Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where's My 24 Inch Gauge

For my twenty or so readers:
When things are going great it becomes even harder to manage time. With the exponential growth of my lodge comes exponential responsibility to the few who do the most. I am proud to say we have already initiated more Brothers in the short time this year than we had done in the past two put together and we still have more waiting. This makes things extremely hard for a married man and father of three who has a hard time saying no to anything and is involved in more things than anyone my wife knows.
Between my blog, lodge, local theatre company, church, regular work and second job, I have been admittedly absent from my family way too much even when in their presence. That is why my posting has precipitously dropped as of late. It was my lovely wife who shed the light on me and I thank her for it. I had been so immersed in all of my extracurricular activities that even when I was home physically, my mind was almost always somewhere else, thinking about the future of my lodge, my next post, memorizing ritual or dialogue from my play. The problem was not in that I was doing all of these things, it was that I was doing these things alone and in my thick skull.
There are some of us who are bound by an even more ancient and important obligation than our Masonic one, you know, the obligation that allows us to wear a ring signifying our membership in the oldest organization in the world, marriage. It is a mysterious and magical union that takes a lifetime to master, and not all can. I call to my mind an image of the night I was installed in the South. The installing officer was a Most Worshipful Past Grand Master of Connecticut and his prompter was not a Mason but his lovely wife sitting on the sidelines with the ritual in her hands. It was reassuring to see even a PGM can miss a line every now and then and even more reassuring to see that his wife helps him with his ritual.
When I joined Freemasonry I had read from many different sources that the only secrets of Masonry were its grips, words, and signs and that the ritual was not a secret. It is my firm belief that that is true. As I started to be asked to perform parts of the ritual for degrees I readily went to my wife for help. I know I could go to any of the brethren for help but it is much more convenient to go to my wife and helping me memorize my ritual helps her to understand that we aren't sacrificing virgins or anything else ominous and evil at my meetings. It also keeps up a dialogue between us that is necessary for a healthy marriage and I can say without a doubt her help is more beneficial than any other method I have tried. When she corrects me I can hear her voice in my head and I wont mess up that part again. For some reason or another I had not been going to her for help. I had been engrossed in reading and writing and all of the other stuff I do. I can trace back my disastrous "G" lecture (read my Fumbling Fellowcraft Degree) directly to not having her help me with that lecture and it was my fault for not asking.

It is all behind me now, and she is currently helping me memorize my dialogue for my upcoming play and all is well on the home front. When I start to prepare for my second attempt at the notorious "G" lecture in two weeks, I am going straight to her and maybe this time wont fumble it all up.

Do you tell your wife what goes on in lodge?

4 comments:

Tom Accuosti said...

I tell my wife the basics, but she's not really involved - she's got her own things that keep her busy.

A lot of guys have their wives help them with ritual, leading to the joke that some of them do better at it than the guys themselves.

Wait - maybe that's not so funny!

Br. Warwick said...

I have not had my wife help me with ritual yet, but maybe I will when the hammer's down. I tell her of often about the cares, concerns, and controversy at the lodge, and find it good to be able to talk to someone.

Tim said...

My Help Meet ('ezer ke-negdo) of thirty years reminds me of what our Fraternity symbolizes;
Charity (love-agape)
without which we are just making non-sensical sounds...
without which we are nothing...
without which, no good work will profit us in the least..
We are blessed as Masons to be able to share our burdens and responsibilities with our wives.

Barchiel said...

I love this post, yet my wife is terified to help with anything I do in the Lodge, she would rather I go to another brother for help. That way she can play with my power tools while I'm away.
Case in point, at the last Fellowcraft ritual, she was home ripping the bathroom apart, a complete surprise to me. I'm sure she'll finish it while I'm at the next Master raising!