Two years ago, a dear friend and man who I had made a mason reached out to me with a request. Being elected to the East, as Master of the lodge, he wanted me to sit next to him as Chaplain and return to the place I had barely been in a long time, sitting regularly amongst the brothers.
I took a while to consider his offer. While continuing my membership in the craft by paying my dues and still reading various writings of it, I had lost interest in returning to regular meetings and all that comes with it.
At times like this I had returned to this page and read the writings of a stranger.
It's funny to say but reading the many posts, that I had definitely written myself, years later as a different man, I found myself in awe of that person I used to be. My old thoughts were deeper and more profound than they had become after years of scarring and calluses being built around my being. And I don't say this in a bad way.
The passing of time and my own aging had developed a crust over the person who wrote so much. I had become that "Grumpy Past Master" that I never believed I could become. My brother asking me to come back to lodge was the first strike of the chisel on the experiential mantle that had enveloped my spirit.
After much thought I agreed to return. It was easy at first, the world was under the pandemic spell and our meetings were virtual so all I had to do was go up in the attic and log into a zoom meeting with a mostly new cast of brothers. eventually, getting in the twice a month habit returned. When we were finally allowed to get back together in person it was quite refreshing and strange all at once. When last I sat in the chaplain's chair, fresh from my time in the Oriental one next to me, I could recite every opening and closing ritual and many other parts without the aid of my book. Now I needed the book because I had nearly forgotten it all. Bits and pieces remained but as fragmented lyrics of a song I used to know. When the chorus came, I could join in but mumbled my way through the rest of the song. We did degrees, I did some of my favorite parts again, yet for some reason I could not get that feeling I once had after a lodge night. The shell, although cracked, refused to break open.
Here is where the resonance comes in.
One night after lodge, I had a couple casual conversations with some brothers, had grabbed my coat and said goodbyes to whom I had chatted with. It was going to be an early night. On my way out the door in the lobby waiting to say goodbye to the brothers gathered there I became engaged in their conversation. I don't remember how it began but we ended up talking about our lodge and some of the artifacts that were saved from the old temple. I enquired about an old sign that hung on the street and next thing I knew we were in the basement where we found the old sign and numerous other treasures.
Resonance, by definition in physics, is the reinforcement or prolongation of a sound by reflection of a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object.
In one of those casual chats I had before I was about to leave, one of the brothers had mentioned to me that the lodge furniture from his grandfather's lodge in England had been saved by his family and had made its way to him and eventually the basement of the lodge. It was a small sound that struck me but would have been forgotten had I not ended up in that basement and was able to explain to some other brothers the story I had just learned. I reflected that sound and that resonance opened the cracks in my shell some more.
Part of what I loved in my first iteration in Freemasonry was telling forgotten stories, and here I was like old times reciting a short tale of some old chairs in a basement. We had some more conversations and I ended up walking out of that cellar with the old sign and the impetus to restore it for future use.
It's funny how a tiny frequency shift can change things.
I began the restoration of the old lodge sign soon after. With it came a stronger reverberation that would end up with me back here and writing and deeply thinking again.
Have you ever seen a glass break from sound? A glass has a natural resonance, a frequency at which the glass will vibrate easily. If the force from the sound wave making the glass vibrate is big enough, the size of the vibration will become so large that the glass breaks. My next post will be about how the restoration of the sign became the resonance that broke the mantle that had formed around me.
“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”