30 Years Ago Today: John Lennon & Strawberry Fields.

Via Jay Winston
on Dec 8, 2010
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Update: 31! ~ ed.

I read the news today, oh boy….Thirty years ago today, I woke to find out that John Lennon had been shot outside of his apartment building in New York. He was 41 and dead, I was 14 and hating life. But I loved the Beatles, particularly the really weird, psychedelic stuff that seemed to provide a momentary escape from my adolescent misery.

My favorite Beatles song is Strawberry Fields Forever…which isn’t so much about drugs…as countless wasted teenagers, or ex-wasted teenagers will tell you, or about some specific place in Liverpool that had some specific importance in John Lennon’s specific life, as countless music trivia nerds will tell you, though both may be in the mix. What it’s about, I think, is having a place in the mind to go where everything’s okay. (There are a bunch of Lennon songs about that, actually, including the very early, and lovely There’s a Place) (and, admittedly, drugs have served for many, including Lennon himself, as a way to get there)….

But this one takes it a step further, to acknowledge the one big problem with that place…which is not, actually, that it isn’t real. That’s part of the appeal, in fact, and precisely the reason there’s nothing to get hung about. The trouble is, no matter how many times you say let me take you down, or to how many people, you can only ever be alone there…that is you can’t you know tune in but it’s alright, that is I think it’s not too bad. Any real connection, as Lennon realized…and, eventually, so did I…requires setting out from that safe, comfortable space…

*part of this article appeared, in a different form, a long time ago, at Yoga for Cynics*


About Jay Winston

Jay S. Winston, founder and proprietor of Yoga for Cynics (http://yogaforcynics.blogspot.com), has a PhD in English, making him the kind of doctor who, in case of life-threatening emergency, can explain Faulkner while you die, is currently (semi-)(un-)employed as a freelance writer and editor, teaches creative writing to homeless men, tutors recovering addicts in reading, was recently certified as a Kripalu yoga teacher, gets around mostly by bicycle, is trying to find an agent for his novel, resides in the bucolic Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, State of Mildly Inebriated Samadhi, U.S.A. and, like most people who bike and practice yoga, used to live in Boulder.


3 Responses to “30 Years Ago Today: John Lennon & Strawberry Fields.”

  1. Mojo says:

    Strawberry Fields was the name of a orphanage in Lennon's town when he was a boy .. a place a refuge for children.

  2. help_English says:

    30 years ago….oh, I miss you John!!

  3. Sara says:

    He was 40 when he was killed.