Yoko Oye.

I also follow Yoko Ono on Twitter, which was an embarrassingly huge step for me. It has taken me years to recognize the profound love than she and John shared, no matter how much it may have negatively affected John’s other relationships.

Anyway, I love it when people recognize that the first step towards peace is letting people know it’s out there. Peace exists; let us find it within ourselves first, and then learn how to spread it. Yoko, at least from her Tweets, seems like that kind of person, and I can really respect that. Plus, whatever she’s doing for “art” is a step in the right direction, so I want to praise her for actually trying.

Come to think of it, [and please excuse the shameless way I say “we” through all this, as if I were there], I have a few things for which we can at least recognize, if not praise, her.

  • Dealing with all of us Beatles freaks who wanted to do very un-Lennon/Ono-like things to her. People have been against her since the day she stepped into John’s life and came out of the woodwork. A part of me thinks that the world wouldn’t have reacted half as strongly if John had settled down with some gorgeous American blonde bimbo, just because it would have made more sense. After all, those were the “type” he’d fallen for before. But then came this Japanese slice of nothing, and suddenly he was head-over-heels for her. And instead of shaking our heads and sighing and just being happy for him, we were outraged. Not only were there tons of things wrong with her… there was nothing right about her! What did he see in her? blah blah blah. Then, to top it all off, The Beatles just *happened* to break up, and regardless of how much influence Yoko had over that in the studio, there was no mistaking the fact that John was obviously distracted and otherwise engaged. But… well, there is no “but.” The break-up was an absolute tragedy. If there was some good light about it all, though, it would be that John was [apparently] happier than ever. And as long as he was still making great music, we should have been thrilled that he had found love.
  • Dealing with John’s passing as well as she did. I cannot imagine her devastation, and frankly I’m impressed that she was able to pull through it (especially since she sort of had to carry the weight of the rest of the world’s mourning as well).
  • Pushing the boundaries. Since I haven’t really warmed up to her for very long, I haven’t seen any of the work she’s produced. I’ve heard about some of it, though, like the 8-hour video of a fly crawling up a naked woman’s body. You can’t tell me that had been done before. Yoko pushed the boundaries of art in a way that the Beatles pushed the boundaries of rock. …Ok, maybe not that much, but both are an inspiration.
  • Staying in the public eye. I used to hate her for this. Why couldn’t she just disappear back into the woodwork from whence she came, so we wouldn’t have to deal with her always talking about how amazing John was and what her new project is? In fact, I think we all sort of wished she’d shut up altogether–about peace, about art, about the Beatles, about herself… I don’t really know why. Maybe because even though we’d had 10 or 11 years, we hadn’t quite gotten used to her. Maybe we were hoping that John would get bored and call the whole thing off or make it an extended fling. But she ended up his widow, and she wasn’t going to let us ignore that.

“Oye” means “listen” in Spanish (correct me if I’m wrong–I took French), and I think Yoko deserves that from us. She’s pretty much the closest remaining piece of John that we have; maybe we should cherish that. After all that she’s been through, she hasn’t turned bitter and she’s still preaching John’s message of peace. Far from excommunicating Yoko Ono, let’s join her in wanting war to be over.

Advertisements
Yoko Oye.

Declaration of Faith

This is an essay I wrote for my senior high school lit class. The prompt was to write our “creed.”

*___*___*___*___*___*

Man’s mindscape in the dawn of time: questioning everything from his five fingers to why his fish died. From how to balance on his two feet to why plants grow, or even why he’s alive. Questions flood man’s mind–some questions have answers, but some will still remain mysteries thousands of years later. Grappling with potential answers becomes man’s main priority. Answers form the basis for his faiths, because he has the need to believe something.

It’s inevitable that at some point, man will discover new things that nix his original theories. Man will have to reform his beliefs according to these new ideas, because some instinct tells him that it is reasonable for his faith to be at least somewhat based on fact. 

Faith is a very personal topic, unique to every human being. But even so, we use external conflicts and situations to strengthen our beliefs. Our spirituality is shaped by the events and people around us all the time, and therefore it would stand to reason that it is constantly changing. Part of change is the process of doubt. True faith can never exist without doubt.

When someone is able to justify and defend his or her beliefs, it conveys the impression that those beliefs are powerful and well though-out. It also usually heightens the sensation of wanting to agree or disagree, which fuels argumentation and so continues a cycle of conflicts that strengthen one’s faith, as well as one’s doubts.

A period of doubt and questioning will lead to an even stronger feeling of faith. Once a person answers his or her own questions, wouldn’t they feel stronger, like their ideas were more powerful? But each phase of doubt is harder to overcome, because with the maturity of answering questions and even more (and more important) questions and responsibility to answer them. This, I believe, is the natural process of gaining one’s own unique faith. Every person has to go through it personally.

Faith has no reason or strength without a background of doubt. People need the balance of doubt to reason their way to faith. Doubt gives man the least sense of security of any other aspects of faith, so of course men would want to avoid it. But actually, doubt and questioning give and unmatchable power to a man’s faith. Men always have the choise to accept doubt, but most will ignore it, thinking that it weakens them or gives less meaning to their faith. In fact, it’s the opposite. Doubt offers more depth to a man’s understanding or journey to understanding religion or the possibility of a higher being.

It is part of human nature to doubt, argue, and solidify one’s own beliefs by any means possible, with the help of other people and situations. Having faith is part of human nature as well, but I believe that people don’t want to go through the process of questioning to achieve true faith. They feel that questioning would weaken them, or they’re afraid of the answers they may arrive at, or they’re afraid of not finding answers.

Also, I think that Christians play a big part in making questioning taboo. Many Christians believe that when people question their own spirituality or ideals in faith, it’s really the devil trying to tear apart their religious beliefs. This is wrong mostly because questioning is not evil in any way. But even if this is so — if the devil exists and is trying to break people’s faiths — it only makes it more meaningful when people overcome doubt. People might feel like they’ve defeated an inner demon. Regardless, regaining answers and beliefs should lead to an even more powerful level of spirituality.

Questioning never ends, so perhaps the time of strongest faith that humans ever have is at death. Even though there are very few people who claim to understand death, many have ideas about what happens when we die or about the possibility of an afterlife. Though these beliefs are mainly shaped by religious teachings, some are influenced by raw faith, strengthened by doubt.

The most faithful people are characterized by not only their moments of weakness, but also by times of undying love. This could mean love and optimism for mankind, or a vision that includes peace and happiness for the world. These people are also very well-balanced in their journeys through doubt and questioning, and strong in their beliefs and faiths. When people recognize that faith and doubt are inseparable, is becomes much easier to realize their full spiritual potential.

Declaration of Faith