Wednesday, January 20 – “and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth.”
About 5:00 pm this afternoon in Gesu Church just north of UDM’s McNichols campus, women and men who have worked with, laughed with, kept commitments with Gerry Stockhausen, sj will gather for a Eucharist of celebration and goodbye. When we’ve completed the service, everyone is welcome to come c. 300 yards south to the Jesuit residence, across McNichols, where Gerry lived between 2000 and 2010. The UDM Jesuits and our kitchen team have prepared food, and drink, and (thank you Ruth Fichter) a great collection of photos from Gerry’s years here (e.g., Stock looks pretty cool in his Tiger’s jersey the day he threw in the first pitch at Comerica park.).
Even if you can’t make it this afternoon, you are welcome to keep company with us from any distance.
“When Death Comes”
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Mary Oliver New and Selected Poems, Vol.1
August 27, 1949 – January 12, 2016