Monday, November 19, 2007

Soooooo.... How did the whole Masons thing turn out?

My good friend J. and I have known each other since 9th grade. My family moved away after 10th grade, but we stayed periodically in touch by letter through the rest of high school and early college. We lost touch for a few years in the mid-nineties, but when I looked him up again and dropped him a line via e-mail we picked up the threads quite naturally, and in many ways our renewed e-mail correspondence was just like the messages we used to exchange on local BBS systems in the late eighties.

Nowadays it's pretty common for several months to go by between e-mail exchanges, and there's never any reproach or apology necessary... as with the first email, we just pick up where we left off.

Our last exchange this year was back in June, not long after I petitioned my lodge... I told him why I had decided to join, citing most of the reasons listed in early posts of this weblog, and I was curious to see what he thought. The idea of joining a fraternal/service organization is "not his cuppa," but he understood what I'm looking for and was very curious to see what my experience was.

The other day I got a very brief e-mail from J., simply saying

Soooooo.... How did the whole Masons thing turn out?

I was a little bit chagrined to have to tell him "I'll let you know when I find out!"

It's interesting how perspectives and priorities change - over the last month or so I have been preoccupied with the purchase of my first house, and as a result I have withdrawn from obsessing over Masonic minutia, going back to something more like my perspective as a total "outsider" early this summer. That's not to say that I'm not still very much looking forward to joining... just that most of my mental energy is going somewhere else right now.

The recent news about Halcyon Lodge #2 (Formerly #498 under the G.L. of Ohio) is very interesting. From a Masonic perspective, I think it's too bad that the brothers ultimately felt that they had no choice but to sever their ties from the Grand Lodge. I also think it's too bad that the only thing critics of the split seem to have to say is, "If these men would just be good Masons and listen to their Grand Lodges then they wouldn't be discontented!"

What I find even more interesting, though, is what the whole situation must look like to a total outsider who has no stake in Freemasonry. I mean no disrespect to the brothers of Halcyon #2 and wish them great success in their endeavor, but you have to admit that a profane who has seen the beloved "Homer the Great" episode of The Simpsons would immediately point out that Halcyon #2 has pretty much just established the Ancient Mystic Society of No Homers.

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