I have had the great good fortune to have had many teachers, mentors, and masters in my life.In my pursuits of Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, Alchemy, Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish history, and life, Joe Lang stands as one of my closest masters and teachers, as well as being my brother and friend, my pal.
(Joe, me and Todd J. at the Apprentice Pillar in Rosslyn Chapel, 2004.)
Joe is not only a teacher, historian and poet, he is a blacksmith, carpenter, and stonemason. Having spent a lot of his life in Roslin village, he learned these trades in the old master/apprentice tradition. Joe also worked building power-plants and setting up power lines. He had a job offer in Australia, to help build new power plants and update old ones.As his wife was finishing the last of the packing, Joe told Ruby he needed to take one more walk through the glen, around the castle, and have a last look at the chapel. When he returned, he saw Ruby un-packing! He said "You know me better than I do myself. You knew I couldn't leave!."
(Joe and the love of his life, Ruby. I drank scotch and lemonade with Ruby as we ate pancakes.)
I got to tour Rosslyn Chapel
with Joe many times, and he took me to visit lodges
and go on various adventures around Edinburgh. We also went many times to Temple
, known as Balantrodoch, to visit the old Templar site and see Masonic gravestones. Joe encouraged me to walk the old Templar road behind the stone wall that is now mostly overgrown.
( Meeting Joe at Roslin to work on his book of poems, 2007.)
Joe recited this poem for Todd and I in the Glen
, we all shed tears and it is one of the best memories of my life;
In Rosslyn's Glen
When the licht i' the lift gauns aa stottery,
Braw Rosslyn's Glen wad be nae-mair.
Then aa the warld wad quit its rotary an aa wad dee.
Then aa thing wad be turned tae stoor
And time wad birl into its langest hoor,
Ner wad we sit in yon flowery-bower again,
In Rosslyn's Glen.
The Esk wad gie ower its sweet churmurmin'
And cannie-nannies stop their burmerin'
Then stoot castle waa's wad aa be tummilin'
Oot ower the kingfisher's nest.
Then hind and stag wad freeze until bleck bleck naethin'
Braw leaves on trees wad never be.
Then I wad greet ayont eternity,
For Rosslyn's Glen
-Joseph Lang, copyright 2006
From Joe's book http://www.shukuangpress.com/products/books.php?id=5
(Joe's last tour of Rosslyn Chapel with Susan Jones and me, 2011.)
I hope to see Joe this year in June.Either way, he is always in my heart and thoughts. Namaste dear teacher...