JOHN CLIMACUS AND LANGSTON HUGHES
This is St. John Climacus. John of the Ladder. so named for the book
"The Ladder" ,which gives 30 stages and aspects of life as he had
experienced it as a solitary on Mount Sinai in the sixth century.
The words of his scroll are summary words of the book, and he and it
are commemorated this coming Sunday in the Eastern Church. It was also
the first book printed(in Spanish) in the New World, and John Climacus
is the pseudonym used by Kierkegaard for his "Concluding Unscientific
First of all to see life as a Ladder is to feel a sense of progression...
this is perhaps more than it is absolutely easy for anyone to do and more
than maybe many attempt to do. Here is something from Langston Hughes
which I read again... A mother is speaking to her son using the imagery
of the 'spiritual' "Climbing Jacob's Ladder."
"Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair."
This is, the sense of progression through struggles aside, not entirely
the feeling of Climacus, or vice versa to be sure, but I think it has
Perhaps in fact each person's sense of ascent will be distinct?