Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bonfire c.1895



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.


Tonight,
the nation,
devolving into me and mine,
may we rediscover us and our.

Tonight,
in Kenya, Nigeria and South Sudan,
Yemen and Somalia,
millions are starving. 
May they live,
because the advanced
world feels an urgent solidarity.

Tonight, 
may the families of the world experience
rest,
health, 
safety,
recovery and endurance.

Tonight, 
may the designation: world-leader 
also signify: healing peace-maker.

Tonight,
sitting under these moonlit clouds,
along this illumined river,
by this warming fire,
may we find our way
by the light of compassion.

Tonight,
may we be
calmed in our agitation,
agitated in our indifference.

Tonight, 
may my heart take-in every child:
crying,
shaking,
pained,
abandoned.

Tonight,
may those who manufacture,
and those who sell
guns,
bombs,
landmines,
poisons
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.

6 comments:

  1. I barely noticed the light coming from the trees. Sometimes we have to look for the light when when all we see is darkness. A metaphor for life.

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  2. This light represents that glimmer of hope that better things are to come. That people everywhere will have some peace in their lives, without bombs and violence, without starvation, without abuse. If we add our little flames together, we can make a roaring fire filled with light and sparks of action.

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    Replies
    1. "Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness" the Christophers say.

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  3. The negative lean in our nation is increasing and troubling. Soon we will light candles in our darkened churches on Easter night. Pray it is an image of a people intent on identifying and promoting light.

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  4. It is in the quiet of this lovely painting of night time serenity, beautiful shades of coloring that I can relax and open my mind easily to God. Sometimes, we are blind to the beauty all around us. You are a pointer in that way. Grateful.

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  5. It can take the priest a longer time to get out of the dogmatic answer man mindset, the spiritual/moral fixer-upper, and to realize that what he really is, is just a pointer. That's what Jesus was when he walked with us: "The Kingdom of God is like...." And when the priest realizes that - - - it is too wonderful!

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