My lodge conferred the Master Mason degree tonight. It is high ritual, more impressive than a Mass. It puts me in the kind of altered state that athletes refer to as “the zone.” The props and lighting; the officers in their tuxedos, the master with his top hat; the long ritual performed from memory; the intricate movements of body and hands. So many ways of doing each thing wrong, but only one of doing it right.
Behold, the hours wore on, and the lodge grew hot; and I grew rebellious in my coat and tie. At length, I removed the latter, but the small patch of bare skin that was exposed made little difference; so off went the coat. Some looked at me in surprise, but what else could I do—sweat and feel like an idiot? I am ready to rebel when reason demands it.
Allow me my small rebellions, and I will serve you well; but deny me, and we will both come to doubt that I am in the right place. Noting that the thermostat was locked at 75, I blamed the Scottish Rite for my discomfiture—it being their building. Others suffered too, but only I rebelled. I am the only rebel in many settings, although I do not know why.
Stockholm memories, scattered and smothered - *First things first, or Loose Ends Tied Up While-U-Wait Department: I arrived at Arlanda airport in Stockholm early in February 1969 wit...