mardi, novembre 02, 2010

Farewell to Ted Sorensen

On October 31, Theodore C. Sorensen died at the age of 82. He was JFK's counselor and one of his closest friends; He was the living model for the "Theo" Character in my Antique White House series.

Despite of the important Role Sorensen played, both in JFK's political as well as in his personal life, he is not really well known by people who have no deeper notion of the Kennedy administration and years. Especially in Europe. This may be partly due to Sorensen himself who always made his best to put and keep Kennedy in the spotlight, all while playing his role behind the stage.
Historians and friends consent that Sorensens influence on JFK's politics was extremely important. It was Sorensen who mostly turn JFK into a liberal, by "educating" him, especially during his Senator-time. Some people even say that Sorensen should have been the one to get the Pulitzer Price for JFK's book "profiles in courage" as said work was mainly conceived by him.

Sorensens Religion was Unitarian Universalism.
"There is no single unifying belief that all Unitarian Universalists (UUs) hold, aside from complete and responsible freedom of speech, thought, belief, faith, and disposition. They believe that each person is free to search for his or her own personal truth on issues, such as the existence, nature, and meaning of life, deities, creation, and afterlife. UUs can come from any religious background, and hold beliefs from a variety of cultures or religions.
Concepts about deity are diverse among UUs. Some have no belief in any gods (atheism); others believe in many gods (polytheism). Some believe that the question of the existence of any god is most likely unascertainable or unknowable (agnosticism). Some believe that God is a metaphor for a transcendent reality. Some believe in a female god (goddess), a passive god (Deism), an Abrahamic god, or a god manifested in nature or the universe (pantheism). Many UUs reject the idea of deities and instead speak of the "spirit of life" that binds all life on earth.
UUs support each person's search for truth and meaning in concepts of spirituality." (source: Wikipedia)

To me, It is very probable that Sorensens influence also worked on JFK's spiritual identity. JFK who never was a happy nor good catholic (all while being attacked by his opponents for  being a catholic...) adopted a lot of above views and convictions described above, what leads us to the spirituality he personally carried, beyond his "official" religion.

Speaking of spiritually: Sorensens departing explains some dreams I had and JFK's behavior toward me during the last two weeks. I had difficulties to connect and he said that, all while nothing would change between us, he had to "embrace a man" and therefore would spend his efforts on this.
Last night I told JFK that it is okay for me, and that he shall take all the time / energy  he needs for Sorensen.

Back here on earth I think that we lost a brilliant man and thinker. And another little living piece of the Kennedy era that slowly fades away into History.

7 commentaires:

Gina a dit…

You wrote a beautiful tribute to Ted Sorensen, Diana. I was sad all day yesterday when I heard the news. Have your read his last book “Counselor”? I loved it. Ted was truly a gentle spirit and you are so right about his influence on JFK; his pacifist beliefs helped avoid nuclear war and disaster for the world. Having been a UU, I know they also embrace pagans as well as others coming from other faiths. Instead of theology and rigid doctrines, what’s important is the personal spiritual search of each individual. Your painting of “Theo” with the autumn leaves is beautiful and touching. How special that Ted died so near Samhain when the veil between the worlds are thin and how great he is re-united with his boss and best friend once again.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Gina. Thanks for sharing youir thoughts. I have still to read that Book yet. I am sure it is wonderful. I also think that the departing date (31 October) isn't a coincidence. The opened veils probably helped JFK to reach for him.
We can safely assume that JFK wouldn't have been half as "nice" without Sorensens influence. Ted was a decent person, a beautiful soul and his main exploit was to be able to see the beauty in JFK's mind - at a time it wasn't that obvious for others - and making it bloom.
In my art and storytelling, "Theo" is my favorite character aside of JFK, the one I always draw with most tenderness and appreciation.
I was and am also sad about Sorensens death, but the thought that they are together again now, is comforting.

Feronia a dit…

I read an obituary for Ted Sorensen in our local paper. I have to admit I hadn't heard of him but he does sound like a fascinating person and an important influence on JFK. Thanks for this post, Diana.

Sefarina a dit…

Ich muss gestehn ich kannte ihn nicht, aber ich bin froh, dass er nicht alleine gehen musste.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Feronia & Sefarna: Yes, he wasn't well known outside the USA - and even there...I think he's more "Kennedy Interna"

Geier a dit…

Das mit diesen Unitariern hört sich ja recht vernünftig an, ich wußte nicht das es sowas gibt.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Geier: Ja, mir war es auch relativ neu.