Well, last night, for the first time in my Masonic life I sat in the Oriental Chair. It was only a rehersal for an upcoming Step-Up night where I will be acting Worshipful Master but I can honestly say that I had no idea how hard it actually is untill all eyes were on me to set the craft to labor.
My very good friend, after a long waiting period between petitioning my lodge, then getting an interview and a few other matters that forced us to put off the degree untill now, will be receiving Masonic light on Thursday May 1st. I thought the greatest gift I could give him, was asking to sit in the East for his degree. It was a tradition at our lodge for the Junior Warden to do an E.A. degree during his year in the South and I was glad to revive the tradition for my good friend. Little did I know what I was getting myself into!
I have been going over the ritual for the WM since finishing my play. I have it on my I-Pod and have had my voice ringing in my head for weeks now in preparation for this event. Like P.T. Barnum I have been telling everyone about it because I want to pack the lodge with Brothers for my friend. I even invited (I think) a Past Grand Master to come and see my first time in the East. After actually sitting in that chair and realizing it is not as easy as it looks from the side lines I finally realized, what the h-e-double hockey sticks was I thinking?
Here I was inviting every Brother I have ever met and a bunch I just met to my first time doing something I have never done before! I am truely crazy.
The thing about being WM is that you are the quarterback and everyone is looking to you for direction. Add in the long speaches and the obligation of the E.A. degree and you have alot on your plate. Not to make too things easy on myself, I went ahead and invited a bunch of guys in purple to come along for the ride forgetting all of the pomp and circumstance that follows guys who wear those aprons. Somewhere in the middle of the rehersal when the old guys started whispering to each other it hit me that if the Brothers I have invited actually show up for this degree, I will look like Patrick Ewing on the foul line in the forth quarter of a game against the Bulls (for those of you cant relate to late 1980's basketball references, think flop sweat!). We'll see!
I want to give my friend the degree he deserves. He just survived cancer and is coming into the fraternity of his grandfather. I want to give him the kind of E.A. that I imagined when I knocked upon the door of Freemasonry not so long ago. I certainly hope I can live up to the challenge!
And it had to fall on May Day! May Day!
There is much work to be done!