I knew it had to be a song.
I love singing. I grew up singing. And for a while now, I’ve wondered about the theme of my life. And of course, I knew it had to be a song.
So last night at church, we were singing an old hymn, and it hit me. When I was four years old, my papa taught me to sing, “The Old Rugged Cross” and an old Cathedrals song called “Hallelujah Square.” I distinctly remember being five years old and standing in front of a Ft. Jackson chapel singing to the soldiers who had gathered to hear my family and I sing. And I stood up by myself and sang while my mama played the piano, my Papa said, “Hallelujah. Bless her Jesus,” and my uncle played the guitar. It was the 1970s and my little sister and I wore matching long dresses with our long hair in barrettes.
Those two songs were never just songs to me. I understood that they spoke of the mystery of Heaven, and the promise that Jesus paid the price for our sins so we could live in Heaven someday. A place so wonderful that the lame walked, the blind could see and nobody ever cried again. A place so amazing that I need not fear death, because it could not touch me again in Heaven.
As I grew in my understanding, those songs meant more to me. But there’s just something about the practicality of living a life for Jesus that is picked up in “The Old Rugged Cross.”
- On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.
- Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
- In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
- To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
- written in 1913 by George Bennard, public domain
I understand this song. I live this song. I’m grateful for everything that this song talks about. It’s my theme.
My friends say I can sniff out an old graveyard. Whether a graveyard is hidden behind a storefront, on a dirt road or hidden in a grove of trees in the middle of town – it seems like I can happen upon it. To me, an old graveyard is like buried treasure. It tells a story of a time when someone lived there and was important to somebody.
This is what I’ve noticed. Even graveyards die eventually. The stones fall over (or they’re vandalized). Nature creeps in to reclaim the place where someone’s loved one was laid to rest. Here are some photos to prove my point:
It seems kind of fitting, doesn’t it? If you view death as a time of rest, then what better peace are you resting in when nature has hidden your very existence? It also means that after you’re dead, and you’re loved ones are dead; then there’s no one left to mourn you except people like me, who happen to be able to find hidden cemeteries.
Much has been written about headstone iconography. All the symbolism present in cemeteries would take many books to catalog. Yet it’s one of the first things I look for when I visit. Let’s explore some of the iconographic images I’ve seen.
Just an announcement that I am re-inventing my blog to include my genealogical research and my research on graveyards, mortuary science, and death in general. I’m not morbid, gothic or anything, I’m just fascinated by this topic. My belief system is such that death is not something to be feared. But I won’t be talking about death and the afterlife – I’ll be limiting myself to what happens to our bodies when we die? What does what I see in the local graveyard say about the people who are buried there?
Facebook – I have a new idea for you. Allow users to send Friend requests to their Kindle, Nook, etc. I bet Amazon and Barnes & Noble would love that.
Only problem is, I believe if I ever stalked someone on Facebook, it would be my Kindle.
My Kindle can store all the books I want to read in one handy little place. It will save my place for me. It will save multiple spots in multiple books. It will let me skip ahead.
My Kindle doesn’t judge my reading choices, as varied as they are. It understands my interests vary from Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction to Management to Higher Education. I don’t have to hide that I’m shopping for another dieting book. I don’t have to worry that somebody will see me in the Parenting section of the bookstore. It doesn’t judge my motives for reading “How To Kill Your Husband” by Kathy Lette.
My Kindle will read to me. It has its own built-in light. The battery lasts a month. Its tiny enough to fit in my purse.
Right now, some of the selections on my Kindle are:
- On Picket Duty, and Other Tales by Louisa May Alcott
- Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore P. Stewart
- So, You Want to Start a Business?: 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap by Edward Hess
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Fanny Goes to War by Pat Washington
- Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century by Henry Jenkins
- The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age by Cathy Davidson
Yes, there is a dieting book on my Kindle. But that’s a secret between me and my “friend.”