Natural epiphany

The subject of “epiphany” came up during class last night, and again afterwards at the Boulevard. Creative epiphany is not necessarily a divine or supernatural manifestation, a vision of Christ, or a religious conversion. But it is a bolt or a jolt of awareness that casts familiar experience in a new and brighter light. You can’t really go looking for it, but you can make yourself ready to receive it.

One of us had done just that before class, readying himself by ditching the car and “walking to work” (see D.B. Johnson’s “Henry”), ditching the cold sterility of our over-cooled  classroom building, and then ditching the laptop in favor of pen and paper. Going old-school with a “functioning pen” (see J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter epiphany) in the open air can slow you down to a pace of thought smarter than fingers on a keyboard, giving each cursive stroke more substance than is allowed by the sometimes-unbearable lightness of the “Delete” key.

The guy who designed Central Park must have been similarly struck, when he wrote:

“It is a scientific fact that the occasional contemplation of natural scenes of an impressive character, particularly if this contemplation occurs in connection with relief from ordinary cares, change of air and change of habits, is favorable to the health and vigor of men and especially to the health and vigor of their intellect beyond any other conditions which can be offered them, that it not only gives pleasure for the time being but increases the subsequent capacity for happiness and the means of securing happiness.”

Yes! Science supports natural epiphany, if you’re ready for it.

5:45/5:35, 61/88, 8:06

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