruminate.

Imagination is a powerful thing. Its power can be harnessed for good or evil. My current practice, the practice of a lifetime, is to balance imagination with practical reality. To balance heart and head. Find the harmony in body, mind and soul. Thanks, John, for reminding me to imagine.

“Imagine”

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
Of brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one