Favorite Word #1: Epiphany

e·piph·a·ny  [ih-pif-uh-nee] –noun, plural -nies.

a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
(This word has a few other meanings as well, but I have chosen to highlight my favorite way to use it. You can explore all of the meanings of the word here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/epiphany)
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I first encountered this word in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, when Stephen Dedalus has an epiphany about his love of beauty and his life as an artist. It was an epiphany for me to discover that there was actually a word to describe this experience. They are those moments when you are just doing the normal, everyday thing and something that you see or hear shifts the whole universe and the real meaning of yourself in relation to it is exposed.

My first epiphany happened in my senior year of high school. It was the end of my senior year, and we were watching the movie The Razor’s Edge based on the book of this name by Somerset Maugham. The story of Larry Darrell searching for meaning in his life really moved me. At that time, I was also searching for transcendent meaning, but questions about God and spirituality were not encouraged. I saw myself in Larry Darrell. I saw that my questions weren’t wrong. I vowed at that moment to keep asking the questions no matter what. It was a life-changing moment for me and still characterizes the way I live my life.

One of my poems that uses this word can be found here: http://karlaspoetry.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/epiphany-light-and-water/

What about you? Have you ever had an epiphany? Have you ever described an epiphany in your writing?

I hope that you’ll join me each Friday as I discuss my favorite words.

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2 Comments

  1. As close as I get. I love your idea of favourite words. I will be reading more.

    Reply
  2. Karla, I LOVE your poems! I did a synchroblog on Epiphany a couple of months ago. You MAY have even remembered hearing about it a few years back at LOMCC:

    http://blessingthebeloved.blogspot.com/2011/01/paralysis-in-his-presence.html

    Also, PLEASE join the synchroblog if you’d like! It’s open to all:

    http://synchroblog.wordpress.com/

    The next few months are already on there! 🙂
    God bless!

    Reply

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