I’ve brought with me a poem by the great Bengali poet, philosopher, artist, novelist and more, Rabindranath Tagore. It’s from his book Gitanjali, meaning “Song Offerings”. It’s a prayer about friendship, and about finding God in unfamiliar places – God whose oneness is found in the many facets of life. And it captures much of what this evening is about.
Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own. Thou has brought the distant near and made a brother, a sister, of the stranger.
I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter; I forget that there abides the old in the new, and that there also thou abidest.
Through birth and death, in this world or in others, wherever thou leadest me it is thou, the same, the one companion of my endless life who ever linkest my heart with bonds of joy to the unfamiliar.
When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut. Oh, grant me my prayer that I may never lose the bliss of the touch of the one in the play of the many