Thursday, February 8, 2007


I went to my first meeting of my first writers group yesterday. One of our assignments was to write fro 10 minutes on an epiphany or awakening we had experienced. Here's mine:

Most of my life had been spent doing what needed to be done, almost all of it for someone other than myself. I went to work every day so that my children would have a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, clothes on their bodies and all the other things that kids need.

Than was the only way I knew to live. Everyone I knew went to work every day and fit all the rest of their lives around their work schedules. All of my family did it. All of my friends and acquaintances did it. I had never seen any other life style.

Then in 1988, I went to the Kerrville Folk Festival. Everyone lived in tents at the festival. It was impossible to tell who was a highly successful business person and who just barely got by at first glance. I made friends from all walks of life and never knew what most of them did "for a living."

The first few years that I attended the festival, I made no attempt to make contact with any of these friends outside of the festival. Each year I would wonder who I would see from the year before. After a couple of years, several of us formed out own camp and I started getting notes a few weeks prior to the festival letting me know what to bring. Gradually, I began to spend non-festival time with some friends that I had met there and began to see all the kinds of ways in which they live.

I was fascinated. I told one friend that I thought it was brave of her to make here living writing and singing her songs. She replied that she considered it much braver to go to work at the same job every day.


tammy vitale said...

Great story! Each way of life has its own ups and downs. I keep trading back and forth between them. Of the two, I'd have to say working for myself is my favorite.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I've always believed that working for someone else is living vicariously.

I also had to do it to support my children, but in the few moments of down time, I felt acutely that so many hours, months and years of my life were lost because they were not spent on my own goals and talents.

I have read many Buddhist texts telling me that all work is sacred if it is done in a sacred manner. This served to make me feel even more inadequate because although I grasped the concept intellectually, I continued to yearn for more meaningful work to spend my energies and my life on.

And I totally agree with your friend who spoke of the bravery required to go to a soul-numbing job every day.