When I was packing for the hospital, at the last minute, almost as an afterthought, I threw in a book of poetry by the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore is something like the Walt Whitman of India, but perhaps even more diverse. He wrote poetry, songs, plays, and kept up a correspondence with intellectuals all over the world. One of his most famous works is called “Gitanjali” which was gifted to me by a client, born in India, when she found out I was into poetry. This copy has a beautiful introduction by W.B. Yeats. During some of the dark days in my hospital room, post surgery, the words of Tagore spoke to me deeply. One passage in particular stood out, and I would like to share it with you here:
Life of my life, I shall ever try to keep my body pure,
Knowing that thy living touch is upon all my limbs.
I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts,
Knowing that though art that truth which has kindled the
light of reason in my mind.
I shall ever try to drive all evils away from my heart
and keep my love in flower,
knowing that thou hast thy seat in the innermost shrine of my heart.
And it shall be my endeavour to reveal thee in my actions,
knowing it is thy power gives me strength to act.