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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
           Monday, May 19 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterLittle epiphanies

I was very moved by this passage in a book I was reading Sunday evening:

With a slight effort, I can recall many things: I can restore a sequence of events, the when and the how. But for some reason, some things (days, minutes) I do not recall, but remember, as if they had a life of their own in me. They are not remarkable or important events, not even events at all, but particular moments and impressions. They have become the very fabric of my consciousness, a constant part of me. I am quite convinced that these memories are revelations (epiphanies) from deep within, contacts with the "other," the deeper and higher level of consciousness.

(The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann, 1973-1983, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY.)

There's no way of knowing how close to my own thinking the author was in this paragraph, but it registered to mind as a nearly perfect description of a phenomenon I've observed all my life, and I've discussed with others occasionally. Most recently, I've discussed it with my son, Mike, because many of those little epiphanies in my mind have been moments that occurred on our travels to the United Kingdom and Ireland during the past two summer vacations. Most of my little epiphanies are about my far away travels, though some of them are moments caught in time for a seeming eternity like listening to a song in Dick Millward's car in 1961, or walking up the hill on Second Street after leaving the Capitol Theater with my friend Joe Thompson when I was 14. These "flashes" (which is what I described them as to Mike, and he said he has them, too) are not always with me, but often inexplicably they are there as clear as Kodachromes.

I'm tempted to describe some of my own examples, and perhaps on Wednesday I will, but Fr. Alexander's next paragraph, recalling such a "flash" to when he was 15 years old and living in Paris, while he was writing in his 50s in New York, is so much better and poignant, that I'll close with it for today:

For example, that Holy Saturday in Paris, I was standing on my balcony before going to church. I saw a car passing by, and there was a quick, blinding reflection of sunlight from one of the windows. All I have ever felt and learned about Holy Saturday, and through that day about the essense of Christianity; all that I have tried to say or write, has always been an inner need to transmit to myself and to others what burst forth, what was illumined and revealed to me in that moment. One speaks about this when one speaks of eternity. Eternity is not the negation of time, but time's absolute wholeness, gathering and restoration. Eternal life is not what begins after temporal life; it is the eternal presence of the totality of life. ¶ Christianity is a blessed memory; it is really the conquering all of frangmented time; it is the experience of eternity, here and now.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 From the mouths of kids

When my daughter was three, we watched Snow White And the Seven Dwarfs for the first time. The wicked queen appeared, disguised as an old lady selling apples, and my daughter was spellbound. Then Snow White took a bite of the poisoned apple and fell to the ground unconscious. As the apple rolled away, my daughter spoke up. "See, Mom. She doesn't like the skin either."

— Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you.

— Sent by Mike Harrison

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