Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Incredible Retirement

About this time a week ago, my beloved and I were strolling up Nelson's very own Ward Street, heading for home and supper, and ruminating over the just passed whoop up, in the main gallery of the new museum, concerned with her retirement as archivist and collections manager of the Nelson Museum, Art Gallery, and Archives Association. It had, of course, been nothing but a love-in, with lots of appropriate tears and laughter, the sort of thing that has to happen when you sort-of put out to pasture one of the greatest combinations of heart and brains you've ever seen and heard saunter through the universe at hand on a daily basis. This clambake, she hoped fervently, had finally brought to an end literally weeks of notice from the local news outlets, city council, and anyone else who could get into the act. It's one of the things we do in organized society - honour the souls who have served us well - but it's also a bit of strain on those who truly understand what it is to be useful. It's the job that counts and challenges and consoles, not the foofoorah that comes afterward.
Earlier than that, she had announced that we should attend the Nelson Choral Society's performance of Handel's Messiah, and I had bought tickets. This was before she realized, having her head down in the closing days of her work, that as she had two weeks of holidays coming to her, her first official day of retirement would be the Sunday of the Messiah performance. To tell the whole truth, it was not she that understood this simple principle of the ordinary work year, but her successor at the helm of the good ship Touchstones, who is very particular on all the management stuff, having a considerable bigger staff than Shawn used to have - except when Shawn had provincial and/or federal grants fueling activity at the old site - and also just super-efficient anyway, brought this particular revelation down to the archives basement.
Thus, 60 jubilant voices, four fine soloists, the twenty assembled musicians of the Selkirk Chamber Orchestra - containing two former members of the Vancouver Symphony - and a thunderously appreciative capacity audience were all on hand on the Sunday that marked her first official day of retirement. I didn't realize this myself until half-way through the first half of the performance, but when it did occur to me I was pleasantly struck by the auspiciousness of it all. God was not only good, but significant.
Later on, I realized that with the possibility of my wife being around the house a lot more, I was reminded of when we very first met, and felt as if I were twenty-two all over again, although happily a lot wiser. I hope.
And now I have just emailed the Columbia Basin Trust about its possible interest in the music publication aspect of the recent research. Some years ago, talking with a different government organization drew the most amazingly unintelligent response. It will be interesting to see if this group is more capable of actually thinking, especially with Herself around to help shed the light.
"And the government shall be upon their shoulders."

1 comment:

cabbage ears said...

Oh Shawn...enjoy your well deserved and worthy retirement. Enjoy the hours of righteous conversation and the study of what is wise, what is of the spirit. I envy you the steps that do not lead..."gently...into the good night."