Last month, the community to which Deirdre and I belong felt the painful loss of a young family man, Tim Cantu, to cancer. I knew Tim only a relatively short time but I can say he was truly a friend.
Tim and I shared much in common. We were both about the same age (he was a few years younger). We both were from large families and were the fathers of large families as well. Our reasons for having large families are similar too: they stem from our Catholic faith and the conviction that life is a precious gift and should be shared generously with others. Tim was the dedicated father of 5 children. It was always refreshing to see Tim and Marie with their family in large part because together they were a lot like what my wife and I want to be.
As an artist, one thing that particularly struck me about Tim was his conviction that artistic forms are both meaningful and important. Some of his many friends may not be aware that he was a patron of the arts, making an actual investment in culture that way -- and he was excited about it. I enjoyed working with Tim as artist/patron, and I sensed that he was going to be with me for the long haul in my own quest for Beauty. We also shared some good thoughts on art and beauty over some good drinks.
Tim was willing to take an unpopular position in order to be true to what he believed as far as taste and culture. This is something I respect, because it’s all too easy for any of us to go with the flow on what may seem like minor matters -- the choice of music for a party, say -- but the fact remains that forms form us. Tim knew that. Seeking excellence in the little things -- seeking beauty in all our choices -- is a step forward on the journey toward the ultimate Good to which we’re destined.
Tim’s journey, it seemed last month, was cut cruelly short. Deirdre and I, along with many, many others, were praying for a miracle. We wanted so much for this fun, lively guy to fully recover, to stay by his wife Marie's side and get to watch his children grow up. Learning of his passing was a painful blow. But we trust that God has a plan that will redeem all the suffering. As I think of and am grateful for Tim’s support of my artwork and, more importantly, his friendship, I’m reminded of the deep value of choosing the more beautiful way, in matters both great and small.
Hello there, I'm John H. Folley, an oil painter in the Boston School tradition. Thanks for visiting the Beauty Advocacy Blog, where it's my job to help you become a more discerning art appreciator.
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