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A World At Peace: Imagine w/John Lennon & Esperanza Spalding

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It was 72 years ago on Tuesday, that Sergeant Pepper's co-creator was born to play. John Ono Lennon, MBE, born John Winston Lennon, on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, would have been 72, had it not been for a deranged lunatic taking his life outside his New York City apartment building, the Dakota, on December 8th, 1980.

On John’s birthday, Tuesday, October 9th, 2012, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, in Kansas City is presenting, Grammy Award winning, Esperanza Spalding. Featuring music from her fourth studio album, Radio Music Society. Proceeds from the merchandise sold during Esperanza’s, Radio Music Society North American Tour, fall 2012, will benefit the Innocence Project.

Tickets are on sale now, online at: http://www.kauffmancenter.org/ or call: (816) 994-7222.

Consequently, Spalding, had the year’s best selling album worldwide by a new jazz artist. Numerous awards and appearances followed, including an invitation by President Barack Obama to appear at both the White House and the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

All across the world, Beatle fans are honoring the peace loving Lennon by visiting memorials en masse, attending prominent locations where statue’s were unveiled and making treks to peace gatherings. Two of these places, in particular, one in Liverpool, England and the other in Reykjavik, Iceland.

ENGLAND: On this day in 2010, Liverpudlians and guests, celebrated with John's first wife, Cynthia, and Lennon's eldest son, Julian, unveiling a $350,000, 18-foot structure, designed specifically in John's honor. Many peace loving men and women will gather again, this year.

The 18ft high monument, entitled "Peace & Harmony" takes pride of place in Chavasse Park at the Liverpool ONE shopping centre. and it’s dedication was witnessed by 2,000 dignitaries and fans. Commissioned by the Global Peace Initiative, it was created by American artist Lauren Voiers in Phoenix, Arizona. Sculptor Lauren was asked by Julian to incorporate within the monument’s design, a white feather, which is a symbol of both his father's spirit and of peace. The art work has a globe at its base with musical notes and a guitar spiraling upward with a keyboard wrapped around the globe. It is topped by a dove of peace holding a white feather in its beak. There are two hands outstretched to the sky, doves of peace and a white feather. Julian was quoted as saying, One of the things my father said to me was that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be OK, it was by, in some shape or form, presenting me with a white feather, he said. The sculpture carries the inscription "Peace on Earth for the Conservation of Life - In Honour of John Lennon 1940–1980".

ICELAND: The other peace gathering is annually in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono is responsible for fueling the peace train with the re-lighting of “The Imagine Peace Tower”. Both ceremonies were in memory of John's dedication to promote peace, worldwide.

A little over 1500 miles slightly Northwest, in Iceland, this event illuminated the war on peace. The Imagine Peace Tower is a work of art conceived by Yoko Ono as a tribute to John Lennon and a symbol of peace. This work of visual art was dedicated to John, by Yoko, on Videy Island, in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, at its unveiling October 9th, 2007, Lennon's 67th Birthday.

Since its consecration ceremony, the tribute lights are illuminated only on selected nights during the year. “The Imagine Peace Tower”, with its title inscribed on the Well in 24 Languages, is a symbol to the famous couple's dedication to peace throughout their marriage and Yoko Ono's continuing mission.

“The Imagine Peace Tower”, a five-year-old art installation composed of several strong, vertical beams of light which can reach up to 4,000 meters (13,100 feet), is lit up annually. The composition of light is naturally illuminated. The electricity is generated entirely geothermally from hot water, at the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant and is one of the reasons for situating the artwork in Iceland.

This tall shimmering tower of light is lit during selected nights during the year. The tribute is visible from October 9th (John's birthday) until December 8th (the anniversary of his death). In addition, the tower is illuminated during the Winter Solstice (December 21-28), on New Year's Eve and the first week of spring (March 21-28).

One of the alluring features of the artwork is that the strength, intensity and brilliance of the light from the Imagine Peace Tower continually changes with the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions unique to Iceland, creating a clear pillar of light on a cloudless night, iridescent in the rain or snow, and brilliantly reflecting off and through any layers of cloud.

One of several definitions of peace is, " ...a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations.". The prior description is achieved by yet another definition of peace, "...cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension or freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquility; serenity.". True peace comes from within. Then, and only then, can one attempt to infect the world with this personal freedom from strife.

Symbolism in peace is all well and good, but, "...faith, without works, is dead." - James 2:17. So, then is attempting a dramatic change toward world peace without human interaction and effecting change. According to scripture, if we have an attitude of gratitude, or thankfulness, then we will experience God's peace, personally. “Then, God's peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6,7

John Lennon's legacy of promoting peace has endured for almost 30 years, comparatively, God's endowment of peace, more than 10,000 years. The prophet Isaiah wrote about God's peace, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you." - Isaiah 26:3. Words of wisdom.

The gifts that the world has given in honor and memory of John Lennon and other notorious peacemakers is certainly a step in the right direction, but, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, said, "I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And, the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don't be troubled or afraid." - John 14:27. True peace can be found but only if we seek the truth and let it permeate our entire lives.

Symbolic of Lennon's 'Give Peace a Chance' legacy, it wasn’t too long ago, family members came together for a rare gathering, sharing warm hugs, including his first and second wives, Cynthia Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as her son Sean Lennon, in order to show support for Julian Lennon's photography exhibit in New York City, which opened on September 17th, 2010, at the Morrison Hotel Gallery and ran through October 17th, 2010.

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Other notes & resources:

http://imaginepeacetower.com/

www.examiner.com/faith-kids-family-in-kansas-city/imagine-peace-towers-a...

www.kauffmancenter.org/

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