Sunday, April 27, 2008

For Marmelade. Just Imagine.

I was preparing a post for one of my other blogs, Yummy Biscuits, when it occurred to me that the man I was writing about was British, a lad from Liverpool. And so it seems this is a more apt place to put this little piece. The post is for Marmelade, whom Yummy Biscuits simply adores like a little puppy dog. His tail starts to wagging (19 to the dozen, of course!) whenever she walks into the room. He's not alone in this happiness, of course; Marmelade makes a lot of boy's tails start to wag when she's around.

There was once a young man from Liverpool who didn't quite fit in. He was a few years older than I, and much more worldly. We lived worlds apart and never met directly, although he was to die much closer to me than he was born. He knew from an early age that what he wanted to do in life was make music. Later in life, he would use that gift of music to draw the world's attention to the injustices and inequalities that he saw going on around him. At the end, when he was killed by a madman in my own country, his music had long become secondary to the causes of justice he espoused.

When I think of John Lennon, whose music I came of age to, listening to it on the radio every 10 minutes, I strangely no longer think automatically of the Beatles. The Beatles were only together for a few years, after all. John outlived—and outgrew—the Beatles by many years. And of all his music, there is one song that I usually associate with him and what he stood for and what he hoped the world might someday become. With this one song, he put into words the dream of my entire generation.

Today, when I was thinking of John, and of this special song, Yummy's mind suddenly became focused on Marmelade. She just seemed to fit easily and naturally into the picture. Her youth and her passion for justice stirred musty memories in Yummy's brain. Memories of when his own generation thought they could and would change the world; memories of things we were willing to die for if necessary. Passion. For a while, Yummy felt truly alive again. Yes, Marmelade is a flower child, Yummy thought, somehow magically transported into the future. Yummy remembers the Summer of Love well. Youth. We'd live forever. We'd fight and never lose.

Marmelade, I think, and others like her who still carry the torch we lit so long ago in the 1960s, is the immortality of our dream. It makes me very happy inside to know that, although the faces of the soldiers have changed, the good fight still goes on. And, as strange as this may seem, although Soldier John and Soldier Marmelade probably never even lived one minute on earth together, I feel he wrote these words for her.

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
A 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


  1. maxi, you always see the most beautiful qualities in me. although, i have to say i'm not really an activist, i'm just a girl with firm beliefs. some of them are more universal than others. i wish i would find a way to share it with the world. oh wait, i'm writing a book! although, you have no clue how many people consider me a phoney. and an equally amount share my ideas and inspire me to strive to be better.

    wouldn't we be great if we were just one big country all of us? we would be so much closer together! and people wouldn't require a visa to go to the us of a. :-P and people wouldn't be so territorial and they wouldn't have to die for a piece of land with a lot of petrol underneath. there are tens of million stateless people because of this wars, that from the administrative point of view they don't EXIST, nobody wants them, nobody claims them. There are only 34 countries who acknowledge human rights to stateless people. so don't get me started!

    oh yeah, and we have to get rid somehow of religion. i believe humans are intrinsically good. they don't need to live with the fear that some bearded guy will strike them if they don't "behave".

    but maxie, isn't lennon sort of a commie, hmm? :-)

  2. @Marmelade

    Yeah, maybe, a little. Not me though--I just want peace and.....well, you know what I want. :)

  3. Those were wonderful days. I was a student at Liverpool University at that time. A wonderful place for my first taste of living away from home.

  4. This was the best song that John Lennon ever wrote and performed, in my own humble opinion of course. Unfortunately, it's something that we all still only imagine - a world that lives as one in peace.

    I think that like Lennon we are all dreamers of some sort. Of course, I get the feeling that you, Max, are dreaming of a different type of piece than Lennon was but still ... at least you're dreaming!

  5. @a.-I know you remember. I'll bet you even know the name of Liverpool's airport, don't you? :)

    I can just picture a flower stuck in that little curl. And I know full well, although you don't really talk about it, outside a section of your own blog, that the fire hasn't gone out in you. Tolerance is great; there must be tolerance if we are to get along in this world. But when we see wrong in the world, it must NOT be tolerated: evil must be confronted. Firmly. Proactively.

    You are a treasure, dear little a.

    @Linda-Ah, the fiery one returns. For a few seconds at least.

    I think you are right about the song. We could have used you on the front lines. But you are such a baby. No memories of THAT, has she? Probably she doesn't even own any circular vinyl thingys with that little hole in the middle. So young and impressionable she is.

    And yet she has the time to sling a parting barb at the innocent and pure Max. She talks a good game, but methinks she knows if she ventures TOO close to the MAX her avatar would look like she just had a perm, so hot he is. Just sayin'...

    But big talk is ok, too. Max will take what he can get from the vermilion temptress. :)

  6. No circular vinyl thingys with the hold in the middle? You're kidding me, right? I grew up with vinyl! I remember quite well going out and buying the latest single on a 45 RPM and playing it over and over until it either got scratched, bent, or cracked from overuse! I had an extensive collection of vinyl albums, too, though I sold them all on my last trek out of California lo those many, many, many years ago! Now I just own an extensive collection of CDs but the sad thing is, I can tell you all about when CDs first came out and the very first one I bought in 1985, or was it '84? I forget exactly!

    Sir, I am flattered but I am also somewhat on the middle-aged side of things, if you would. However, all that said, I am still young enough to keep up with you!

  7. Of course I know the name of Liverpool Airport - Speke! Oh but they changed it, didn't they? Like they changed Cape Canaveral, back and forth. I remember that too...

    I really came back here to take issue about a comment from you, I have strangely only just noticed, on my 13 post. 13 seconds? Are you sure that's not too long for you?

    I'm going off line now :) Self preservation and all that.

  8. Oh, I have to take that all back.

    You've been very yummy today.

  9. The greatest compliment ever paid to me was by a writer in New York who had only encountered my online persona and imagined me grim and conservative.

    I blew into the writers conference a different wind, and she said to me "I was expecting Charlton Heston and got John Lennon".

    The man was amazing, genius and heart. To be compared to him, even in jest, was a profound honor.

  10. Well aren't you sweet. Still trying to win the women over I see. I have actually been to his house. Well not inside but I do have some pictures. I have a picture of the Strawberry fields in Central Park. Oh memories.

  11. @Linda-Keep up with me at WHAT? Sorting CD collections? I think I'll leave it at that. :)

    Although I WILL leave you with a little sickening tidbit to take to work with you:

    John's middle name was Winston, but later in life he changed it to "Ono."

    It is to barf.

    @a.-Please don't come right out and tell us what that name is; it would be so unlike you. Since you also remember the 1960s (a little) I will put that omission-and your continued abuse about my first and last ever post on your blog--down to the temperament that accompanies extreme old age.

    Yummy indeed, I am. (Picture smiley face here.)

    [Liverpool John Lennon Airport]

    @William-How good to see you again, my friend! And how very cool that you too are a fan of this man's music! Of course I was already fully aware of your excellent taste in the finer things in life. :)

    I must confess that I, too, thought you were pretty stuffy at first. But then your sense of humor made its dry appearance. It was then that I changed my opinion of you and was thereafter able to say, "Here is a really nice man, with a really terrible sense of comedic timing."

    I am honored by your visit, Mr. DeVault.

    @sassyfrass-Have you really? How cool! Post those pictures, sir. Or madam. (You sound like a lady, actually. And your overall tone is oddly familiar to me.) Are you of the Connecticut Sassifrai by any chance? Thanks for stopping by.



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