Epiphanetic Flashes. That’s what I call those brief sparks of illumination that pop up periodically in my life when the world becomes crystal clear. It’s like someone popping a flash bulb in a dark room and for that split second everything comes to light. The haunting memory of that moment lingers in my brain, rattling around while I try to dissect every piece and extract from it any and all meaning.
I had one of those flashes last night. I was angry about something. Frustrated really. One of the many songs on my Pandora station was playing while I wiled away trying to come up with anything I could use to answer a reading response for another class. I stared at the words I had written and realized the dross I had regurgitated onto the screen. It was as my finger hovered over the delete key, the last twenty minutes of work highlighted, that this flash cracked through my skull.
I am a poet.
Revelation, right? Or maybe a tad bit of pandering considering the class that I am writing this piece for. But, in that flash, I saw something I have never seen before. All the work and effort I put into my writing; all the poets whose work I have digested over the years; the tragic biographies of their tormented lives; of the beauty that I found in what they made that they could not find in themselves.
As my mind held onto the image seared into my skull, the frustration deepened. It turned morose and that familiar feeling of being Atreyu as he walked through the Swamp of Sadness returned. I was being brought down, sucked into the despair, and for the first time in my life, I understood something I have never grasped before.
I understood why the great poet’s lives are so tragic; why so many were cut short too early.
Here are these men and women who, “wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” But how do you do that except by opening up yourself to everything? Much akin to a Time Lord looking into the Untempered Schism, you can not. Not without forever being changed. To see things in a way that no other person does; to experience and process life in a way that most take for granted; how long can one suffer a life of such beauty and not be touched by it?
The music continued to play as I tapped at my keyboard, trying to dump this emotion into words. Words that failed. Words that weren’t enough for the emotions that ran rampant through me. Unbridled. As they should.
And as that image faded, lost to the ether of memory, I was left with a sense that I was less.
And I cried.
A journal piece I wrote for one of my classes.