Epiphany’s Happenstance

Epiphany is a term used to mean a moment in time in which a veil is drawn back and you see, realize or understand something that had until that moment been hidden or concealed from one’s awareness or understanding. At Thursday noon, my wife and daughter began a drive from High Level to Edmonton, Alberta what should be a nine-hour trek at the best of times. Along their drive, with spring’s first heating of the snow-covered earth condensation blown from the snow on the earth swirled up into the atmosphere coming down a second time in a near white-out blizzard causing my wife to stop only three hours into her journey at Peace River, Alberta. In a phone call from Peace River, she asked that I fly down to Edmonton so that I would be able to drive my daughter and her back. On Friday, they made it to Edmonton and I made it to Edmonton, and, for the first time, on Saturday, two events became epiphany for me as parent to my son and my daughter.

As parent among parents, in one day I witnessed my daughter and her ballet dance troupe win gold at the ‘Standing Ovations’ dance competition at Festival Place in Sherwood Park, Alberta; in her dance I caught my daughter’s confidence, grace and beauty in movement set to time and music. Later that same day, I had the pleasure of witnessing and hearing my son’s performance as bass singer among the University of Alberta’s Mixed Chorus in its 68th Annual Spring Concert at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music in Edmonton – the music was resonant, majestic and actual, something happening before me, something surrounding me.  My son’s comment was in the order of singing with the chorus being so much better than … Church.  Indeed, he may have found more of what Church is about within the experience of participating in choral harmony. My epiphany was not so much new understanding as it was about seeing and enjoying fruits of my labours. As a teacher, most times you will at best only read about former students’ achievements. As parent, my job on this particular Saturday was not to strive for something, nor was it to push or coax my children; my job was to sit still, open-out my awareness to my children and enjoy what my daughter and my son were able to achieve in performance and result and in terms of heart-felt impact.

My wife will own that I am the parent who’s brought music into the home that our children have been brought up in; but, what’s more the truth is that I’ve really been conduit to something my parents surrounded our family with in their home as did their parents before them. My father and my mother were both accomplished pianists, both able to perform, both passing on their enjoyment of music to their three boys – my two brothers and me. We did have my father and one brother with us for both events on Saturday. Mom, who passed away in May of 2005, would have delighted in what her grandchildren achieved in relation to music, dance and performance on Saturday. The images presented in these photos are of grave-markers, headstones and crosses that recall to memory lives of those whom are held in memory, those whose lives impacted us.  My great grandmother is buried in this Edmonton cemetery.

Listening to: Neil Diamond’s Song Sung Blue, Porcupine Pie and Canta Libre from the Moods album, songs we grew up to, songs mom enjoyed.

Quote to Inspire – “All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget.  In this – as in other ways – they are the opposite of paintings.  Paintings record what the painter remembers.  Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it.” – John Berger

  8 comments for “Epiphany’s Happenstance

  1. March 26, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Great photos! I love old cemeteries. I took a ton of pix back during Christmas vacation, but haven’t processed them all yet (I shot them in raw). One of these days I’ll finish those up and post. Very nice work!!

    • March 26, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Hey there …

      I’m liking the moods that cemeteries evoke as well as the ageless memorial set in stone/rock. I’m hoping to try some pictures in early dawn, perhaps over the summer. What part of the world would you have been looking around at with cemetery photos?

      • March 26, 2012 at 9:40 PM

        Down here in New Mexico. They’re interesting. Much different from the cemeteries back home in Indiana. I would LOVE to go to New Orleans to photograph the above-ground crypts there. Play mind games with myself that there are vampires, etc. I love that kind of stuff.

  2. skymunki
    March 27, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Beautifully written. strange how we see ourselves suddenly in a new light, when all that is expected of us is only to see, and appreciate who we have become in His light and grace in our lives. and so much more, to see the people who we love, and who love us in return, as blessings we never expected to enter our lives and make it so rich. music is so much more than just sounds and beats; it represents emotions bound by memories and joy, sometimes sorrow, but even more the feeling of knowing in that moment when we feel most alive, is that moment when we see ourselves for who we have become in Him and through His love.

    • March 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Hey there, …

      Thank you for ‘getting’ what this is all about and for helping me see more … emotions bound by memories and joy, sometimes sorrow. There’s probably an element of transcendence in all this. Good schtuff!

      Take care, …

      • skymunki
        March 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        thanks for “getting” what music means to me and for wrapping it up so beautifully and tightly in your emotional piece. and for reminding me again about the importance of keeping family connections close, not only for myself, but for them who also need me to need them. love goes both ways, i think we sometimes forget how much we mean to other people in our lives. and God teaches us this when we realize how much they mean to us, in all and everything, but mostly in the little things that we so easily overlook. 🙂

  3. March 28, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    I simply love what you have written here. It was pure joy to read your realisation, to share your epiphany. And your children will feel your joy also. You don’t say how old they are, they sound young, and as they grow, they will feel your love.

    About a week ago I began a website in which to record not only factual stories of my family history, but also any stories I have, to keep the memories alive of those we no longer see, but we are so much a part of still, today. Your graveyard photos are special. So many people are “spooked” by graveyards, yet they hold so many memories, love, history, and the souls of those whose bodies have simply moved on.

    Your mother would have been there, watching her grandchildren perform. Don’t ever doubt that. 🙂

    • March 28, 2012 at 10:24 PM

      Hello … I’m liking this … my mother’s best friend, her name is Joanne.

      Sharing the realization and epiphany – you’re the second person who’s connected with this experience; and it’s one of those moments or perhaps a full day of sitting still and enjoying my children. My son is in University (age 19) and his sister for whom he prayed at age seven is now age 11. I’m not sure of your spiritual inclination. But, the graveyard struck me a few weeks back from the number of crosses encountered, people who aligned themselves with the Christian tradition to the point of service and sacrifice in humility all the way through to death.

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement surrounding my mother. Thank you as well for looking in on these photographs.

      Take care,

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