The widow of a man who inspired the world over has become a legend in equal measure. At 77, Yoko Ono continues to write music and carry out work for the Spirit Foundation, which she and husband John Lennon started.
In the wake of what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday on October 9, and the 30th anniversary of his murder on December 8, Ono is now curating an exhibition of his poems and drawings, which will be on display in New York City's SoHo. The exhibit is to benefit New York’s charity food organization Citymeals-on-Wheels.
Still so full of energy for her work, Ono took a few minutes to chat with Metro about continuing the legacy of Lennon’s message of world peace on Twitter.
In getting the exhibit together, did you unearth any new drawings?
There are some things I haven’t seen in a long time, but mostly I’m very aware of all the stuff because I’m working on it all the time.
Is there anything you decided to keep for yourself that will never be seen by the public?
I haven’t come across something like that yet. Most of the time, I become very involved in selecting the pieces and I always choose something I think is really good and worthwhile to share.
Every week on Twitter, you answer 50 questions submitted by your followers. Why did you decide to do that?
A: It’s a novel means of communication but still very important. Through Twitter, we can exchange our thoughts and ideas. I’m very into it.
What has been the result of interacting with people on Twitter?
Well, I think it works in some ways. Each time I’m on it, I discover people who are in one way or another from the global family of peace. I’m always trying to find an opportunity to say, ‘Imagine peace.’ Even when I don’t say that, they know that’s what I’m thinking – that’s the most important thing.
As October 9 would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday, do you ever feel weary by all the reminiscing?
It does weigh me down all the time but when I think about it, I believe this is worth doing and I think I should do it. The other side of the coin is that I do, in fact, enjoy organizing this exhibit.
Would a day ever go by without thinking of him?
This year, it was very hard not to.
In your latest single Wouldnit (I'm A Star), some of your lyrics go, ‘I let them pick my brain, twist my arm, cut my throat, wish me dead, but I am still thinking.’
I’m singing about all women. We are subjected to all sorts of abuse but our thoughts still go back to them.
In that song, what was drawn from your own experience?
That song is my experience, through and through. I had a very hard life. I’m amazed that I survived. You don’t know what widows go through. Nobody wants to be a widow. Nobody thinks that one day they’ll be a widow, but now I can meet all the other widows and realize all the other widows in the world have gone through so much. You just don’t know what they went through and still are going through. And of course it’s not just the widows. There are so many women in the world right now who are suffering or being killed, or even taking a valuable step towards freedom.
Q: What’s your favorite song by The Beatles?
A: I always listen to Beatles music. The Beatles’ songs are very good, artistically and morally. They are uplifting for youngsters and give people encouragement. I like them all in fact.