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Wood, Steel and the Mystery of the Incarnation

Late last summer, Laurie Chase Loomer and her son, Chase, came by the Gallery for a brief visit on his way back to school. Chase is a young man whose prodigious interpretive gifts and skill on organ and keyboard in general have won him awards and acclaim, and he is soon to graduate from Eastman School of Music in Rochester. At my hubby Paul's memorial service, Chase played Bach's D Minor Organ Concerto, and I knew that Paul's spirit was dancing in heaven! In passing, I said how much I would love to have Chase play in the barn and he said he too would love to do so. We began to ponder on what instrument and how... when I remembered that a friend, Christine Visscher, had a small organ in her home and asked her whether it might possibly be available for a concert in our barn....

The organ in question is an Opus I organ designed and built by Christine's brother, master organ builder, Bill Visscher, and it was in much need of TLC to ready it for performance! Christine's brother, Pieter, who owns the organ, agreed to have it repaired after an assessment by Rick Parsons, master organ builder, of Canandaigua, NY, and friend of Bill. It was all so amazingly coming together!

So, on December 7th early morning under a slate-grey sky, I got the call from girlfriend Christine that her brother Pieter had arrived with another friend, Tom Gordnier, to transport the Opus I organ to Canandaigua for restoration and repair. It was so miraculous! Following our brief, late-summer conversation, the Visscher 'kids' and Rick Parsons had teamed up to preserve this rare instrument and make our dream of an organ concert in the barn a reality!

Snow was in the forecast, and the thought on that cold, grey December morning, that this fragile old instrument of wood and steel precariously descending a steep incline into a rental truck would by summer miraculously become a channel of the most elevating and sublime music was, to me, quite overwhelming.

Spirit and matter, matter and spirit -- the mystery was revolving in my mind and heart when I suddenly realized that this was none other than the mystery of the Incarnation, that spirit eternally manifests itself through the most humble of materials--wood, metal, and in the wondrous birth of each human child. This was the mystery of Christmas that in reality reveals itself to us each day whenever and wherever we encounter beauty and kindness, goodness and truth.

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