JFK on expectations and illness

Tuesday July 14, 2015

8 a.m. Mr. Kennedy, Lem Billings said your stomach trouble felt like a hard knot – it made me wonder, was it in fact the third chakra, continually clenched, knotted, unable to relax? I say this from personal experience, of course, but I do wonder.

So it’s “Mr. Kennedy” now?

The same disarming smile, the gentle needle.

Necessary to get you to loosen up. You know you are connected but you still cling to the sense of us you had “from the outside.” Can’t you remember how you felt about us from the inside while we were awake? Alive?

Yes. I felt like I knew you, even though none of the externals agreed – not age, not background, not anything. Still you were of my tribe, I guess I’d say now.

Trust that knowing. People wouldn’t have said I was one with Abraham Lincoln, either. I certainly wouldn’t have! But, I see now, we were connected. It is these inner connections that hold the world together, and maybe it is these inner connections that you were fashioned to reveal to people, regardless how long it takes or how little you think you’re accomplishing.

One man can make a difference, and every man must try. [Jackie’s paraphrase of what Jack believed.]

You heard it then – though you heard it a little wrong [I heard it as “one man can make a difference, and he must try,” a somewhat different nuance.] – so don’t lose faith in it now.

Presumably other strands of yours have experienced lives reaching to 70 years and not accomplishing much.

You wouldn’t have wanted my life, nor I yours. Specialized implements.

So, my question?

How do you know it wasn’t planted? (And in fact nearly everything is, or could be said to be. If your own non-physical connection snags a thought and passes it down the chain of command, how can you say “I thought that” as if you did something, when you merely remained open to something?)

Yes, that was it, and of course nobody in my circle as I was growing up had any idea about chakras or, really, much beyond the physical machinery as they measured it. Mary Meyer might have seen it, but I didn’t know her then.

The incredible strain of living my life at home was almost more than my system could bear. Joe, mom and dad, the expectations, living among others whose ideas and expectations were so different – boarding school, I mean – something had to give, and in my case it was the body. You could say my whole physical system was the fuse the blew, rather than any one organ. That’s why they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, they were looking in the wrong place because of who was doing the looking.

Your family and the upper class establishments you were sent to tried to force you to be what you weren’t, and the strain came out not in overt rebellion so much as in illness.

Not quite that simple. It came out as illness because a large part of me wanted to fulfill those expectations – wanted to succeed as they defined success – and so that part had to be circumvented too.

You were at war with yourself.

Wouldn’t you say I had some strands fighting other strands? Let me tell you something – the reason I kept coming to the edge of the grave and then suddenly miraculously getting well was

Brinksmanship!

Exactly. Internal brinksmanship, and when one side or the other conceded for the moment, life could go on. I’m not saying I had any idea of this at the time. If you could know my internal life day by day you would be able to trace correlations between the internal pressure and a sudden flight into illness.

I have sensed something like this, but not so clearly.

That’s why you gave me a call, isn’t it? More clarity?

It was your experience balancing incompatibles that let you be so detached, wasn’t it? It saved the world, maybe, in 1962.

Frank, I had a good life. Bobby was right, a wonderful life. The fact that it was hard and that I went out with a bang were part of the fun, or, say, the sense of accomplishment. Pop wanted competition? I gave him competition – and he loved it – and better than that, I gave him victory. We took on the hardest fights and we won. I couldn’t have done it without him and he couldn’t have done it without me, and of course we couldn’t have done it without Bobby. We came in together and we went out together and nobody can ever make sense of any one of our lives without reference to the other two.

Will you talk to me about Kick?

Sometime. Your instinct is right, you have ties to her as well, but since you don’t know of more primary ties – and don’t need to – that can wait.

Your biographers seem to think the early deaths of the four of you are unmitigated tragedies.

Given their measuring-sticks, they would. If your count stops at the grave, it looks like waste.

Yes, I know. Well, you certainly stirred up a ruckus while you were here, and God bless you for it.

There’s more to be said, some other time maybe. Give my regards to your brother.

I’ll send this. Should he contact you himself?

There isn’t any “should” about it, but the connection is there, and he can use it if he wishes to.

Thank you.

You mean, “Thank you, Mr. President”? Or at least, “Thank you, Mr. Kennedy”?

I’m smiling. Of course I still don’t have any idea how we’re connected, and I realize I don’t need to, it’s only curiosity.

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