As any Beatles or specifically Harrison fan knows, this time of year is all about George. He would have turned 70 this year. A few months ago, I learned that a Harrison fan community was organising a large exhibition in Liverpool in celebration of this significant anniversary.
As with anything Harrisonian or Beatles related, before I celebrated my heart sank. Things like that are still special, but now they’re tinged for me. Circumstances have marked them with a slight sadness that I do not now have the chance to joyfully talk of such things with Chris, and discuss the merits of this or that design.
However, this time I decided to move beyond the pain, and honour George and Chris at the same time. I designed a George-specific maṇḍala, showing all the things that were important to him in his life, and borrowed a line from one of his songs. I altered it slightly, as it was originally a birthday song for John Lennon. I wrote the message around the edge, and then the design was finished, barring adding a bit of colour, which I did with watercolour pencils.
Being a writer, you might think I’d be good with words for this kind of occasion. I have to say, it was more difficult than I expected to find the right words for myself and for Chris. It is interesting to me that George’s music has strengthened me since Chris passed away, as it gave her strength when she was on the planet.
So, it was that I honoured with my message inside the card. In the early design stages, I became aware that I would eventually have to explain why I had signed the card from myself and Chris. I wrote a brief note, explaining an abridged version of the story, and promptly forgot to include it in the card.
A couple of hours after realising my mistake, I sent a Facebook message to the organisers of the event, and informed them. I received a very nice reply, assuring me that Chris would be acknowledged in the list of contributors.
Until Tuesday (19th February) I did not know just how. I logged into Facebook, and clicked through to the page to find:
The blessings of being involved with a community dedicated to one of the most charitable musicians ever to walk the planet. Makes me a little misty, thinking about it.
The message inside the card reads:
Happy Birthday! Your life, music and spiritual teachings continue to inspire me and influence the way I live my life. It is a gift to know you through your songs. Thank you for the gift of so many songs that gave us the strength to face life as it is.
We send you all our loving,
Casey and Chris
Wishing you peace and strength on your journeys,