Monday, March 22, 2010


A moment of sudden revelation or insight

Epiphany, the festival commemorating the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child occurs in early January. The story relates the journey of the three Wise Men following the star and bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby in the manger.

Caspar offers gold as the sign of royalty, the kingship bestowed on the child. Balthasar gives frankincense, fragrant incense symbolizing prayer. Melchoir brings myrrh, a symbol of strength and love, love of parent for child, love of man and woman for their fellow beings.

For days after I reflected on the three gifts and even spoke to a friend about them. By embracing these gifts, people could achieve a deeper spiritual life. We discussed the symbolic meaning of these gifts in larger contexts.

Insight flashed through my mind.

For a writer, gold is inspiration, the sign of creativity, imagination and originality. An idea bursts through the trivial sending out branches, expanding in new directions. An excitement permeates the activity.

Frankincense is passion. The fragrant smoke of intense desire and enthusiasm rises from inspiration and motivates the shaping of inspiration. The wisps and tendrils undulate in streams that prompt creativity.

Myrrh is artistry. The strength of communicating ideas depends on word choice, sentence structure, and apt metaphors combined for a pleasing read.

These are the tools that lead to books on the bestseller list.