Where peace begins

Jennifer Kingsley
October 9, 2016

Yoko Ono: Post 1 of 2. Some days are hard to believe. I find myself here at this table, writing out a wish for peace, choosing an IMAGINE PEACE button, and preparing to meet Yoko Ono. I’m at Harpa, Reykjavik’s iconic concert hall swathed in a glass honeycomb. The man who designed that honeycomb is in this room along with three other artists who are about to be honoured with the LennonOno Grant for Peace. The room is lit with candles. We are offered sandwiches, tea, coffee, and plates of beautiful chocolates. Today was John Lennon’s birthday, and it’s the tenth consecutive year that Yoko has made a trip to Iceland to light the Imagine Peace Tower she created in his honour (more to come on that gorgeous moment). As the awards ceremony begins, Yoko teeters out on stage, clad in black sunglasses, a black hat, and several layers of black clothing. We stand and applaud. She lets the hosts and artists do most of the talking; they speak of de-education, struggle, and being heard. The mayor of Reykjavik explains that “Yoko tries to reach peace by reaching people’s hearts, and that is the exact place where peace begins.” Each person who steps to the mic addresses Yoko directly and tenderly. I feel as though we are all in her living room having tea.

After the artists have accepted their awards, Yoko speaks to us all like friends. “Each one of us has gone through so much, and now we’re saying – why don’t we just share it?” We’re invited to ride with her by boat to the island where we will imagine peace together and commemorate John Lennon and the love he shared with Yoko.
This too is a story of the north.

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An "Imagine Peace" button.