Imagine. Imagine a wall all philosophical and colorful. It’s easy if you try.
Imagine. Imagine a wall dedicated to the great John Lennon and his ideals. It isn’t hard to do.
Imagine. Imagine present day incarnations of the Beatles. A John, Paul, George and Ringo. I wonder if you can.
Imagine a wall, where the writings change every day , and all the people out there are living for today!
Imagine. You may say I’m a dreamer, but thankfully enough I’m not the only one.
There is a place in Prague, right opposite the quiet and beautiful French Embassy office, called the John Lennon Wall. It is probably one of the most beautiful and meaningful corners of a street that I have ever come across. The wall, although it has become a major tourist attraction and a commercial hot spot for Prague tours, and selfie fanatics it still is as raw and beautiful as it can get. Unlike many others who visit Prague and pay a glance and a few selfie and posed pictures to the wall, I went there five times while I was there. Five times and stayed each time for almost four to five hours. People might think I am crazy. But that’s not true. That wall deserves many more visits.
First of all it’s a new place every time, because the writings keep changing (except for a few legendary graffiti, which have stood the test of times and will always remain untouched). Every day hundreds of people come and write out their hearts onto the wall. Old men philosophize, young spread love and the visionaries spread heartfelt messages about value of life and cultures and about war and peace. Every day I saw new people there, new thoughts, new color, new paintings a new life stroked on to the wall that truly is immortal now.
But that was not all, there are 4 musicians who I believe are pretty much the modern day incarnations of the spirit of the original fab four. They sang with the most melodious voices the songs of Beatles, Lennon’s classics and some other virtuous and legendary songs from the 60’s and 70’s. Their music brought to life in the most sublime sense the ideals of the era of 60’s music – peace, harmony, love, equality, liberty. For me it was just 5 days of live music by a colorful wall, for them it’s their livelihood. Just imagine, four people whose passion for music and the legends keep them going come summer or snow; spreading music and happiness in turns to the jovial tourists, travelers and the locals who happen to pass by, and that’s how they earn a majority of their living!
To be honest, that wall had started to mean something a lot more than just a live music show by a colorful wall for me (by the second visit). It was where I saw the many possible faces of humanity (for the wall was flooded with travelers and tourists from around the world). It was a place where I could think about brave thoughts and literally use the phrase that “I had seen the writings on the wall”. It was a place which gave me evidence of how things which hold meaning in life never dies out. But I also used to wonder about the dark side. Sometimes the place used to get flooded by tourists who just wanted their pictures taken in front of the wall, not bother about what it stood for or the music that those grateful musicians played. They didn’t care to tip the musicians, or hang around to hear a few of their songs, or even bother to read the wall or write anything meaningful onto it. Perhaps for them it was just another site in Prague. Perhaps that’s what the place felt like for everyone. But I guess that’s how the world is today. We have become more ‘self-aware’ and not in a good way.
On my last visit to that wall, which also happened to be a hard day for Michal (one of the musicians who played by the wall, and now one of my good friends) since many didn’t care for the music at all, I truly realized over a brief conversation with Michal what that wall truly stood for. It was just another place on earth that provided opportunity for people from around the globe and nearby to come spend some fun time with friends, create some memories and listen to some good music. But was it just that I wondered, it seemed to stand for a place that presented thoughts from around the world changing everyday while the musician through his music transcended time to five decades back. Or maybe I was spending way too much time there and was engrossed way too much into the phenomenon we know as The John Lennon Wall.
If I lived in Prague, I would still go there for an hour every day!