The Architect, Master Builder and Me

In basement rooms and on hard wooden pews,
Once each week, 
My knowledge of their God grew.

An entity not at all the same,
As that god I already knew,
As The Great Architect, by name.

Under sunlight filtered through chips of colored glass,
I learned well, 'tis safer to listen than it is
To question and ask.

Under wide-open skies,
Walking through fields of waving grass,
The Plumber answered,
Every question I wished to ask.

Rarely was there not an answer,
He did not already, know well.
Nor did he judge me for wondering outloud,
When others,
For same act,
Condemned me to hell.

From earliest memory,
I remember hard lessons learned,
Tis best to listen and obey,
As if my life is dependent upon.

Strict but Just, was my earliest life.
Corporal punishment never delivered,
While in anger.
Sometimes, I had to wait,
Sometimes, a lecture to squirm under,
Sometimes an instant smack on the butt,
That left a momentary sting, 
But never a mark.

At the living room desk and kitchen table,
Within our small home, 
That had not a den, office or study,
I learned about the tools of trade.

In all five rooms, of that small house,
Each had shelves and racks,
Holding all the many printed works,
That made my first 'library'

A long gravel lane,
Ran from country road to home, 
Built, Plowed and maintained,

An extra roundabout built,
So both yellow school bus and Bookmobile,
Could travel down, 
And not have to 'drive in reverse to main road' out

The square, the triangle, the ruler & compass,
Familiar to me and names understood, 
From early on.
Yellow lined pads, in legal size,
Held numbers, lines and symbols, 
That started my first bilingual journey,
Into the language of the Universe

In the pit of deep earth, 
Surrounded by hills of the dirt carved out,
By massive, modern, heavy machinery - 
I sat on long ago levels of earth formed, 
Waiting for installation of heavy cast iron,
That I often was too small to carry.

I learned how to use a level, to know exactly how to gauge grade,
Until the day I might eye it and just know if right.
I learned about Calculus, Geometry, Physics & Thermodynamics,
About the nature of water, sand, clay, bedrock,  heat and cold.
And human needs for shelter built on strong foundations.

In roughed in structures,
Skeletons with no insulation,
While sitting on concrete bare
I waited with toes cramping from cold,
For the time my help was needed.
I was not told, but shown, 
About doing your job well, with a smile, 
A flourish, some personal flair.

When I woke from nightmare, 
In the middle of the night,
I learned that sometimes, 
The builder must stay up late, and 
Engineer/make right,
What the earthly architect included, 
for perceived value and aesthetic beauty,
But will not pass inspection,
Nor work for the family living within, daily.

I learned the tools used to make copper lines leak free,
A powerful torch to handle with care.
But also, my first cooking lesson,
While not in the kitchen.

Cold-packed sandwiches,
Transformed into tasty grilled cheese, 
Replete with horseradish and mustard,
To warm the innards, while outside,
The cold winter winds blew.

As I grew older, 
The strict discipline mellowed.
My Master became my Mentor,
My Ally and Friend.

All that was ever asked of me,
Was to never stop learning,
And if I were to make a stand?
Be sure I was in the right,
And by my side, I should find him,
No matter what the fight.

Until, against him,
I stood firm in what I felt was fair,
No longer a child, not yet a woman,
And he realized, not worth the fight.
Perhaps he valued our relationship, more,
Than he valued my silent obedience to guidance offered,
But I only heard as an 'order'
He most likely feared for my health & safety,
While I worked too much, and played too hard,
And slept too little.

I remember that day, I ran away from home,
For just a night.
When I refused to come home, after work,
And instead, of going out, as I asked to do,
And was told, "no",
I stayed with my adulting it friend, 
And called to tell my mom, exactly where I was at.

"You'd best come home,
Your dad is very mad"
"Well I am too, and I'll come home tomorrow."

And we each, with Mom frantic in the middle,
Stood, mad and fuming, 
On our own side,
Across that wide divide.

And yet, the next day,
When I traveled home,
Near the looming sunset,
Late afternoon it was,
When he was usually at work,
I found him waiting.

I stood silent, and finally said, 
"I'm home, need I move out?"
And he asked, instead,
If we could take a walk?

Towards the open pasture,
We walked apart.
We stood at the fence line, 
As the silence grew.

Finally he said, with a voice,
soft and low,

"Look at the sun, Sis,
Think of all it has seen,
As our planet slowly turns.
And perhaps, your life ain't so bad...
Compared to all in this world,
that ole sun has seen, today....
At least, well, (pause and clearing of throat..)
That's what my mom once told me."

I stood in silence, 
While my eyes filled with tears...
And then I said, 
"I'm sorry I hurt you dad,
I'm paying my own way, 
where you will let me help,
My grades are good, I work hard, 
and I needed,
To be with my friends, for a few hours,
last night.
I wasn't tired, even with the long week of school and work
I wanted, for a moment, to just go have fun, 
For the coming weeks,
are full scheduled, on many fronts, 
And there will be no time, for having fun."

He smiled a gentle knowing smile, 
As the sun glinted off the silver strands peeking
Out, here and there, in his hair.
And calling me Sis,
We walked together, back to the house.

Me full of youthful energy,
And lighter heart.
He walking with the limp in his knee,
The pain his back,
That never fully went away,
After that one on-the-job accident - 
When he was working long and hard,
And mis-stepped....

That was the last time we talked of such things,
Until the day arrived,
When his body betrayed him,
And my work worn, aching joint hands,
Rubbed his back, his ears, his feet,
To bring him respite and relief,
From the pain and nausea, the side effects,
Of treatments taken, to extend his life.

"Ahh...that brings me relief, Sis,
But please do not wear out your hands.
You've worked them so hard, 
Waste them not, nor wear yourself out,
On me."

And I replied,
"your hands destroyed, over a lifetime
of caring for me and others.
My hands are yours, until you no longer 
need them."

In my youth he walked, 
Outside, small book in his hand.
As he learned his lines, 
The stories of honor & integrity,
to be passed on to men younger than he.

I was often asked, 
By peers in my youth,
"Can you keep a secret?"
And I already knew, 
As lips, cruelly smiled,
Eagerly expecting, my 'Yes' reply,
They had already proven, 
They could not.

My heart shriveled in despair,
The night at the supper table, 
I learned, no matter what my inner dream,
I could never be a Mason,
Given my gender at birth.

If interested,
I could, as daughter of his,
Join other organizations,
That were there, for women who yearned.

But no, Sis, 
He gently said,
You can never be a Mason.
And I hope you are never a Plumber,
I wish for you, an easier life,
Than hard physical labor.

My mother, by his side stood,
And went to Eastern Star,
And made and wore her dresses,
In each passing color.

I learned of the Women in the Bible,
And their virtues,
Symbolized in each colored point,
As mom and I made beaded ornaments.

Adah, Ruth, Esther, 
Martha and Electa.
The colors I loved, didn't always match up, 
With the stories, I loved most,
Ruth and Esther
Became my heroes in female form.

And yet, in my heart,
I had no wish to wear the long flowing dresses,
Or join the Star meetings I could,
I wished only to live a life,
Worthy of the Plumber who had raised me,
And guided by the same Architect,
That guided him.

I knew not the signs,
Or secrets of he and his brethren,
I knew only, travelers, strangers,
Widows and orphans, were to be 
Served and protected.

I knew that no matter the trade,
No matter what tools I used,
I must always remember,
To be on the level, square and true.

To do hard jobs, the best I could,
To always ask and learn.
To leave behind those who wished
To hurt others,
No matter what I was told,
Regarding what I would earn...

To commune with the Great Architect,
No matter when/where I am,
To recognize my true brothers and sisters,
No matter by what name, they call their Architect.

To stand by myself, if need be,
When what is right, sings in my heart.
To stand by myself, if need be,
When I know what is being done,
Is not fair, just or right.

To stand between the vulnerable, 
And those using force of their might.

To face the dark, and find the answer,
Even if I feel as if I sit alone.

To enjoy the asking and journey,
The stories shared with me,
Along the way,
Just as much, as the 
Answers and destinations arrived at.

Oh, in my whole life, all I ever wanted to be,
Was like the Master Builder,
Who raised me.

I learned the best testimony,
Was a life honorably lived,
That if I did that,
Those who yearned for the same thing,
Would ask and I had no need,
To go out and about, 
Or seek to convert, anyone to the ways of 
Thinking Me.

When faced with pregnancy,
And single motherhood,
I looked him in the eye, 
And said, I understood...

If he should disavow me, 
For bringing  upon my family, 
Community shame;
But I would not sacrifice,
Nor hide from sight,
My miracle child.

He asked only three questions,
And at my true answers, he nodded,
And said, 
"It will not be easy,
This world is not kind,
To single mothers,
I'll help where I can"
And cast no blame.

Before others ever chose to stand by me, 
The silent, but strong and uncompromising,
Net of encouragement and support arrived, 
He and his Brothers,
Each in their own ways
Stood by my side.

From that network of Builders,
No matter their tools of trade, 
Came the net that protected my child to be, and me,
In the earliest days.
Even if they personally believed, at the least, 
The father deserved a good talking too,
Not one ever ostracized me,
In the community.

Oh, how inwardly proud I was, 
The day I answered the E-911 line,
And heard the panicked voice, 
Of a stranger needing help, in my land.
I knew the answer, and what was needed,
But, all the same, 
Within, I felt,
"I know your voice, 
I know your name"

Oh, how quietly I celebrated, within,
When me being me, meant, 
Another said, 
"I want what you have" 
And they referred to not fortune or fame.

Oh, how I FEARED, and frantically called,
His brethren still alive, to ask
"Who do I return these books too?"
When I rescued Masonic books at garage sale along a roadside.

I freely swore, before even asked,
"I have not read a single word, 
Not mine to read, I reckon.
But they are here and safe kept,
Until you tell me where I should return them"

And heard only a chuckle, with the gentle reply,
"You can keep, and you can read, and they are where,
They were meant to be."

I listened to co-workers, neighbors & others,
As the years passed by, spew tales,
Of deceit, power and conspiracies - 
Of the world domination sought, 
By those with 'secrets' and 33 degrees - 

If ever directly asked or engaged,
I stood by my father and those of his fidelity.
Though it was never required or asked of me.

I have been told, oh- so often,
As many backslid from their hate and fury,
How my father was not who they were referring to,
How he was not in the 'inner circle' 
They try to proclaim....

I have no need to educate them,
Only say,
"You condemn my father and his brethren?
Those you have never known,
Or truly see,
Just now? Know this...
You have picked a fight, with me."

I once saw a female Mason,
Featured in some documentary,
From a Lodge somewhere in Virginia.

By that time, I knew  much better,
I had no need to demand to 'the right' to join.
I long ago, found my 'home'
Amongst my fellow human kind,
In many churches, cultures and traditions,
I meet and get to know,  'mine'.

No matter their gender, their current lot in life,
No matter their heritage, or what work they plot,
I find Master Builders on many fronts,
And an initiated & labeled Mason, 
I seek not official recognition, or labeled be.

I've also have met many a one, 
Along my traveled road,
With labels, promises and jewelry worn,
Master Builder they claimed to be,
But through their daily,
Oft repeated actions, 
I know, they simply, cannot be.

I shall never learn, the secret sign,
To flash for help, in a strange land.
But I've learned to recognize,
The brothers & sisters known to me, 
No matter where we reside.
And thus, in my life, 
I have no desire to cleave, 
To anyone who doesn't know or recognize,

The Architect, 
The Master Builder, 

6 thoughts on “The Architect, Master Builder and Me”

    1. As always – you hear my heart, and say it best, even if you think you’re saying nothin’ at all – thank you, my friend, and one of the Master Builders I have met ‘ along the way’ – ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a life what a poem, what a brother and what a great sister you are..
    And you can most certainly be proud of being also a great architect and master builder of all you’ve achieved. 🥰🤗🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I no longer seek to feel proud, only to better understand –
      “Am I picking a fight? Or merely standing my ground? Am I passing on wisdom or simply thinking only about me and what I want…?”

      Please, I cry out often, to those in the beyond, show me the way, for I’m feeling a little lost, and questioning myself.”

      And out of the blue, when late afternoon arrived, after a day that included, the work that is mine to do, and lil by little, left me more dismayed over how much energy it takes, to simply get jobs done, miscommunication repaired, between those who cannot hear each other, verifying recorded history, on operations, on this front or that –

      A text arrives from one I met, just about a year ago – who hears my heart, just as Dad did – who checked in, out of the blue, though we both are busy – asking how the heck am I doing?

      And quickly answered when I called instead of texting, (which he knows I will do, but hate… ) – and had time to listen, speak and share –
      We each spoke of the burdens ours alone to carry or juggle, asked each other of possible solutions/feedback from the other, encouragement on goals set, and plans for future, while doubling the joys of the moments that graced our days, since last we spoke – simply by sharing them….

      He knows me and I know him – and help arrives, always, when it is most needed…. 😀


      1. The universe is always listening and we often get our help and answers in the most unexpected ways.
        We’re never alone. Even though at times I know it feels a lonely road.
        Sending hugs across the ocean and so glad you have that connection and the universe sort to reunite you both to share. 💕🥰💕

        Liked by 1 person

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