Feb 25 – Listening – tagore @ 2

Monday,  February 25,
“When Thou commandest me to sing
it seems that my heart would break with pride”

We are a university, where people listen, take each other seriously.  When I taught full-time, some students told me one day that I was most frightening when one of them would say something and I would turn around and write her/his words on the board, circle one word then turn around again and ask: “Why did you choose that word?”

Teachers do that.  Listen for the voice, call it forth; expect respect for words.   Not only teachers though.  Universities call on students to listen to each other, to expect meaning from each other.   Administrative assistants,  staff in the registrar’s office,  nurse practitioners in the student wellness center,  campus security officers, coaches;  lots of listening.  On good days, each of us knows that.  And on hard days, maybe one of our peers will notice and ask how we are doing, and listen to our story.

Rabindranath Tagore writes of God expecting a song from human beings, thrilling us by sacred attention.  (Gitanjali # 2)   {Posted before on January 5, 2015}

Have a good week as February comes to its end,

john sj


Tagore # 2

When Thou commandest me to sing
it seems that my heart would break with pride
and I look to Thy face
and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life
melts into one sweet harmony
and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird
on its flight across the sea.

I know Thou takest pleasure in my singing
I know that only as a singer I come before Thy presence
I touch by the edge of the far spreading wing of my song
Thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing
I forget myself
and call Thee friend
who art my lord.

Rabindranath Tagore  (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)

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