Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Purple Passage

One of the things I discovered in my research about the color purple is that a paragraph containing "ornate and flowery language" is called a "purple passage."  Metaphorically speaking, that's a good way to describe how 2012 has been for me.  Also, this year has been a major rite of passage, resulting in discovery of what a new friend of mine calls the "heart treasure," that one still point of purpose that, once discovered, turns everything else in one's life to serve it.

During the time of planning my brother's memorial, I happened to see an ad in a magazine for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, which trains people to become professional Life-Cycle Celebrants - people who create and perform ceremonies with and for people.  I immediately knew this was for me, and I entered that funny process of coming to decide something that you've actually already decided.

At the time, I had just started working toward building my new business as a personal historian, and I questioned the wisdom of aborting that in midstream and starting another new thing.  But the rightness was so apparent to me that I took the leap of faith and signed up for the training (which I'm now in the middle of). 

The thing is, I knew I had found my true calling, and so many things that had happened in recent months all worked together to form one big twinkling, neon arrow pointing to celebrancy.  It started with writing about wedding officiants and realizing the importance of celebrations of milestones.  But the biggest thing was leading my brother's memorial.  It felt totally right to me, and many people who attended, most of whom I didn't know, gave me very positive feedback; a couple of them even leaned in and whispered, "I want you to do my funeral."  I know it may sound strange, but I am so intensely grateful to my brother for this gift.

I have always felt drawn toward ritual and ceremony.  I've even considered going to seminary; and now, in the Celebrant Institute, I've found my tribe, my place.  I'm amazed at how this vocation will draw on all my passions and talents.  I'm so used to having multiple jobs, but for the first time in my life I see the various side paths all merging into one.  And since focus on the client's personal story as a "hero's journey" is one of the hallmarks that makes a Life-Cycle Celebrant different from other kinds of officiants, the personal history business is also simply being absorbed into this profession. 

All the bells in my heart are ringing in one accord.  Hallelujah.


  1. Susan,

    I have been following your blogs for a few years now. Keep coming back for more drops of honey.

    Re, your Purple Passage: In a word: Awesome!

    Awesome development. You have been blessed with a powerful opening.


    1. Thank you, Tim! It's good to know you've been out there this whole time.

  2. This is exciting and wonderful on so many levels. What a wonderful feeling to have found your calling! I imagine that you have spent many hours of introspection and discovery to get here, which just makes it all the sweeter. I'm very excited for you :)

    1. Thanks, Sue! It really is a wonderful feeling. Also a bit scary at times, when I'm so used to being a dabbler.

  3. "All the bells in my heart are ringing in one accord." What a lovely sensation that evokes. I think I know how you feel. It's a singular epiphany but a truly fulfilling one. Congratulations on finding it, friend. Like my predecessors have said, I'm excited for you.

    1. Thanks, Postie. Singular and fulfilling - yes! Well put.



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