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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Bite

Bite: (v) to use the teeth to cut into something

For the solace, comfort and sanity of all humankind, it is very important that we understand that no one is naturally good at parenting.Dictionary B

There are no books you can read which will add any permanent sense of well-being to the practice, but instead, offer divergent theories which may work for a time, and then fall into piles of ridiculous.

I had children. (I still have them–they’re just not quite as childish as they used to be.)

I remember when my two oldest were at their youngest, and only a year-and-a-half apart. The older one decided he liked to bite his little brother.

We explained to him that this was not good etiquette.

We shared how much his bites were painful to his little brother.

With his four-year-old face, he listened intently, only to turn around ten minutes later and go on a “chomp fit.”

I was at a loss.

Finally one day, immediately after he had inflicted a fresh wound on his sibling, I leaned over, grabbed his chubby leg, and bit into his fatty tissue.

He screamed out in pain and continued to holler for about ten more minutes.

After he calmed down, I came very close to his face with mine, and said, “That’s what it feels like when you bite someone.”

Even though for a season he was a little afraid to be around me for fear that I had taken up full-fledged cannibalism, he never bit his brother again.

You see, there was a time in our country when we evaluated the power of a solution by whether it worked. Now we consider if such actions are proper, appropriate, bullying or will leave a lasting neurosis.

Too bad.

Because my solution for having a son who liked to bite was convincing him, through my actions, that he had bitten off more than he could chew.

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Amice

dictionary with letter A

Amice: (n) a cap, hood or white linen cloth worn on the neck and shoulders by a priest or member of other religious orders.

Always willing to admit my ignorance, I had absolutely no idea what this word was, nor do I still have much of a vision for the garment described

But I am certainly aware of the inclination of those who wish to express their position, authority, superiority or uniqueness by the type of cloth they use to adorn their bodies.

I guess it’s just a part of being human.

But I must be honest–at times it seems inhuman or unkind, to separate oneself off from others by blaring a fashion statement.

Case in point: I don’t have anything personally against the Amish nor their ilk, but I find it a bit aggravating that secretly, somewhere deep in their souls, they sense a moral and spiritual upliftedness by dressing “plain,” and proving that in so doing, God is smiling more on them than on my sweatpants.

It does not take very long to travel through the Good Book to see that Jesus was quite aggravated himself by the religions leaders, who adorned themselves in elaborate robing to demonstrate their position and heavenly placement.

On the other hand, I suppose it’s essential that military service personnel wear uniforms, to create–well, uniformity. (Yet, when we really are being intelligent in wartime situations, we have our soldiers infiltrate the local populace by dressing normally. It increases the possibility for victory via subterfuge.)

I’ve had ministers tell me that wearing a collar when walking down the halls of a hospital makes it easier for the patients to identify someone who could bring spiritual solace.

As always, for every objection you can make in life, there is someone who can hatch a story to egg you on, to defend why things are the way they are.

But for the record, you will probably never see me wear an amice.

First of all, I don’t look good in hoods. I was raised to believe this is a slang term for “criminal”

Also, if the best shot I have at impressing the world around me of my prowess is to wear a particular doo-dad or a dud, in order to be the cool dude …then I think I would rather blend into the simply-clad masses.