I was reading a poem recently and in that poem I saw a word I had not seen in years. The word was indelible:
“Each of us is to himself indelible. I had to become that which could not be, by time, from human memory, erased”
“I made beautiful paintings, beautiful poems. Fluff, Garbage. The inextricability of love and hate? If I had merely made you love me, you could not have saved me”
Fragment of “The Ghost” a poem by Frank Bidart
It struck me in an odd way or might I say, in a whimsical sense of reflective amusement. My poetic sprite reared his irascible, impish little head and whispered teasingly into my inner ear. The word was as suitable and appropriate an acronym as one could want. A eulogy fit to be inscribed upon a headstone, an epitaph to describe the one who lies therein. Here lies a person of indelible spirit and indomitable character. I sincerely wish my heirs and friends would remember me as such.
Indelible has been usurped by the word permanent, in conjunction with the modern Sharpie Felt Tip Pens. We once read the term, “indelible ink”, on the old ink cartridges we once used in our old fashioned fountain pens. Everyone, or rather we old folk, will remember the ink stains on our shirt pockets and they were indeed indelible. Alas! The word has now become archaic, even the old fountain pens have gone the way of dial telephones and cursive writing.
The snippet of prose below came immediately to realization so I hurriedly jotted it down. Thus the word, indelible, and this new prose below, prompted this blog post.
In error naught, love be frustrated
Of old men in their sulking tirades,
But in insolence, Tis naught they kneel
But to the waning years, must they yield.
By me, Greg Moore
I am now in the winter of my years and I am as obstinate and argumentative as ever. I heard a joke the other day that said: I must have a wonderful rear end because every time I walk away from people, I hear the whisper, “What an Ass!” (Pun intended)
I will resist death’s encroaching wraith with resilience and fortitude. My indelible nature might be diffused and diluted but I will resist being erased. As the poem fragment above states: I spend an inordinate amount of time creating things that I will leave behind.
Almost all poems are epitaphs in some form or another and I suppose that is why I read poetry because I find insight and comfort in the prose expressed by others. Whole poems are not what actually pleases me but it’s a phrase or thought that connects with me or speaks to me. An example;
“Behold that Tree, in autumn’s dim decay,
Stript by the frequent, chill, and eddying Wind;
Where yet some yellow, lonely leaves, we find
Lingering and trembling on the naked spay.” ‘
“Yet, like those weak, deserted leaves forlorn,
Shivering, they cling to life and fear to fall!”
Fragments of Sonnet 92, by Anna Seward
The initial prose above that I created, came easily but now I will obsess over making it into an appropriate piece of poetry, trying to create three more quatrains and a couplet to produce a Shakespearean Sonnet. That may take some months so I will not finish it in this post.
As I have previously stated, I am an Ancient Free and Accepted Mason. Freemasonry deals a lot on this topic, of old age and wisdom, in what we call our work, our ritual or our art, all of which are synonymous. In some of our ritual we recite the following exert from Ecclesiastes 12:1-7.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth while the evil days come not,
“Nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; while the sun or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain;
“In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves.
“And the grinders cease, because they are few; and those that look out of windows, be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets.
“When the sound of the grinding is low; and he shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low.
“Also, when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way,
“And the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail;
“Because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets; or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it”
Masonry is above all else “The Ancient Science of Morality” taught by signs and symbols and explained thru allegory. (Metaphoric) In the scripture above, Masonry would teach you that life is precious and while we are yet young and before we lose our way, we should acknowledge God.
As we grow older, we begin to stoop (bow) and tremble, our teeth (grinders) and eyesight (windows) and our hearing (birds) become less astute and you hear the timber in an elder’s voice.
How we become unsteady with loss of balance and we fear heights and stumble into and over stuff. The almond tree’s blossom is white as is our hair. The grasshopper is symbolic of a man trying to overcome diversity. The silver cord is our spinal column and the golden bowl, our minds. The pitcher is our heart and the wheel broken at the cistern is our ability to control our bladders.
It is all wrapped up in the end with the summation that our spirits will return to that which every Mason knows “From whence we came”
So now I hope you can see the form and beauty of what Freemasonry is. I did not reveal any secrets here, rest assured! This was a peek into our world, The Universe, where all of mankind can fellowship together without regard to religion, dogma or ethnic origin, we see no color nor race and we check our prejudice and bias at the door and women are still not allowed!