steel decks and glass ceilings book
  • Old Man Singing

    i have been absent here for a few days. The Southwest corner Jewell’s finally got caught. In spite of all the boosters and relatively safe practices, we came down with COVID. Maureen is back in battery after her ten-day hiatus. My tenth day is tomorrow. It has not been a lot of fun but undoubtedly would have been a lot, lot worse without the inoculations

    Last night after Maureen had gone to bed, the below, out of nowhere, came into my head. i checked the song lyrics this morning, and here it is:

    did you hear the old man singing
    “bringing in the sheaves”
    when he realized the river ford
    was not as shallow as he perceived?

    did you hear the old man singing
    “swing low sweet chariot
    coming for to carry me home”
    as the current carried him
    away to another home’s distant shore?

    did you hear the gushing waters
    of the ford that belied his fate
    swishing through the channel
    as if no one had waded through
    its deceptive waterway gate?

    well, i heard the old man singing:

    …Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves,
    When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
    My spirit grieved but knew he’d bid me welcome.

    I heard him change his tune as he was swept away:

    I looked over Jordan and what do I see
    A band of angels coming after me
    Coming for to carry me home

    …Swing low, sweet chariot
    Coming for to carry me home.

    I sang with him, hoping he could hear:

    If you get there before I do,
    Coming for to carry me home
    Tell all my friends I’m coming too
    Coming for to carry me home
    Swing low, sweet chariot.

    that was long ago;
    i now sit in my rocking chair
    with the fire in the hearth a’blazing
    remembering the treacherous river
    where the ford was not a ford
    to mumble under my breath,
    i will be rejoicing bringing in the sheaves;
    tell all my friends, i’m coming too;
    swing low sweet chariot.