Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Twelfth Night


Born Jewish, raised atheist, I first heard the word epiphany in high school when we read A Portrait of the Artist. Our English teacher didn't tie the literary term to the biblical epiphany, probably because half the class was Jewish. Back in the day, the Protestant kids actually went to church and Sunday school, but if they knew anything, they didn't let on.

I didn't learn about the epiphany (as Rachel has it over on her blog) until I joined the Episcopal church when my children were young. Their father, who had been raised by psychoanalysts, wanted nothing to do with church going, but I wanted to finally be part of the club everyone else belonged to.  And I wanted to make sure that when my children looked at Renaissance paintings they would have some idea what was going on. When I was young, we spent Sundays at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My mother would rush us past the "religious art" to get to the rest of the collection. We worshipped at Nude Descending a Staircase.

If my children were paying attention, they should remember that the wise men didn't arrive until Twelfth Night. I worry, though, that they may not know anything about modern art.

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