Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Last August, after reading a good Brothers now removed blog, I was inspired to use my tuxedo for something other than conferring Masonic truths and I bought some tickets to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. I thought it would be nice to dress up and take the wife into the city for some operatic enjoyment and perhaps a good dinner. I carefully perused the titles for something that might be fun for us both. I finally decided on Tristan and Isolde, figuring a tale of an Irish princess would be good for my first attempt at the opera. I also bought three tickets to Mozart's The Magic Flute to bring my daughter to her first opera. Now I know some may say that a five year old and opera are two things that shouldn't be combined but as I was surfing through the HD channels one day I came upon a broadcast of The Magic Flute and my Masonic curiosity overcame my aversion to opera and I started to watch it and my then four year old was transfixed. I enjoyed figuring out the masonic allusions and she loved the singing and wonderful costumes and sets. I soon realized that I liked it too and fast forward to buying tickets.
As a man and husband I have a general idea of when the holidays are just not the exact dates. I know Thanksgiving is in the twenties of November and Christmas is on December 24th or 25th. My wife is from Kentucky and that means packing up the kids for a loooooong drive on or near one of those dates. Due to extenuating circumstances we have enjoyed the last two years of holidays at our home in Connecticut near my family, soooo it was decided that we do the two big holidays this year down below the Mason Dixon line. Now back to the opera.
After I bought the tickets I announced to my wife that I was taking her to the opera which received a mixed reaction when she asked me when. I said we are going to see T&I on the 28th of November to which she said we would be in Ky so you'll have to get rid of them. I also announced that we were all going to the Magic Flute on December 22 which was also unpopular because that would be right around us driving back down there again. After some clearing of minds I agreed to get rid of the T&I tickets and we would leave for Ky after seeing the Magic Flute. Thanks to the wonders of a certain "list" I was able to sell the T&I tickets at a very small loss and looked forward to the Magic Flute. Rewind to just a few days ago.
My one year old who had been fighting two ear infections came down with a stomach bug on top of it all. The next to go was my wife (who never gets sick) and then my 5 year old. Leaving me to clean up all of the wonderful things expelled while battling the evil stomach yuk. I had somehow avoided it and hoped upon hopes everyone would be better for the opera....of course they weren't and I was forced to donate the tickets back to the Met so they could resell them and so went my attempt to elevate the cultural level of my family. Which brings us to the current day.
We made the looong journey down to Kentucky in what was good time until we crossed the state line and a batch of freezing rain that shut down I-64 for over an hour and forced us to travel the final two hours of our trip at a snails pace. Which turned the final two hours into five and somewhere in between let the evil stomach funk grasp me in its wicked tendrils to leave me holed up in my wife's old room for the past two painful days.
On a good note I have used my time in exile to catch up on all of the Masonic blogs that I had missed reading for the past month and I have to say it was good to be among "friends" again.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I recently lost my job of 11 years and started a new one, very different from what I was doing. A big change.
I re-enrolled in college after a 8 year hiatus and have been busy studying and writing papers. Another big change.
As always, I have my little family to attend to, and there has been a lot going on at my lodge so I have had little time to write to my dear Blog.
Tonight, I was installed as the Senior Warden of "Old St. Johns" at a building that was not the one that had pulled me like a magnet to the craft, and it was a great night because it is not the brick and mortar surrounding the Brethren that makes the lodge it is the men themselves.
My lodge is regenerating. We raised 8 new Brothers while I was JW, and what really matters is that we are starting to bond together into the Brotherhood the craft was meant to be. The vibe at our meetings is increasingly positive and I can't wait for the next meeting nowadays. Our nearly 250 year old lodge is moving into the 21st century at, and forgive my Spaceballs reference, ludicrous speed!
We have a goal, we have a plan, and we are starting to gather the laborers to meet our dreams. The work is starting and the trestle board is full.
Thank you to all who have supported me through my "dimmer" moments of the last year. I am looking forward to bigger and better things.
Hopefully soon, after the adjustment to my new schedule and responsibilities, I can resume, more often, my exploration of the deeper meanings of my order and write of the great things we will accomplish in my year in the West.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;
One of the most important lessons delivered in the ritual of Freemasonry kind of gets slipped in during the Fellowcraft degree. It is described as one of the three jewels of a Fellowcraft and like most of the important guides of the Order, it sneaks in under the radar so to speak and only gains importance with much thought and reflection, it is the attentive ear.
The gift of hearing allows us to do many things; notice something out of our range of sight, enjoy the sounds of the wonderful world around us, and most of all receive verbal communication from our fellow creatures. With this gift we can hear the reflected harmony of the great architects plan in music. There are many who unfortunately take for granted this gift and use it only to hear what is going on around them and not really listen.
There is a enormous difference between hearing and listening. If you have the gift, you can hear everything around you. The cacophony of sounds that surrounds us is ever present, but until you train your ear to select a sound to concentrate your mind on, you are not listening. Do you remember those Charlie Brown cartoons? Whenever there was a scene inside the classroom and the teacher spoke to the kids all you heard was the classic "wup waaa waaa wup waaa" of a muffled horn but never the words they were saying. This is a perfect example of hearing but not listening and I can certainly relate. When I was in school I never listened to anyone, my parents included! For some, that is how they go through life, hearing but never listening.
"And he goes through life, his mouth open, and his mind closed"
William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
We have to force ourselves to listen, myself included. Our sometimes brief encounters with our friends or Brothers forces some to try to get all the things in their head out, all at once like a shaken up beer bottle exploding with foam. All of your old stories that you want to share with someone else need not to be recited in every conversation, in the rush to get out your story you will miss important things others want to say.
"Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak."
Remember this important lesson when you are in the presence of your Brethren. There is an important give and take in a conversation that we are admonished to adhere to. An attentive ear is truly a jewel to a good man and Brother.
"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force...When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life...When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other...and it is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. ...Well, it is when people really listen to us, with quiet fascinated attention, that the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way."
Monday, October 27, 2008
We were having a rehearsal that night and I'll admit I must have caught something when I visited VW Tom at Friendship 33 because there was a loosey goosey feel to the evening and dare I say it, we kind of had fun! Everyone was on top of their parts and we had some laughs while we were practicing the Sublime Degree. I am stepping back to sit in the Senior Deacons chair for the degree so I was right next to the WM. At one point there was a mistake in words and one of the Brothers said sing instead of spoke and all of the sudden I had an image of a musical adaption of the third degree that had the WM and me in stitches for a while. The rehearsal went very well except for a couple of missing parts that I hope will be filled before the degree actually happens and the good feeling extended after the meeting was over.
The Secretary grabbed me for a couple of words and then the "new" guy grabbed my ear for a while. As we talked about many things, we learned of many similarities we shared in our lives and our conversation was anything but the superficial banter I usually endure at meetings. Its great to find new experiences at a regular meeting. I have spoken with my new found Brother a few times since and even visited him at his place of work and I am excited for our next meeting. I hope that all of the "digging" for old members to come to the MM degree turns up more gems.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
This wasn't just a regular visit to Tom, it was a visit to return the favor of my friends and Brothers Eric, Kyle, and Kevin who came all the way down to my lodge to support me when I stepped up into the East for the first time. Eric who is the SW at Friendship Lodge No. 33 was assuming the East for a Fellowcraft degree and although I have known about it for a while, I didn't know until the last minute that I would be able to repay the Brotherhood dividend I received last spring.
Without my trusty GPS I was forced to set out on my journey with just the ancient travel aid of a printed copy of some directions from Google Maps (how 90's) and my keen sense of direction. I was able to find the lodge despite Tom not answering his phone and I think my friends were actually surprised to see me. As I walked up to the throng of cigarette smoking men standing outside the lodge (yes, they actually still do that kind of thing upstate ;-) hardy hellos were exchanged and then I noticed some mischievous glances and words being sent back and forth between my buddies. I had arrived just in time and Tom escorted me up to their lodge room for the degree.
Although there were devilish grins being sent my way, Bro. Eric opened the lodge under the the Fellowcraft degree without a hitch and without much fanfare. Just as I was feeling at ease the WM announced for Tom to remove the visitor (ME!) to be received in proper form. You see, my good friends from 33, who Tom, abandoned,...I mean, introduced me to on a fateful night last winter will never let me forget a certain ancient Grand Lodge ritual that I brought upon myself. So as we entered the anteroom I saw the mode of reception my pals had planned for me. I was then received back into Friendship 33 in the way many of the brethren of that lodge saw me last........on a hand truck!
Let me tell you, being ceremoniously received into a lodge on a hand truck being pushed by a Grand Lodge Officer is quite an unforgettable experience and I am sure that entry into the minutes of the lodge is a first anywhere!
A good laugh was had by all and they got back to the business of passing their brothers to the degree of Fellowcraft. I love seeing the little differences in the way other lodges do ritual but let me say I have never seen a F.C. degree quite like the one they did last night.
All in all, it was a night traveled well and I thank Tom, Eric, Kyle, Kevin and their lodge for the great hospitality they showed me and I left exited to come back again (I'm such a glutton for punishment!).
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Update Your Lodges Website
In this new age of information and communication there is a relatively easy and amazingly effective way of letting brethren and men interested of becoming brethren know what your lodge is doing and that you are an active and vibrant member of the Masonic community in Connecticut, and best of all it is FREE, its your lodge’s website. Maintaining your lodge’s website and keeping the content up to date is a great tool to attract new members and let the traveling men know what is going on in your lodge. Let me share a little story of a man I know well and how the internet was the biggest tool in his approaching the West Gate of our Brotherhood.
A few years ago there was a certain young man who after watching a History Channel show about the founding fathers of America and after years of reading about Freemasonry in history books and in exciting fictitious novels, decided to research the famed fraternity he knew very little about. Like most men his age he was well acquainted with the Internet and in fact, the single biggest tool for researching anything he was interested in was right in his living room, his computer. The young man did an internet search of Freemasonry which turned up more results than he imagined.
He clicked his way through many websites, some bad, but many more good and eventually ended up at the website of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, the state in which he resided in. He scrolled through the different informational pages about the brotherhood and saw a link to a list of lodges in Connecticut. Sure enough there was not only one, but two lodges right in the city which he lived in, which amazed him because of in his short 30 or so years of life he had never had any contact with anyone who was a Mason. He clicked on the link for lodge nearest to where he lived and, other than the standard template and an address of the lodge; there was not much on the website. Perhaps they no longer met or existed? His curiosity was piqued never the less, so he hopped in his car to drive past the address from the website.
When he got to his destination he noticed an old sign post with a weather beaten and greened, copper square and compasses on it in front of an old brownstone, church looking building. It sure looked to him like a meeting place of the Order that many of the founding fathers belonged. However it being night time, there was no one there, so he went back home and went back to the computer to do more investigating.
He went to other lodges websites on the list and noticed that some had loads of information about their lodge’s activities with calendars full of events and this thing called a “Message from the East”, which apparently was a monthly update from the leader of the lodge, the Worshipful Master. Yet the majority of the websites had little, if any, updated information, including most of the lodges close to him. He was happy to find out that the brotherhood existed in the state and although the lodges in his city may not meet any more, which he thought because of the empty websites, he decided Freemasonry was something he wanted to be a part of, so he went ahead and filled out the form on the Grand Lodge’s website to become a member.
To make a long story short, after some emails back and forth with many different people the young man met with some Brothers from the other lodge in his city who told him that the lodge that met in that old building indeed still met and existed. After a short talk they gave him a petition to join Freemasonry telling him that he could join whichever lodge he wanted and receive the same Masonry. He went on to petition the lodge that met in that old building and if you haven’t guessed it yet, went on to be the sitting Junior Warden and author of this article you are reading, me.
The reason I told you my story is because as a Brother who came to Freemasonry in Connecticut by way of the World Wide Web I want to make sure that you don’t let a good man slip by because your website is not up to date. You may say, “Hey…you still petitioned your lodge even though their website was not updated” to which I will say that I am probably an exception to the rule. I have heard many stories of guys who after looking up their local lodge and finding the website dated or empty except for the standard template giving up on their decision to join or having second thoughts.
As members of the largest and best fraternal organization in the world we owe it to ourselves to shine our light to all who may knock, or click for that matter. An added bonus of having a great website with updated calendars and news of future events is that Brothers traveling around the state or world can know if they are in the vicinity of your lodge on a meeting night that there is something going on and stop by for a visit. We have had a few such traveling men stop by my lodge, one from as far away as a lodge in Germany and they would have never known that we were there and active without our website. We all should be very thankful that our Grand Lodge provides us with such a powerful and amazing communication tool.
So go on, update your website. If you can’t do it or need a little help there are many Brothers out there willing to help, just ask. Keep it fresh with news and events from your lodge and keep your calendar updated, you never know who will contact you, perhaps a future Junior Warden or a traveling man seeking the friendly confines of a lodge far away from home.
Monday, September 8, 2008
My lodge's second half of the year began last Thursday without its Junior Warden. Even though I already knew I was not going to be there, because of my involvement in a community theater production that I became a part of over the summer, it was even harder not to go because on that day I received news that my job of the last ten years was soon to be no longer. It also happened to be my wife's birthday, so there were many things stacked against me popping in to say hello to my brethren after two months. I missed it dearly none the less.
For those of you who have read my blog from day one, or even month one, you would know that I am in firm belief that I was lead to the fraternity by my guardian angel, my departed son. My life in the past few years has taken a complete U-turn (or at least a major detour) from where it was before we found out about my son.
Through my interest in the craft I rediscovered many things that had been lost to my life. The introspection of the degrees rekindled my love of study and writing. The act of sitting in lodge and participating in the degrees returned my interest in theater, and the simple act of fellowship that comes from our fraternity restored a camaraderie that had been missing in my life.
In a relatively short time I left a shell that I had fashioned around myself and have re-found the life I was meant to live. Keep in mind that like all great teachers, Freemasonry did not just hand this to me with my dues card but allowed me to find these things on my own, which is always the best way to learn. I know for sure that I am closer to the man I was meant to be than I was before I knocked on the West Gate.
Could I have found this by joining some other organization? Perhaps. But I think it is the deeper aspects that only Freemasonry offers to those truly seeking, that helped me to blossom.
Although I have been one to always land on my feet after life throws you a curve. I am in a much better position now than I have ever been to know what the next pitch will be and to hit it out of the ballpark. We'll see.
Like the old saying goes;
God never closes a door without opening a window.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Although I welcome a break from the crazy schedule that my obligations have produced this year, I will miss lodge for a couple of months. I plan to do some serious esoteric delving this summer into our ritual and brotherhood so like my friend and fellow CT Masonic blogger says:
Sunday, June 15, 2008
My whole life, as far as I can remember, has revolved around the promise of fatherhood. I have always wanted children, as many as a wife would allow me to father. Although the family that I was raised in was not entirely huge per say, four children, my parents came from prototypical Irish Catholic families of the mid 1900's. My mothers family was the holy grail of fatherhood to my paternal instinct, thirteen children. I remember going to my maternal grandfathers birthday celebration in the 1990's, and during the ubiquitous family photo, I could not even imagine how it would be to have so many pieces of yourself at large in the world, but I envied him.
My own Father is my hero. He is all I ever wanted to be. He is the kindest, strongest, and most generous man I have ever known. He is not the most outspoken man in the world, but he can say more in a look or gesture than most can say with a whole dictionary.
He gave me life.
He gave me an example of manhood.
I was never the supreme athlete he was, but he never made me feel bad about it.
My father, although possessed of a higher education (political science), is a house painter and a handyman, like his father was. It was the best way to support a growing family in the 70's-80's. But I can tell you with out a shadow of doubt that there is no smarter painter/handyman out there.
He taught me that Fatherhood is sacrifice. Once you bring a child into this world your world changes; it is not about you, it is about your creation and how you can make the world better for it.
Children are the single hardest and greatest thing in this existence.
For so long you live in a world that revolves around yourself. Its a nice world, you know it like the back of your hand, but you crave something more. Next comes the love of your life, who alters that singular world view and helps you see that there is more to life than yourself. That first divide of love can be hard for some who find it much easier to live singularly but for most it brings even more love than you thought you were capable of. This results in a production of two loves, a child. I can honestly say that there is no single joy in life that can compare with that of your own child.
The birth of my first daughter was not exactly the death of me, but it was kind of. In her was the new me. I am not the same person I was four and three quarters, as she says, years ago. My life is her life. I still have my hopes and dreams but they are now entwined with hers. I live through her. My son and new daughter was and are the same.
I remember having a conversation with my wife before the birth of my son about how I could not imagine how I could love another like my daughter to which she wisely responded "before me, you didn't know how it is to love someone else and yet your love grew. Then we had our love together which was wonderful, yet it expanded again for our daughter and just like it was unimaginable how love could be made better by her, it will be made larger again for him." Now that is not an exact quote but it was the gist of the conversation, but the point is that love has no boundaries or limits. Love is ever growing.
I love being a father. It is what I always wanted to do. Looking back at my families life, even with the trials of having thirteen crazy children, I always will envy my grandfather for the unbelievable amount of creation he loved and enjoyed, I just cant seem to convince my wife to let us house our own baseball team. With the price of living nowadays I cant imagine affording a quartet!
Enough of this crazy, wandering Fatherhood post.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
It's Times Like This I Wish We Were the Nefarious World Running Order That Some People Think We Are!!!
Monday, May 5, 2008
"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
After a short flight we were herded onto a bus and driven to the place we would call home for the next eight weeks, Boot Camp. After we arrived, we were stripped of all of the worldly possessions we came with, which were then boxed up and sent back home. We were then dressed in the same sweat suits and lined up for a barber to remove the final distinguishing characteristics of our former selves, our hair. Although we came in different shades of melatonin, from that point forward we became one color, Navy Blue.
The next eight weeks of trial and error, pride and punishment, joy and pain, united eighty men from every state, creed, color, and background into one. We learned early on that we were only as strong as our weakest shipmate, so we needed to quickly adapt the mantra of teamwork if we were to shine as a unit, which we did. Never in my short eighteen years of life did I ever form such a tight bond with other men as I had in such a short time. That was boot camp. It was my first experience of true Brotherhood.
Men and women who never volunteered for the military service can never exactly know that trust and bond which servicemen the world over share. Servicemen and women all experience a similar trial, and upon completion, become bound by a tie that never can be broken. Since my departure from service I had not felt a similar tie until I knocked upon the door of Freemasonry.
In like manner, I came of my own free will and accord to offer my services to the Craft. On the night of my initiation into the fraternity I sat in a room with men whom I had never before met. We were divested of our belongings and then bound by an obligation. After the trials of the degree were over we were Brothers. Unlike boot camp we all went home to our own houses and went our separate ways until the next meeting of the lodge. The ties of Freemasonry are harder to forge because of this fact. There is just too much time in between meetings and too many distractions in our lives to quickly bind men. Yet with much work and perseverance we can labor to build that temple built from living stones that we call a lodge.
There are walls that we as men build in our minds to protect us from others. From a young age we begin to erect these walls from stones of rejection. Some build walls of macho' ism, "me big man you can't hurt me", some build walls of aloofness "I am far too intelligent for you to hurt me", and others of scorn "you cant hurt me cause I don't give a sh**!". These walls may protect our egos and our self esteem but they are facades which do not reveal our true selves to others. If we never live the life we were meant, because we hide behind walls, we fail our true purpose of being. This is where brotherhood steps in.
In boot camp we were put on the same level by the government and built up in the image of our particular service. While there I saw men cry, fight, laugh and overcome great obstacles together because we worked together. Not all of the walls were removed but we could not help reveal our true selves because that was all we had. We could not hide behind a suit or gangster clothes or leather jackets because they were left behind at the beginning. When one guy could not do the push ups that we were all doing, he got help at night because he was our shipmate and we were not going to leave him behind, we needed him. He, in turn, helped guys who had trouble with the academic side to basic training because that was his strength. That is what our lodges should be.
When we are divested of our material things and appear before the lodge, neither barefoot nor shod neither naked or clothed, we stand before the lodge and more importantly our creator as the raw material needed to complete a spiritual temple. Not all stones are created the same. Some are naturally stronger and more dense and can hold heavy loads on their shoulders. Some have the quality of being carved into intricate and beautiful things to adorn the aesthetics of the temple. One is not better than the other because with out them all gathered together the temple will never be complete.
If we take the opportunity of entering into the Craft to start chipping away at our "walls" and reveal our true selves to our Brothers we take the first step in the building of that spiritual temple. We cannot labor alone, we must use the talents and uniqueness of every Brother in the lodge to build, but we cant lay a foundation on a man who acts like something he is not. Until we reveal our true selves to each other we can never start that spiritual building project that Freemasonry is meant to be. Your Brother can accept you for what you are better than your friend. Friends come and go, but Brotherhood is forever because we swear to our creator that we will protect and defend our Craft for the benefit of ourselves and the men we will for ever after that time call Brother.
Post Script. At the last meeting of my lodge I sat in the East for the first time to confer the degree of Entered Apprentice on a friend who has been like a brother to me for a very long time. Quality men from a lodges halfway across the State came to help me in this endeavor because we became friends after a man whom I consider a friend and mentor left me in their fraternal care a month ago. Now my old friend is my Brother and my new Brothers who I just became friends with, helped me do it. We all met on the Level, acted on the Plumb, and Departed on the Square and I look forward to all of the fraternal relations to come. Its great to be back in a Brotherhood!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Firm reliance in the honesty, dependability, strength, or character of someone or something.
Trust is something that should not be handed out lightly. The first question given to a candidate of the mysteries of Freemasonry by the master of his lodge, is the one whose answer the rest of his masonic life will be built upon. If that answer is coaxed or prodded or just given to satisfy the requirements of the degree and does not come from the heart, the candidate will never be a Mason. He may progress in the fraternity but will not be a member of the order.
Freemasonry is not a religion but it is religious. Our firm belief in a higher order of the universe is the rudder that keeps us on course to the better life. It matters not what your belief resembles in your imagination but that it is there.
Trust is something we give with no guarantee of a return yet it is handed out daily. We trust that many things we rely on will always work and be there but there is one thing we must trust that makes this life worth living.
Your Masonic journey is built upon trust. We put our trust in the candidates trust before we can trust him further. With more trust comes more truths and vise versa.
In whom do you put your trust?
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I would like to thank specifically Brother Tom Accuosti who has been a kind of Masonic Web Sensei since my first post not too long ago. Inadvertently he brought about a personal masonic lesson that I needed about intemperance and excess. I am a person who can be easily be caught up in a situation, particularly when adult beverages are involved. The night before our GL's annual communication I got caught up in all of the revelry and imbibed far more than I should have and regret it. We are taught as masons to control our appetites for intemperance and excess and I let my guard down.
My ashlar is far from perfect and I have been making hard work with my common gavel to chip off the rough corners that are still there.
There is much work to be done!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Anyway, I had time to drop it off and rush to my play rehearsal, so for the first time I came to lodge not intending to stay. I have to admit it was a strange feeling coming to lodge in jeans and a sweatshirt and rushing out after a brief hello. Attending lodge regularly is such a part of my life that when I don't do it it feels weird!?!
Sooo, during the cordial hellos I was reminded that our next meeting will be a step up night and a fellowcraft degree and I snickered and jokingly asked the Senior Warden if he was ready for it and had he memorized all of his lines yet. He said he would be ready and I ran out and went to my dress rehearsal.
I have been acting in a local theatre company for a year or so and after a few bit parts I was given a romantic lead role, including a beautiful duet with a leading lady. Between Lodge meetings and sickness I had missed quite a few rehearsals and had up to that point had not even rehearsed the big duet. My voice never quite recovered from the evil-death flu I had survived and the song itself was at the top of my singing range so needless to say I was very nervous about the performance. Add the fifteen minutes or so of dialogue and I can honestly say that I had not read anything esoteric or Masonic in the month leading up to the play. It wasn't until during a call the next day that my snickering at my Brother Senior Warden became ironic.
My WM who was the man who got me involved with the theatre company called me to ask if I needed help with the fellowcraft ritual. I said that other than a couple of words here and there that it was not much different than the two EA degrees that we had just done and I was getting pretty comfortable in the South. He then reiterated that it was a step up night, to which I responded that our SW told me he was ready, to which he retorted who do you think will be sitting in his chair during the degree!
During all of our talks about doing a step up night I never realized that I was going to step up into the West when the SW stepped up to the East. This sent me to my ritual book in a fury of looking up all I had to learn.
My snicker boomeranged on me.
I put off memorizing the ritual until after my play and for the past few days have been catching up with the fervor of a man possessed.
We'll see how it goes on Thursday night, I hope I don't slip into the Irish accent I used during my play!