Jan 26 – Revolutionary Love – Remembering Gary and Suzanne Lichtman

Monday January 26  — “That our love for each other, if need be,  give way to absence.  And the unknown.”

I missed the funeral mass for Suzanne yesterday;  some airport traffic and then lots of center city traffic for the last day of Detroit’s North American International Auto Show;  102,978 people jammed their way into the dazzling re-newed Cobo Convention Center.   All those people this week set a 12 year attendance record and, in the process, clogged the streets so that when I pulled into the Ss. Peter and Paul parking lot, people were leaving for home.   Not completely though.  Gary and his family were still in the middle aisle receiving condolences from a line of people so I could hug Gary and visit a while about Suzanne’s immense goodbye.  50 years old; so young.   She did not choose to leave their house but she is gone, cancer.

One reason I made the line was that it was so long.  All kinds of people came to spend Sunday afternoon praying with Gary, Suzanne and their daughter Natalie Rose, people from across the university, people from the city, bearing witness to a great love.

Denise Levertov’s “Prayer for Revolutionary Love” usually takes readers into the depths of their loves while both are alive, the discipline of living a love.  Re-reading it again this morning as an homage to Gary and Suzanne, tells me that “Revolutionary Love” can also speak to the deepest goodbye of all.

Blessings Gary.  Blessings Natalie Rose.

Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.

 

john sj

Today’s post:  Denise Levertov

Prayer for Revolutionary Love

That a woman not ask a man to leave meaningful work to follow her
That a man not ask a woman to leave meaningful work to follow him.
That no one try to put Eros in bondage
But that no one put a cudgel in the hands of Eros.
That our loyalty to one another and our loyalty to our work
not be set in false conflict.
That our love for each other give us love for each other’s work
That our love for each other’s work give us love for one another.
That our love for each other’s work give us love for one another.
That our love for each other give us love for each other’s work.
That our love for each other, if need be,
give way to absence.  And the unknown.
That we endure absence, if need be,
without losing our love for each other.
Without closing our doors to the unknown.

            Denise Levertov          1923 – 1997

Denise Levertov

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