From Ron ...
It’s summer (at least that’s what the calendar says!), so I’m taking a break from my normal schedule of composing, writing, arranging, etc. Therefore, I decided to deviate from my usual approach to what I write at the head of these newsletters.
When I lived at the Naramata Centre, I had a dear friend who was on program staff. Tom had spent much of his professional life as a Roman Catholic priest before becoming a husband and father in his late 40’s. His youngest child was born when he was 55.
Tom was introspective and patient; a person who found a beautiful sense of sanctuary in his office with his door closed. It wasn’t unusual for the two of us to just sit in that space, often without words being spoken for minutes at a time.
Tom’s office had engaging art on the walls. He loved winter because the Centre was generally quiet as opposed to the well-organized chaos of summer programming. It was also a time when darkness came early, so his many candles provided a warm glow which enhanced the gentle ambience.
I recall not really understanding what it was that so transformed that space. After all, other than Tom’s carefully placed keepsakes, it was a plain office in a rather unattractive building.
One winter afternoon it hit me: Tom was tidy.
Drawers and bins and shelves contained necessary work-related resources, all in organized order and spaces. There was not a loose sheet of paper in sight. On the wall over Tom’s desk was a wooden plaque which read, "Phile. Don’t Pile." Tom was, indeed, tidy. I am not.
I’m spending July Philing.