We have just entered the season of Epiphany. The twelve days of Christmas end with the Feast of Epiphany, which is January 6th. This feast marks, among other things, the story of wise men from the East, following a star, seeking the Holy Child. So this year, I was pondering them and their star, and I got to thinking about how star-gazing was what they did; they were astronomers. They weren’t necessarily looking for an epiphany, (which means ‘appearance,’ or ‘a sudden flash of understanding’) they were just showing up for work, and paying attention to what was going on around them.
As I was getting ready to make this piece of art, I asked around some of my friends from various walks of life, “What points you toward God, or points the way toward enlightenment for you?” I got a wide variety of answers, ranging from nature to loving relationships, to math and science, to turmoil or changes in life, to puzzles that need solving, to wise and holy people, to music, to human ingenuity, to the connectedness of all things. As I was thinking about these, and looking for pictures to represent them, I was thinking how very many pointers there are. In the story, the Wise Men had their Star, but there is no indication that the whole bunch of other folks who saw the same phenomenon also flocked to see what it was pointing to; that was a particular message that was understood by those particular people. And each one of us particular people has our own messages to read, our own signposts to follow, whether it be the structure of crystals, or a deep conversation with a trusted friend, or the words of a poem, or the shape of a tree.