The Creative Epiphany – Sea Changes

seachange      hawaii 008

If I had to go back over my life and single out the biggest, most life-changing epiphanies, they would number 10 or less. Of course I’m grateful for the smaller but much appreciated epiphanies and I don’t mean to discount them, but in the overall scheme of things they were not the cause of paradigm shifts. They were not on the grand scale of the ones that rocked my world, added wisdom to my years, and affected a “sea change” type of transformation for me.

The phrase “sea change” is frequently used these days. I like this description, in large part due to its origin. A century or more ago when men went to sea for long stretches of time, their women waited. They had no idea when the ship would come back and no dependable way of finding out. A year? Maybe much longer… They climbed the stairs to the “widow’s walk” at the top of their homes and stood there for hours searching the horizon for incoming vessels. When and if the men returned, they were often deeply changed by the adversities of the journey they had endured; their eyes had a permanent vacant stare, they spoke little of the things they had seen such as starvation and brutality. Their women referred to it as a “sea change”, a profound change brought about by the time spent at sea. I believe that change can be considered a change similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But now the phrase “sea change” is being frequently used again, this time to describe a major life change, a 180 degree reversal of some kind, a  transformation, a paradigm shift. When you have a gigantic epiphany the result is often a permanent “sea change” – for you it has brought about a transformation, a realization, an illuminating discovery or a light in the darkness showing you a clear path. I can only hope that you have experienced this phenomenon, because you will be a better person for it. It doesn’t make you perfect, but it does make you a more authentic human being. What greater change could you ask for than one of the sea variety?

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