This Epiphany day is only my third back home. Each day, both in its physical attributes and in the experiences it's offered, has been so different from the other that it feels like I've been back longer.
What is Epiphany/epiphaneia? It means epi-appearance -- an appearance/apparition/manifestation with something extra riding on top of it. That extra part could be how intense the thing is, like a really bright light, or it could be how intensely the thing strikes you, like a really bright light that brings you to your knees in prayer.
A very ordinary object or fact could trigger an epiphany if it strikes you in a certain way. When days go by clothed in such diversity, they offer a backdrop for multiple Epiphanies far beyond the sixth of January.
Today, it came up several times, applying to different people, that working out while sick or insisting on working when exhausted or not paying attention to warning signs around one's mental health all are subconscious messages to oneself and one's body that "getting the work" done is more important than health, the body's needs, and even life.
That's an epiphany. Leading to a further epiphany: I know I am a fire that can burn out and also a volcano that can overflow. I must also, then, be a firekeeper.
Containing my fire is/would be a mark of respect: I am connected to everyone and yet I am contained. I acknowledge the breathtaking support I receive from so many loving individuals and from the universe, but on top of that, it appears to me that I need to shoulder myself.
When I consider some of the more unhappy people in the Place of No Shoelaces (and forgive me, I'm just beginning to conceive of writing about this), I saw no separation.
No, I'm not the woman so unwashed that even her turning over in the night wakens her roommate with the odor. But I have neglected my own hygiene to a harmful extent only partially excusable by our lack of plumbing.
No, I'm not the woman who hides in her room, comes out occasionally with a vague smile, shuffling, can't say more than a short sentence to anyone. But I have been withdrawn into myself so far that other people seem sealed out hermetically with that slightly bubbling plexiglass, like on the windows here.
No, I'm not the man pacing the halls through the evening and night holding a murmured conversation with himself, his pajama bottoms periodically descending as he steps on them. But I have paced the halls day and night, with loud conversations inside my head.
I'm not the girl who banged her head against the door, fought the staff who tried to stop her, and had to be tackled. But I did bang my head against the door.
There but for the grace of...myself... There, through grace of myself, went I.
I'm not the men and women who had no support system and nowhere to go that reduced the likelihood they'd be back inside soon.
I feel so much gratitude for a great support system and that, at least for now, I have health insurance.
But at the end of it all, I am my own firekeeper.
And the diversity of days reminds me of the "50 First Weeks" theme I had going last year. This acknowledgment of responsibility as firekeeper to my inner dragon is a resolution or intention, but no way am I going to make all my resolutions in the first few days of the year!
Any of these diverse days is good for resolution-making and intention-setting. Return to the fire.