Monday, January 29
“I know Thou takest pleasure in my singing . . . “ Tagore Gitanjali # 2
This Monday we begin the last week of this year’s January, an ordinary work week perhaps, the out of the ordinary tempo that begins around Christmas and continues through the turning of the year has come and gone. In the Catholic tradition of liturgy, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany give way to what is called “Ordinary Time.” Lives settle in to more ordinary work and ordinary life. Even this morning’s light snow feels soothing and undramatic (at least to snow-lovers like me).
Our lives, however, remain alive with commitments and courage, anxiety and relief; ordinary lives are beautiful and run deep. Maybe that’s why one of Rabindranath Tagore’s most surprising poems asked for attention today, Gitanjali # 2, an invitation to set aside dis-affection and shyness, to risk the singing that makes you beautiful.
Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.
Have a blest week,
Today’s post: Rabindranath Tagore
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.
Tagore Gitanjali # 2