Rising Sun Lodge #2

Norfolk, VA, F. & A.M., Inc. EST. 1845
WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THE PICTURE OR THE FRAME?

In museums and homes across the world private collectors seek to keep and preserve the most precious works of art. They want to protect the image for all the world to see. They put the pictures on display, in oxygen enriched, light enhanced, low heat, and moisture free environments. This is done to keep the image intact. Hundreds if not thousands are spent each year to keep the priceless works of art preserved throughout history.

 

Some of the paintings are on parchment scroll. Some on lambskin, some even on cloth. Most if not all have been painted on materials so frail and easily distorted by time and elements one wonders if the image was indeed meant to last. The colors ground and mixed from various earthly elements, the brushes vary in size and usage. Yet with one failed stroke the image is distorted, with one drop of water the colors run, with prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays the colors fade, the tapestry disintegrates and the image is ruined forever.

 

Now let us examine the frame. Carved from the finest woods imported form lands far away and transported across seas, made from precious metals mined in mountain’s and deep below the earths crust, crafted only by the most skilled of hands. The frame is indeed the structure that holds the frail, ever changing picture in place. It is sturdier than the image and constructed so solid as to with stand the enemies of time. The frame creates a solid foundation by which the image may rest. The frame, as well as the picture consists of four sides in most cases emulating the geometric circumference of what we know to be the square. It makes one think…… what is the parallel between the picture, the frame, and the human experience….

 

In relation to us as humans we find ourselves so concerned about society’s view of our “image” we alter it on a daily basis. As we get older we strive to look younger, and when we are younger we try to look older. We apply makeup and change our clothing to enhance our features all so society will approve of the image……We care more about the earthly appearance then we do about the image our creator has destined for us to adopt in the spiritual kingdom.…… and the frame he gave us to hold the image in….because of pride we play as if all is well when we know the times are hard. We join in conversation of a destructive nature in respects to our craft …only because the environment around us supports it and we want the image given that we do as well. We adopt habits that we know are not of our design yet for the sake of the image we continue to do them. I would caution that we stop the prolonged staring at the image, and begin to work to restore the frame.

 

As the world gazes upon the image and marvels on the colors and …..wonders what the artist was thinking when he created this beautiful masterpiece, do we stop to ponder about where would this image be without the frame……where would the picture we have come to love to reminisce about, and call upon the skills the various painters whose efforts helped to create the portrait of yesterday that we strive to emulate today be without the frame. It is held together by that unseen glue of brotherhood the angles are perfect in relation to each other. The carvings tell a story that transcend time and element, …stories of pain and joy, of struggle and victory, of slavery and freedom, of prejudice and civil rights, of work and dedication, of gain and of loss , of life and of death, of brotherly love and commitment to god our neighbors and to ourselves ………the frame is the unappreciated and unprecedented  backbone of the ever changing image…..that from time to time we feel we must touch up as to remain appealing to the public eye, and opinion…..however  to the well trained eye all imperfections are seen,,,,so why concentrate on altering  the perfect -  imperfections of the image……if we are allowing the strength of the square to fall apart?

 

 

First Masonic District of Virginia - MWPHGL of VA, F. & A.M., Inc.