When I was a child, I accepted that the day of the Epiphany was the last day of Christmas. I never asked myself what epiphany itself meant, if anything at all. It was only many years later, while studying James Joyce, that I found out that epiphany means sudden revelation. To the uninitiated, it may seem like a distant relative of the déjà vu, and yet, they have nothing in common, for the epiphany is more similar to the concept of uncanny as elaborated by Freud, than it is to Groundhog Day.
It all fell into place; the sudden revelation of the baby Jesus to the Three Wise Men was as appropriate an example of epiphany as Gretta’s own revelation in Joyce’s The Dead. I realised that I have epiphanies all the time, too many to mention on here, and too many so painful and private that I am not brave enough to even dwell on in my own time.
Today I had such an epiphany as I crossed St Anne’s Square and heard the angelic voice of a young soprano. It was very frigid as it has been for a number of days and this girl was belting out arias from Tosca, red face et al. She really shouldn’t sing outside like this, for she may spoil her voice. Many people stopped by and dropped some change at her feet and there, right there, watching a talented singer busking, because this is really what she was doing, I had my most recent, and one of my most painful, epiphanies. I need a job. A paying one. And damn fast.