"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dear Mr. J. Lennon ... IMAGINE

3/17 - Imagine
Dear Mr. J. Lennon -

I hope that you aren’t opposed to my formality, but I honestly don’t know how to refer to you. I remember sitting at my dining room table, eating a peanut butter, honey, and raisin sandwich after a day in the 2nd grade, and hearing announced over New York talk radio, WOR that you had been shot. My mom gasped, and I dropped my sandwich and turned to look at her, framed by the gray December light coming in through the kitchen window. She rushed to the alarm clock radio, and turned up the buzzing, crackling WOR to hear the story. She stared in complete dismay, as it unfolded; you were shot and killed by an obsessive man while Yoko Ono had to stand by and watch the life drip out of you. “That Bastard,” my mom gasped. I watched the horror creep onto her young face.

“Did he die mommy,” I asked sadly singing “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” in my head, trying to decipher what “tangerine trees and marmalade skies” felt like; I wanted to taste them.

“He did,” she said sadly. I would imagine that my memory of your death is similar to the experience that countless people had when they heard of the assassination of JFK. I’ll never forget it, and I was just a little girl in braids. “Maybe he’s with Lucy now,” I said, “she has kaleidoscope eyes, mom.” “Maybe.” My mom smiled at me.

I am writing with hopes that you can help me clarify something. If “All You Need is Love” as you so beautifully put it, and love is the answer to all problems, then how can I use it to cure this mental affliction? For instance, in How to Be Happy, Dammit: A Cynics Guide to Spiritual Happiness by Karen Salmansohn, she states that “life lesson # 41 is Prozac Schmozac. Love is the Drug.” I bet you would agree, as do I, but I am conflicted.

Salmansohn says:
“Love is what you’re always looking for in all the things you’re looking for. Even your yearning for sex is really a dyslexic search for love. You know it. Ad agencies know it. Love is the #1 marketing strategy, used as a promise in ad campaigns for products from cars to toothpaste to floorwax. And all this lovemania reminds you of a Zen saying: 'Basically the Archer aims at himself.' If you are not a happy person inside you, then nothing outside you will ever make you happy and able to feel love. This makes sense because you know already from lesson # 27 how the world is your mirror. It thereby makes sense that if you can increase how happy and loving you feel about yourself on the inside, the more happiness and love you will see and attract from the world around you to you.”

Love radiates; It’s an energy that not only can you feel but you can see. I think that a person who truly loves herself/himself exudes light that attracts others. Do you think that to knock down the self-loathing that is the scaffolding in mental illness, it isn’t necessary to alter the chemistry of the brain with psychiatric medicine? Do you think there is a universal love energy that can be tapped into that is much stronger than any superficial medication? Is it the same mind-over-matter collective energy that you and Yoko were talking about when you protested, “WAR IS OVER! If you want it.” “If you want it” is such a profound statement; if you want something bad enough, and direct your energy into it, it will happen. Right?

Love and Peace,

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