I am at a crossroads in my life.
I have followed the road before me allowing the divine to guide me to where I am, so here I am.
My life, through its turns and hills and valleys rambles on, and I am a faithful traveler. Tonight I watched a program on PBS called African American Lives 2 which, in turn, led me to my keyboard again to share myself with the mostly faceless world of the Masonic Blogosphere.
If you have read my story you know I am an American man of Irish decent. I have always been fascinated with history and have spent my life in the pursuit of the stories that make up what my experience is. I was always the one sitting and listening to the stories my grandparents told me of their lives in the old country or during the depression, or with anyone that had a story that was told, with what we Irish say, with enough embellishments said only for the sake of those listening. I have never forgotten them.
History, his-story, stories.
That is what this blog is about, the stories of my life since being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason with a lot of old stories mixed in.
The story of my going by chance to a Prince Hall memorial ended up touching many more people than I could have ever imagined. Like all good stories, it came from the heart and transpired with the touch of the divine that makes a good story good.
Tonight, while watching the previously mentioned program, I was touched by the stories brought forth to some celebrities of African American descent of the history of their families that most of them did not know. At one point during the program comedian Chris Rock was brought to spontaneous tears after finding out about a great-grandfather who after being freed from slavery went on to fight in the Civil War and then became an elected official. Chris had never heard this story and admitted his life would have been much different had he grown up knowing what his ancestor had accomplished. I know the feeling, well, kind of.
I can certainly relate to spontaneous tears after finding out information on family members you never had even heard of.
While doing some online research of the history of my father’s family that I knew little about, I followed the birth and marriage certificates back to my Great Grandmother, and while looking for more info, came across her death certificate. When I discovered the document and read of her death, of a now easily curable ailment, I found myself brought to tears for a woman who had no part of my life up to that point. It was like someone just told me of the death of a relative I had always known. It’s funny how we can react to new information. Information is powerful, stories are powerful, they can touch the heart in a way that transcends a current reality.
Here is my request.
Kind of like what my brother Widows Son did with his "We all shine on" but different.
I want the stories of my Masonic Brothers from Prince Hall Freemasonry. Stories like my "Why I Knocked" story. I want to hear why you joined, what you get out of it, and why you think Freemasonry is important to you. I think, that I now have more Prince Hall Brothers reading my blog, and I want to take the opportunity to further the cause to which I espoused myself to’ from my earliest day as a Freemason, to my "Chance Inspiration" post.
Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you wish, I will share them. If you do not want it to be shared, I want them for my own personal reading pleasure and life journey.
Stories are powerful.
My hope is the stories of your Masonic journey shared with the "mainstream" Masons can further show how there is no difference between us and break the lingering barriers to true brotherhood.
There is much work to be done. I hope you can help.
On a lighter note, on my recent travels, while using my "Square and Compasses Radar" while traversing down and up I-95, I can say with out a doubt that every time I saw a S&C emblem on a car it was driven by a Prince Hall Brother and that makes me jealous. Either no "mainstream" Masons were on the road or Prince Hall Brothers show their pride more!