Levitan is the master of nocturnes: melancholic night landscapes, contemplative spaces which elicit feeling. Here, we are sitting along the river on a moonlit night. There is an interesting cloudy sky and silhouetted trees. And under the trees, (can you see it?), there is a campfire. The soft glow gently pushes away the darkness. Night time invites prayer, awake to the world in its need.
devolving into me and mine,
may we rediscover us and our.
in Kenya, Nigeria and South Sudan,
Yemen and Somalia,
millions are starving.
May they live,
because the advanced
world feels an urgent solidarity.
may the families of the world experience
recovery and endurance.
may the designation: world-leader
also signify: healing peace-maker.
sitting under these moonlit clouds,
along this illumined river,
by this warming fire,
may we find our way
by the light of compassion.
may we be
calmed in our agitation,
agitated in our indifference.
may my heart take-in every child:
may those who manufacture,
and those who sell
and every kind of weapon,
find another way.
"Prayer effects nothing," someone might say. The answer to the prayer, if one insists, is that my heart be expanded. Levitan and his hunting friend shot a brightly colored bird in the woods one day. As they held the dead bird in hand, they realized they were idiots, saying, "One less beautiful creature in the world now." I don't want to be an idiot. With every prayer I want my heart to be more compassionate and enlightened. In a world that drops bombs of poison gas on children - that's not for nothing.