Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What came you here to do?

Much like Aedifico42 in his recent post on MasonicMinute.com, of late I have been wondering just how constructive my time spent blogging about Masonry really is. Specifically, opinionated blogging... about the state of the craft, what Freemasonry is, what it means, what it's supposed to be, et cetera.

Thinking back to the first couple of weeks I went searching online for information about the Freemasonry, there were two types of sites that were instrumental in my decision to ask to become a Mason:
  • Factual: Sites that discuss Masonic history and fundamentals; the nuts and bolts of how a lodge works and what the degrees are about
  • Experiential: Sites featuring first-hand accounts of what it's like to be initiated and become a member of a lodge
It didn't take long for me to exhaust whatever factual/experiential resources I could find, and during my long wait to be inducted I moved on to other sites/blogs of the "I hate fish frys, modern Masonry is lacking" stripe. While these critical viewpoints did temper some of the loftier notions I had about the experience that lay in store for me, they also set me up to feel as though disappointment was inevitable.

Recently I attended a district meeting, standing in for the vacationing Brother who usually represents our lodge. Lots of things were discussed, but among them were not the finer esoteric/philosophical points of Freemasonry. The question of retention and how we can provide new Masons with a better experience was raised, and agreement was pretty much universal that we need to do better - and ideas were discussed. The same sorts of ideas that get thrown out across the internet by solitary Brothers lamenting the state of the craft in their local lodges, to be read by Brothers on the other side of the country who can't do much but commiserate. At a real-live face to face meeting though, suddenly you're in a room full of Masons who can effect local change. What a difference!

Otherwise, it was mundane stuff... planning events for the coming year, discussing logistics and delegating responsibilities. The sort of thing that any organization has to do. There was nothing inherently mystical or ritual about it, but there was good fellowship and a mutual understanding that everyone there had given this lovely weekend evening out of their supposedly "dark" summer out of devotion to the Craft.

I guess what I'm saying is, between that meeting and the ambassador training I attended last week, I feel like I've done more to improve Masonry in my Lodge and district in one week than I have in 15 months of blogging.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Hey! Haven't spoken for awhile and wanted to check up on you. E mail me and fill me in on the house and etc...please?
I enjoy what you're doing here and I'm glad that you have kept it up. I gave up the Masonic blog posting in part for some of the same reasons that you have stated here; my life is very busy and I have to admit that the length of my cable tow is quite short. It seemed ridiculous for me to air out my dirty laundry and opinion pieces. As you yourself once stated, it appeared that my lodge was a dire affair. It is not. And I do not have the right I believe, at this time of limited involvement to voice my opinion on such weighty matters as those that all too often float to the forefront of my vision.
Be well, my brother..