October 3 – Crying out for a vision – Jim Janda

Wednesday, Oct 3

Coming home to Six Mile and Livernois after a month on Pine Ridge teaches me again about the energy of the university;  campus is alive with the works of vision and daily challenges that emerge when faculty pay attention to students and students pay attention to faculty, with challenges that stretch the soul, when faculty stretch their own souls also.  A strong university, any ordinary day, calls out hope and the courage hope requires.   On good days hope’s laughter seems to show up everywhere, shows up in the pace of women and men on their ways all over campus, fresh and playful with the joy of this culture of shared discovery.   On hard days the pace slows.  Standing tall and letting my shoulders straighten, being willing to expect surprises.

These are the inner rhythms of which poet Jim Janda writes, of the many great poets whose work appears on this list, one of the most willing to cry for a vision with the knowledge that this is the sacred task of human beings.

After a month on Pine Ridge to renew my imagination; life here on Six Mile, the pace of the mind’s courage and the signs of kinship among women and men who risk hoping for a vision and a voice just knocks me over and straightens my step.  Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.  Have a blest Wednesday.

john sj


Today’s Post:   Jim Janda

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (Gospel)

Crying for a Vision

To cry for a
is a sacred

after hearing
a holyman

after taking
a sweat bath

with sage and
sweet grass

one must climb a
mountain alone—

here a song
may be heard

here a vision
may be given

here a dance
may be learned—

one must then
the mountain

to sing the
to live the
to begin the

Jim Janda   d. August, 2010

“Crying out for a vision”

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.