The North Eastern Corner

  1. Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
    Its always the same.
    Long periods go by and then through coincidence or overdue planning, a visit occurs.
    In the blink of an eye conversation returns just where it left off no matter how long the interruption.

    Good to see you. Its been a long time. Although I have popped in a few times over the years. It was usually a test to see if I could write or not and for such a long time “I ” have not been there to answer the test. Vagaries, poems and stabs at blogging is what I have been doing for a long time because I can honestly say my mind had not been my own. My past two posts have been in September a year apart. This one is exactly 364 days since my last.

    What is it about September??

    I spent 71/2 years working a very demanding job in a 247 industry. I learned a lot, I taught a lot, I traveled, I got angry, I laughed, and everything in between. After all the blood sweat and tears, my position and department were eliminated and I was set free.
    set free??


    My work was my life, well not exactly. I never let it become the end all be all of my existence, but due to my job and what I supported in that role; in between time with my family and a few extra curricular activities, it took up most of the rest of the grey matter in my skull. Despite its demands I am ever thankful for my landing that job. It helped to support my family and allow us to do just about anything we wanted to do.
    The company I had been a part of was acquired by a bigger company and after a departmental development meeting it became clear to me that my time was short. I was furious at first but I had seen the writing on the wall since the purchase and started to think about where I was and where I wanted to be. What I was being forced into was a blessing in disguise and thankfully I recognized it as such.

    So now I am free.

    I started my own company and for 2 months or so the cloud over me is lifting and I am starting to feel like myself again! It has been so liberating. Although the worries about my business still worry me all the time, they are good because they are my own.

    One of my best friends and brothers was recently over my house for a party and in no time at all we were addressing all the problems of the world and carrying on as usual. When Freemansonry came up, as it always does between us, during the usual “have you paid your dues yet?” conversation, we both brought up our dear friend who is now in the celestial lodge and how he had kept us in the fraternity for a good stretch and how much we missed him. JH must have been with us during this meeting because all of the sudden our “to demit or not demit” conversation turned into good thoughts of our traveling days and a warm feeling came back to me about the fraternity. We both loved what we were doing in the Order when we were in the thick of it and unfortunately the bad stuff had overshadowed the good for too long. The more we talked the more I wanted that person I was back. All of the sudden I had a blog post forming in my head. The feeling of that spark of creativity washed over my being and I welcomed it back with a smile.

    Unfortunately for all of us, a few beers and great camaraderie washed away the profound post that I had in my head that night but here we are none the less. I’m Back.

    Last night I listened to a Manly P Hall lecture “Reclaim the Mind”

    I think I will!

    Thanks NS. Thanks JH
  2. .….…..L.….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….…..i.….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….g.….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….…..h.….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….…

    The deep darkness surrounds and is all.
    The vastness of it is overwhelming.
    The world is a constant blur of doing…

    What happened to being? Sensing? Delving?

    Memories of a spark, a taper in a large room, a beacon in the distance,
    A feeling of purpose.
    To a numbing throng of dithering.
    White noise constantly distracting.
    Vuzz, click, swipe.
    Click, vuzz, swipe.
    Vuzz, click, swipe.
    Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll…

    Whats this?
    In the middle of an eclipse a faint something diminishes the calignosity.
    Senses awaken from a slumber of non use.
    A feeling of curiosity returns, delivered by the same device of diversion.

    The Mystic Tie that bonded but never broke.
    A handshake in the dark,
    The grip was correct.
    A voice long missing needed to sound.
    Inaudible at first, just mouthing the long forgotten…

    Silence is broken, the veil of blackness lifts ever so slightly…


    A whisper in the dawn.


    Just a glimmer but a hope…

  3. Memories are like stars in the sky,
    you can sometimes see them,
    and sometimes you don’t.
    They are always there somewhere,
    Hidden by light,
    Hidden by clouds,
    but always there…in the background.
    You need to sit still in the dark,
    and look

    Words, people, landscapes, stories from your life are real.
    They happened.
    In the blur of living they get added on everyday.
    Hundreds upon hundreds,
    Thousands upon thousands of new stars in your mind.

    like Polaris or Sirius, are brighter than others and are easily found.
    are like faded constellations, that you know where they are,
     but occasionly need time to orient yourself in the right direction on the right night to recognize.

    There are some that exist,
     but can only be seen when you are in a completely different hemisphere of being.

    The thing about them,
    is that they are infinite,
    far off glimmers of a distant time and place.
    In reality and in the mind..

    You need a night of no clouds and silence to stop and take them in to recall and reflect.

    We all need to look at the stars more often,
    We used to.…

  4. The roll of the workmen has been called and one Master Mason has not answered to his name. He has laid down the working tools of the Craft and with them he has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use. His labors here below have taught him to divest his heart and conscience of the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting his soul as a living stone for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. In reverence then, let us lift our prayer to the Divine Being to insure the favor of that Eternal God.

    This is one of the most beautiful pieces of lecture in the Masonic repertoire. It invokes such a profound realization of loss in me.

    I can hear his name being called… no response, called again…, called once more…
    We travel along this winding path of life and are joined by so many over time but sometimes it seems that there are so few that hop along side and walk beside you, truly.
    With those true friends you know whatever twist the road may take, even though you may take different sides of the fork, just around the bend your paths will meet again and it will be just as before.

    I had a friend like this.

    I met him first when I was a junior officer of the lodge accompanying the oldest member of my lodge and my mentor on an investigation of a petitioner to the Mysteries of Freemasonry. I was the enthusiastic young Brother who wanted to do everything and be everything for my new lodge and raised my hand for any and every voluntary contribution to the Craft that I could.
    We came to his place of work, a country club, where he sat us at a room in the back overlooking the harbor of our city, it was a beautiful place, the only other time I had been in a country club was either at a wedding or caddying as a kid. He explained to us that he had heard of Freemasonry through a member of his club that was a member of our lodge and that he had always had an interest in the fraternity. I took a back seat for the beginning of the interview but my exuberance soon took over and I was answering and interjecting myself into the whole process. I was twenty years this man’s junior but spoke to him like the wizened warrior monk I thought I was and the crazy thing was he was not taken aback by my young age at all!
    Before I knew it, I was a masonic mentor to this man who technically could have been my father. We soon discovered that our paths had many common areas that were too common to be coincidence. Friends, co workers, etc was a long list of “Oh yeah I know him (or her)! How the hell have we not met before.” Before I knew it I had a part in raising this man to the sublime degree of Master Mason and gained a Brother and life long friend.
    He always said I reminded himself of him as a kid of my age and I wanted to be a man like him of his age! He was kind and wise and versed in his profession and most of all he respected a rapscallion like me. It wasn’t the phoney respect you get from some older guys who just are patronizing you to keep you going, but genuine respect of a man to another man who realizes you come from another experience and wants to learn from you regardless of the age difference. We had many similarities; our Irish heritage, our passion, our fire and ice personalities, there were people who either loved or hated us and we didn’t care because we were both confident in who we were. I don’t know for sure if I bolstered his confidence but I can tell you without a doubt he made me much of the man of who I am if you meet me today.
    He was entered, passed, and raised with me on the line and a part of every part, and I say that with this with sincerity, that I have and will always consider him my first and true Master Mason that I was a part of.
    As we grew in friendship I discovered just how similar we were in many ways.
    We were Irish. (given)
    We were traditional. (given)
    We were wandering souls. (very Irish tendency)
    We sought an anchor for life’s travails. (given)
    We were conservative. (rare in the Irish world)
    We were outspoken. (I won’t even go there)

    He was there behind me in my highs.
    He was fighting for me in my lows.

    There were few calls that I walked away from what ever was happening in my busy world to take, but his was one.

    He became my rock.
    He became my weather vane.
    He became my hero.

    When I wanted to throw the fraternity to the curb he held me fast. When I wanted nothing to do with my lodge he lulled me back in. He was my hero.

    When I learned of his current health crisis I didn’t even think that something could happen to this man because he was made of iron and could not be broken. When I spoke to him last, I felt ashamed that I had called to question his health because his positive attitude would prevail against anything that could be thrown against him. Then I received  a horrible text.

    I didn’t believe it.
    I still don’t.

    Back to the ritual…

    My Brethren, we have assembled in accordance with the ancient customs of our Craft to bid farewell to the mortal body and Godspeed to the immortal spirit of him who dwelt a Brother among us.
    Brother James Charles Hutchinson. Born: December 11, 1955,  Raised: November 6, 2008, Passed to the great beyond: March 1, 2015.
    Ours is a ceremony, not of grief and despair, but of faith and hope. 
    These last rites we accord Brother Jim signify only our parting with his flesh, from which the immortal spirit has achieved emancipation. We perform them serenely, supported by our knowledge that each of us in his time must follow the pathway his soul has taken and, beyond the vale of sorrow, meet again to part no more. Having faithfully discharged the great duties which Brother Jim owed to God, his family, his neighbor and himself, it has pleased the Grand Master of the Universe to summon him into His Eternal presence.
     May the trestle board of his whole life pass such inspection that it may be given unto him to “eat of the hidden manna,” and “to receive the white stone with a new name,” that will insure perpetual and unspeakable happiness at His right hand. How often, when the day is ended and the sun is gone to rest, we pause to stand in awe, beholding the western sky transformed with a radiance that seems to shine out from the very gates of heaven, a wonderful picture painted by the hand of God, and we are lifted and exalted by the beauty and glory of nature. And when a life’s day is ended and a loved one is gone to rest, we are somehow lifted above the plane of our everyday life and our souls are permitted to catch faint gleams of the ineffable glory of that spiritual world, and we are comforted with a new assurance that: 
    “There is a mystic borderland that lies just past the limits of our workday world.”.

    I love and miss you my Brother,
    until we meet again.

  5. It is with heavy heart that I begin to even write this post, but by my less frequent writing anyone who may still even pay attention to this blog would surely know that my time with the fraternity has been coming to a close.

    My journey was like a glorious sunrise that seemed to take forever and then the day begins and the magic is gone. When I think about all of the time I dedicated to the craft and to my brothers and I cant help but be proud of what I accomplished and the lives I touched and be thankful of the men who helped and nurtured me. Like everything I have done in my life I would not change a single second of it for anything. 
    My being needed something to unlock the man hidden in an overgrown boy and Freemasonry held the key. It is crystal clear to me now and easy to admit that even the cataclysmic end to my time in lodge was just as important to my psyche as its stupendous rise. Maybe even more so.
    Before the two defeats of election of my peers, my entire life revolved around my lodge. It decided my free time. It decided my alone time. And more often than not, it seeped into the time that I should have dedicated to my family. I don’t say this with regret because it is what my soul needed to get me through what I went through, but as I have now evolved I can see now that it took a lot.
    It is the internal not the external
    I have a very good job now that without Freemasonry’s teaching of meeting people on the level I could never have held or been successful at. My time in the craft gave me the confidence to meet with any man or woman no matter what their title or stature and not give them reverence due simply because of their title or position. I only give respect to those who are deserving of my respect and I am not shy in dong so. My defeat taught me to not hold myself too high either. It was just at the time that I started to think about my legacy that I was taught a valuable lesson on humility.
    Stand before us an upright mason
    Dealing with politics and different people with strong beliefs can harden a man. One of the greatest things I took away from my regular attendance at lodge was a sense of self confidence and practice at it that changed me in a very good way. Even though I was always outgoing and confident, holding different positions in the lodge and dealing with traveling dignitaries strengthened my spine and made me walk with my head held high knowing that when you know what you are talking about you can talk with anyone.

    Recently I joined a new organization that has taken up my nights, but unlike lodge, playing Ice Hockey only takes me away for a couple hours and happens very late at night when my family is fast asleep. A nice side effect of this organization is weight loss and aggression venting. The only downside is that my knees are starting to really hurt…
    I have not handed in a demit but I have no urge to sit in a lodge and have serious issues in handing over my dues for something I don’t participate in.