When Pennie and I were preparing to move away from the town of our childhood, I told my friend Phil that I felt like I was suspended in limbo. I have never forgotten what he said.
“This is your time in the elevator. You are between two worlds. You are leaving behind the way it has been, but you have not yet arrived at the way it will be. You don’t know if you are going to a higher place or a lower one. The only thing you know for sure is that when those elevator doors open, you will be surrounded by new faces, new spaces, and new places; everything will be different. A new chapter in your life will begin and you will have to figure everything out. But that part is easy. The hard part is being in the elevator. The hard part is not knowing.”
You have been in the elevator. I know you have.
The going-away party was over; a new school, a new job, a new town awaited you. But you hadn’t arrived there yet. You were still in the elevator. You remember those times, don’t you?
The elevator is an awkward place filled with uncertainty. You want those doors to open so you can face what awaits you.
Phil’s explanation about the elevator came from a book he had read. He said the book was called Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life, by Gail Sheehy. It was published in 1976.
When Phil Johnson died, he left me his favorite tie. It is blazoned with shelves of beautiful books from top to bottom. He wore it often.
Phil also left me his library of more than 3,000 books, a portion of which now fill the shelves in the reading room of the Enchanted Emporium in the Village of La Mancha, just south of the Tower at Wizard Academy.
The next time you’re on campus, wander over to the Enchanted Emporium and plop yourself down in one of the soft, red leather reading chairs with a glass of wine and a book from Phil’s library.
I’d like you to get to know him.
Roy H. Williams