One of my favourite TV crime drama series is The Closer. I do not have cable TV so I get to watch it when I visit my sister. Although the series had ended its run of 7 seasons in 2012, it is still being aired on cable. The main character Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) was the leader and pillar of the series. Together with her team of detectives and other supporting staff, it made the whole series come alive. Episode by episode, the storyline and character plays were rivetting and humourous. Hardly any crime series can come close to this unusual effect that The Closer had viewers. Perhaps I will write more about this drama series at another time as the focus is on a particular `pattern’ that Chief Johnson (the main character was called by her co-workers) had in most episodes. My sister referred to it as an epiphany.
Epiphany (according to The Free Dictionary by Farlex) is defined as:
1. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.
2. (cap.) a Christian festival, observed on Jan. 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth Day.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into reality or the essential meaning of something, often initiated by some simple, commonplace occurrence.
4. a literary work or section of a work presenting such a moment of revelation and insight.
In the case of Chief Johnson, it was definition number 3. It is not quite the same as a sudden idea that popped up when you are trying to invent or solve something as that usually happens when you are working on a problem or situation directly. It is more a moment when a situation or conversation provided you a parallel dimension of something you have been thinking about and it helped you fit in some missing pieces in a puzzle. It is the simple, commonplace occurrence that triggered it.
Such occurrences are possible when you use what you have learned and allow it to simmer in your head as you go along your daily routine. I would like to think of it as a reflective practice or a meditative state of mind on matters that you want to deepen your understanding. It is sad that reflection or meditation is often relegated to being in solitary confinement in a cave or on top of a mountain.
Isn’t it wonderful that it does not have to be so since epiphanies do come about through simple and common stuff?