martes, 23 de agosto de 2011

John Lennon in Havana

Cast in bronze, the statue of former Beatle John Lennon keeps its human look in a quiet park in Vedado, Havana, as if he were inviting us to share a secret. On countless occasions, some enthusiastic fan, passer-by or tourist has not been able to resist the temptation of removing his round eyeglasses from which he seems to see life passing by.

With his thoughtful appearance, he seems to be thinking that peace is still possible and can be achieved amid this hell of wars and aggressions with which a handful of powerful people are trying to shatter dreams and completely erase planet Earth.

But Lennon is never alone. Or almost never, because for any Havana resident or any one coming from anywhere in the Island it is a temptation to walk through this park of leafy trees and sit beside him, who seems to be as alive as he was when he was singing or composing his best songs.

Sculptor Jose Villa even screwed the eyeglasses to his bronze Lennon once, in a vain attempt to preserve his work, the detailed image of that man who emerged from Liverpool to become unintentionally a radiant, universal symbol that belongs to all. In a futile effort, Villa has even urged the people to avoid the temptation to strip Lennon of his eyeglasses, but every now and then they are reported missing, too available and desirable a relic.

The former Beatle, in his life-size statue full of mystery and beauty, remains leaning back on his Havana bench, just a few yards from the Yellow Submarine night club and half a block from a music school where students learn to sol-fa under the protection of his company.

Our Lennon, the Cubans say, as in a tender prayer. And many visit him
daily, in a pleasant pilgrimage. Lennon is part of Havana, as Havana is part of Lennon. As Cuba was part of Hemingway, beyond his literature. They can both be found here in places you can't imagine, and not only from the bronze statues that perpetuate them.

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