Hello, Thank You, Good-Bye!

 

One of the privileges of having a blog site: one can introduce to friends and readers some one of extraordinary talent, good will, boundless energy and curiosity  Such is my dear friend, Ellen Williams.

I met Ellen a number of years ago when we both lived in the
Washington, DC area. It took one short visit to recognize a soul-sister.

 And we have never looked back. Although we have both moved residencies twice since meeting, the telephone and internet keep us bound together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Ellen is an open-hearted nomad, who travels freely, intellectually, physically, spiritually  and creatively.

Ellen has a strong background academically, from PhD. to just completing ESL training.

 She has travelled the world on a shoe-string.

There are very few art forms she hasn't tried her hand at from metal welding to Japanese pen and ink.
A few years ago Ellen participataed in a large women's art exhibit. Her unique hand sewn kimonos lined the walls. They were simply marvelous, creative, innovative and each kimono told a chapter in her life.

Please meet Ellen. I recall at the time asking her to pose in one of her beautiful kimonos she had created. She graciously accepted.




A number of years have passed since this exhibit. Ellen has pursued many more artistic projects, docent work at the Smithsonian, and between all of her interests, there is time for travel. She is fearless and undaunted by anything she puts her heart, hand and talent to.


And so it is with great happiness and pleasure that I introduce her latest project. 

Hello, Thank You, Good-Bye
Modern Adventures in an Ancient World
written by Aloha Williams (pen name)

If there is a doorway beckoning, Ellen flies through it like a hummingbird darting here and there, tasting from this and that dainty blossom, choosing the sweetest nectar of life.

Hello, Thank You, Good-Bye is armchair traveling at its best--simply jump into any chapter, pick and choose, but by the end you will have quickly read the entire book and perhaps more than once.


Each chapter reflects a time, culture and rhythm from which she opens all of her senses to the language, sounds, music; the aromas of place, people; the routine, the exotic accumulated from the myriads of cultures that populate this Earth.  She is intrepid, fully curious, inquisitive, alert and happy to literally fly on-a-dime. Hers is not the world of luxury hotels, five star restaurants and exotic tours.


Ellen travels with her eyes, ears and heart wide open. We slipped into a church while religious services were being held. Everyone stood. The room was dark except for the hundreds of dancing flames on lit candles and the smell of wax scenting the air.  The women all wore head scarves. A choir provided the melody, voices blending so harmoniously that we didn’t miss the organ. Every face reflected a devout piety. A feeling of peace attended the service.


One joins her at the table as she dines.  Did you know that that Borsht, beet soup, was not a Russian dish but Ukrainian? We ate this delicious red soup with potatoes and cabbage topped with a dollop of white sour cream. The bread accompanying it was full-bodied and tasty. For dessert we drank hot, white chocolate.


Ultimately one opens their mind and heart as she opens hers.   Earlier in the day…I had found and purchased a lovely Koran in Arabic, bound in faux leather with gold lettering. At the dinner I was showing everyone at the table my bound book…..the waiter was mesmerized looking at my book. In broken English, he asked, ‘Do you like this book?’ I replied, ‘Yes but I cannot read Arabic.’  He repeated, ‘It is a good book it is a good book.’ He seemed pleased that I owned my own Koran…it was a graphic reminder to revere all scriptures!


With Ellen the illusion of separation from the world is split open. Hers is NOT a world of exclusion, separateness, division, right or wrong.   She  expresses this in a visceral and tangible way, that WE ARE ALL THE SAME. And therein rests the strength of this book.






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