I’m Not the Only One

I was born after Yesterday and before Good Morning. I missed the mania and the invasion. When the older kids were drawing their logo on book covers and bathroom stalls, I was pinning up Shaun Cassidy posters on my wall. I know more lyrics from the Bee Gees/Peter Frampton movie than I do the actual Beatle’s classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I was only 14 when John Lennon died.

In New York City on Thursday, though, I wanted to visit Strawberry Fields – a two-and-a-half acre Garden of Peace – and the IMAGINE memorial, dedicated to John Lennon. It seemed the thing to do.

We made our way up a small incline, through a crowd of tourists and a tour group being led by a man waving a giant red hand in the air. There were Vietnam vets at a card table selling Peace buttons, and a few people sitting on benches with guitars. Three teenage girls posed for joyful photos, while a woman who looked like Joan Baez slowly outlined the mosaic tiles with her fingers.

I snapped a few photos in between arms and legs, and started to walk away, when I heard the first few notes of that song. Tears caught in my throat and I remembered.

I may have been too young, or too preoccupied by Tiger Beat, to have been part of the fan club, but I was not too young to absorb the beautiful idealism and heartfelt intentions of the man or the movement. It is a part of who I am and how I see the world.

For better or for worse, it is how I see the world.

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

12 thoughts on “I’m Not the Only One

  1. I will never forget him, or them – all four of them have contributed so much to a better world consciousness… I was in the fifth grade (1963) when The Beatles “invaded” America and they are an integral part of my life, thank goodness!

  2. I was 29 when John Lennon was shot and killed. I was/am a huge fan of the Beatles and the Fab Four as individual musicians. They were/are a big part of my life and my memories.
    Imagine all the people, living life in peace…

  3. genuine faith in Christ does give actual peace-countless people throughout the ages have experienced life giving peace….

    1. On an individual level, I am sure one can find peace in many ways. But wasn’t Lennon referring to collective peace? Sadly, it’s the things that divide us – religion, politics, resources, labels – that keep us away from that true, world-wide peace.

  4. Of course I’ve heard of the Lennon memorial — unlike you, I remember vividly Sgt. Pepper and his lonelyhearts club band (although I was a little old to be so smitten). But I realize seeing your photo that I’ve never ever SEEN it, or even IMAGINED what it might look like!
    He and his wife really did come from somewhere else as much as from here.

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