Thursday, February 19, 2009

1. the path

I am adding this little preface in readiness for tomorrow, for Steven’s transformative moment meme.  I didn’t write anything new because I had written this already.  This moment, in my young life, was the one that set me in my life’s direction.  I had others...meeting my husband/partner which settled me down, giving birth (Husband will tell you it completely changed me), even taking acid which changed the way I see the world...but the one that empowered me to take charge of my life, to MAKE my life, is here:

Being a self employed artist has its ups and downs.  The ups are being your own boss doing what you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it.  My vocation is my avocation.  Being self employed also means that when I want, I can take the day off, make time for my kids and now my grandkids, set my own schedule.  I can go sit in the sun for 15 or 20 minutes whenever I want or take a long lunch with a friend.  It also means working long hours to get a job out on time, trolling for work when nothing has come in, living hand to mouth, being totally responsible for having money at all.  These are trade-offs.  

When I first started at this adult life in my early 20s, it never occurred to me that I could make a living on my own without a ‘real’ job.  And then I met David, a self-employed artisan, who told me, when I expressed some bit of envy of his life, that ‘anyone can do it’.  It was a door opening and a light going off in my head, a sudden revelation.  I think back on that day now and I wonder, if my path had never crossed David’s, would I still be here?  Doubtful.  It was at his shop where I first saw someone sandblasting a design on glass, however crude the technique.  It was from his mouth that the magic words came.  He was a person in my life for a very short time, probably not even a year, and yet his effect on my life was profound.  With this crossing, a new path appeared before me and I chose it.


  1. hi ellen, i've read this before but reading it again, i'm struck at how trivial the word "fortuitous" is when you describe the chance meeting with someone who begins your life or opens a doorway that opens up thousands of other doors. it's fortuitous but it's way more than that. what is that? how is that? i'm really excited to see what other readers think about this!!! thanks so much for sharing this piece ellen. i'm truly grateful! have a lovely day. steven

  2. It is so true - the right time, place, person, words and our life is transformed. What amazes me is the words are often very simple, but they are exactly what we needed in that moment. They resonate, we hear the truth, and we know we are changed. Thank you so much for this reminder with your transformative moment.

  3. Hi Ellen

    this story makes me think of readiness... At another time you might not have taken your friend's words seriously nor acted on them...

    There is that delicious synergy between our own readiness and receptivity and the invitations from the universe...

    ans when they marry - great changes can happen...

    Happy days

  4. Life holds some surprising moments, doesn't it? You never know when a word, a look or a phrase will move your life into a new direction.

    Fascinating post.

  5. There's a wonderful dichotomy of taking charge of our lives and having that mysterious wave push us along the path.

  6. I'm thinking serendipity - I'm so glad you met David!

  7. the odds of being in the right place at the right and in the right frame of mind to be able to pick up on what's available to us are so huge, it really makes the jaw drop when that moment of clarity hits. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Such a gentle leading to your path. Hindsight clearly shows why this person was brought into your life for a bit of time.

  9. ellen, fascinating to read how it's not always the "big" events that make the significant, lasting changes. Your post has refreshed me, and reminded me to stay receptive. Thank you.

  10. Beautifully written -- I work at home, as well - author/writer, whatever name I can be called. . .

    I think of all those years of working in an office and feeling as if I had pieces of me chewed off bit by bit by bit over the years.

    I feel incredibly fortunate.

    I do wish I could make more money sometimes! But, I wouldn't trade this life...especially knowing the other one.

    a fine post.

  11. It takes a certain amount of bravery to do what you did. I am envious. Your work is amazing!

  12. Hi Ellen~I worked for you and Marc part time in the 80's. It's great to see how your work has evolved. I took time away from glass w/ my 2 daughters, but have returned full-time. Glass chose me also. I'm spending lots of time in Helios Studio these days. I hear such nice words said about you from students and of course Paul and Karen. All the best and thanks for the inspiration!
    Deniece Bonner


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