I Philosophize About Epiphanies

16 Oct

When I began this blog a friend asked me, upon hearing the title, “But what if you don’t have any epiphanies one week? What will you write about then?” I refrained from smiling but I admit I thought, “You aren’t a writer, are you?”

The truth is, a writer can write whether inspired by some huge revelation or not. I can write about the big stuff, yes, but I can also write about the normal moments of life. The day-to-day events that create me far more than the big things. Because, while big things may mold us faster, it’s the daily stuff that makes us able to face those big moments with grace.

While the huge “Epiphanous Moments” may not come every day, every time I sit down to write (or stand at the sink and get to thinking or drive into town while pondering) I have moments where life becomes a little more clear, where things clarify themselves into coherent thoughts or sentences and I have to run to the computer to jot down my revelations (or write them on the back of a business card if I happen to be in the car, all while keeping my eyes on the road and upholding the law).

I think that most of us have small moments of realization all the time. I will think about some decision I have to make: let’s say, to dye my gray hair or not. I ruminate. I puzzle it out. I consider. This may take anywhere from a few minutes or hours to weeks or months. Then, quite suddenly, I know. I have decided. And, of course, I want to act NOW. I get on the phone and make the appointment. Preferably for that very day, though, in the case of haircuts, that never seems to work. (In case you’re wondering: I haven’t yet decided about my gray. I’m still too freaked out to decide. I do know I need a haircut, though.)

Yes, those small decisions or epiphanies, if you will, happen all the time. But I do certainly have huge epiphanies, too. Take the moment that I knew for sure that I wanted to marry my husband. We had been talking about the “M” word and I knew that he (being the researcher that he is) had bought a “secret book” about marriage (Saving your Marriage Before it Starts, by Les and Leslie Parrott) which he wouldn’t tell me the title of lest it freak me out. We’d talked about the future, about kids and life together, but he hadn’t yet officially gotten down on one knee…which he eventually did exactly 17 years ago next month, in the snow, in the gazebo (and camp) where we had met. I totally knew what my answer would be at that moment…thanks to the thinking I had given to the issue prior to that event…and The Epiphanous Moment that came as I stood by my computer one evening and suddenly JUST KNEW.

“Yes,” I said to myself, watching him as he worked on the computer. “Yes.” I hadn’t been contemplating it just then…it just smacked into me from the blue. “YES! This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.” There. Decision made. No regrets.

I remember that moment clearly – though it was not romantic or memorable in any other way. It was a decision reached after the question had been left to simmer on the back burner of my brain. It was a decision made in a normal moment of life, knowing that I wanted all the rest of my normal moments to include him.

I did not know the moment was coming until it came. Such is the mystery of the epiphany. It is untouchable/unforcable/ unforeseen. And it is jolly good when it comes.

And that, my friends, is why I blog my epiphanies. Even if it’s a lesser decision – to dye or not to dye – I can write about it. I can make it work. I’m never at a loss for topics. The huge epiphanies may not come every day…and that’s okay. Just like my decision to marry The Sailboat King…I want my blog to include the normal moments in life.

I want to stand by my computer and say, “Yes”!


17 Responses to “I Philosophize About Epiphanies”

  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots October 16, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Totally understand this, as related to the husband, the writing, the life. Excellent and insightful post, as always.

    BTW, if the gray hair bothers you, dye it. If not, let it be.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      You are kind as always. I hope you’re enjoying this sunny and warm weather. We sure do need the rain, though…

  2. Jenny October 16, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I am so glad you do Gretchen! I enjoy your random thoughts and epiphanies! And your photos that accompany them!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

      🙂 Good thing ’cause I’m not going anywhere! I can’t take photos of people…but I can do things ok!

  3. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 16, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    You’ve really described how it feels to write.. I haven’t had a “block” (knock on wood) because there’s so much around in the world to write about. I love your epiphanies.. keep sharing them with us!! xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Oh, you’re so nice! Yes, there’s always something to inspire us, isn’t there? Someone recommended an ugly gray squash to me the other day…said it was so good I couldn’t help but like it. I described to her your Acorn Squash recipe and she thought it sounded wonderful!

  4. hotlyspiced October 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I love how your marriage proposal came at the exact spot where you met – how special. I’m glad you always find something to write about – keep sharing your stories! xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Thanks, Charlie! It was a very lovely – albeit fast – proposal. It’s cold, kneeling there in the snow!

  5. Shelly October 17, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    I vote you leave your hair the way it is–I love it! (If I was less of a hypocrite I would do the same because dying my hair is really a pain.)

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Hey! Thanks! I like that input! Yes, I’m not really wanting to get into the pain of having to deal with coloring it often…I’m too lazy. 🙂

  6. Mel October 22, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    I loved reading this post, Gretchen! Yes – it is so true, writing is composed of both ‘big’ and ‘small’ moments and epiphanies / discoveries (though really, I personally find that what I term as big / small things rapidly changes all the time… sometimes it is a walk in the garden that is momentous, and a decision to move country feels like a fluke or an accident).

    From a fellow writer, I just want to say I am nodding and smiling in understanding as I read your thoughts. 🙂

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 22, 2012 at 7:26 am #

      Ah, thanks, Mel! You do understand! I’m glad to know that I’m not alone. That truly is part of the joy of blogging – finding out that we’re not alone in the world – no matter how far apart we are!

  7. whatimeant2say October 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    It’s the normal moments that I enjoy reading about!

  8. Promenade Claire October 28, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    epiphanies large or small are epiphanies – beautifully expressed! Until I started blogging I had no idea I wanted to write anything down, having never kept a diary (other than for work) – a revelation to me, or should I say an epiphany !

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      Yes, I love it! I never have been a journaler either. It’s fun to write something and say, “Oh, I didn’t realize I felt that way!”


  1. Epiphanize me, epiphanize me not, epiphanize me, . . . . | It Should Not Hurt to be a WifeIt Should Not Hurt to be a Wife - October 26, 2012

    […] I Philosophize About Epiphanies […]

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