Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Grip-greet-get-the-hell-out-fast and symbols of piety!


There is a tribal lore.  A famine struck the village where the elephant and the hare lived.  They decided to go out hunting. The hare told the elephant to wait at the designated escape hole down the hill. Two kinds of stones were to be thrown from the hill-top: a big stone and a small stone. When the small stone was thrown, the elephant had to remove its head from its path. When the big stone comes rolling down the hill, the elephant was supposed to put its head in the big stone’s path. The small stone was rolled down and the elephant dutifully put away its head. When the big one was rolled down, the elephant stood in its way. Eventually, the elephant was killed and became the hare’s meal! The elephant played wrongly and ended up as the meal of the hare.
A long time ago many tribes were awed by the magnificence of nature in form of: water, lakes, hills, mountain ranges, craters, volcanoes, animals, fire, vegetation and fellow-humans. This symbolism became structured.  Special people who were thought to know better than others were tasked to spearhead walking others in understanding these creatures they held in awe. This became an organised way of being religious. Traditions, norms and cultures sprung up around the religions. This instituted the elephant and hare relation. The mind became the elephant and the institutions were the hare.
In the present day, many religions preach love and have moments when all celebrants do shake-hands or atleast wink to each other in an expression of love. Do not mind whether deep down one’s mind one genuinely likes to shake the hands or wink at the person next to you! After a service, the prelate is waiting all of you and a very fast procession of grip-greet-get-hell-out-fast. ‘The long line behind you should not be held by you chatting up the prelate!’ In this process, one feels like a player taking and performing all the wrong roles in a play. This leaves one with revulsion and an emptiness resulting from not fulfilling something. The elephant in us is dazed by not knowing which stone to dodge or allow to be hit with.
+Steven Davy  at WHGBH radio has an interactive talk-show which ends with ‘good-old-classic-blues-music’. This end of show gesture is so mellow, uplifts a spirit and enables one feel as a participant in a love-shared-around experience. Next time I shall ignore certain aspects (dodge certain stones) of a Sunday service (sent in by the hare)! The hare will not have me for a meal!

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