Chariot

Chariot: (n) a two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle used in ancient warfare and racing.

“Negro spiritual. “

It’s not exactly an oxymoron, but within the two words there seems to be a contradiction of purpose.

After all, if you were a Negro, you might find it difficult to be spiritual to those who decided to know you only by that term.

Yet a race of people who were beaten, subjugated, raped and sometimes nearly starved managed to get around a fire late at night when their persecutors had retired to the Big House, and come up with songs which we now display in our religious catalogues today.

  • “Let My People Go”
  • “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”
  • And of course, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

Even though the songs are melodic, harmonic and perhaps even rhythmic, they all carry a central theme: “Dear God, I hope they stop beating me and if they won’t, I hope you kill me soon.”

You can be sympathetic to their plight.

“Swing low, sweet chariot,

Comin’ for to carry me home…”

A pretty simple passage: “Since there’s no solution here on Earth, since the Massa has the whip and since my family can be sold at a moment’s notice, maybe it would be wise to begin Eternity really soon.”

Negro spiritual–a music that tells us where people find solace when other humans abandon and mistreat them.

It is soulful, it is seeking and it is sad.

I can’t listen to the song about the chariot without realizing that my ancestors made the singer want to die.

 

 

 

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Ankh

dictionary with letter A

Ankh: (n.) an object or design resembling a cross but having a loop at the top instead of the top crossing arm; used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of life.

Insanity is tricky.

Sometimes it’s obvious. A five-year-old boy who slaughters cats and dogs probably has some problems and is on his way to being a serial killer.

Yet some insanity temporarily is considered to be current practical thinking, or even spiritual.

This creates a dilemma. Folks who are considered to be spot on do temporarily lose their minds in preference to gaining popular favor.

Several examples come to mind:

  • How about all the people who wrote astounding essays on the value of slavery for the plantation in the Southern states?
  • Those who contended that Prohibition would eliminate drinking and alcoholism in our country.
  • A contingency who had great faith in the existence of witches in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • Politicians who tried to negotiate with Adolph Hitler.
  • Good god-fearing Americans who waved flags in support of the Vietnam War.

Well, I could go on and on.

Case in point: at a certain juncture in my own personal history a friend of mine gave me an ankh. It was beautiful and I thought it was so cool that I wore it around my neck constantly, only to be attacked by friends of the Christian persuasion, who contended it was an Egyptian demonic symbol and that I was welcoming evil in my life by donning it as an accessory.

They were quite insistent. For some reason, the cross coming to an oval at the top apparently created an opening for the entrance of evil spirits.

I did not believe any of this.

But because I didn’t want to lose friends, appear too different or create some sort of Stargate for Beelzebub into my heart, I took it off and threw it away.

I’ve always regretted that. Matter of fact, I used that experience as a point in time where I decided to start thinking for myself, tapping my own spirit and common sense.

For I will tell you: it is rather doubtful that any object in and of itself perpetuates evil.

As history reveals, it takes short-sighted people to truly usher in … the essence of hell.

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix