Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Epiphanies on the Befana...

Today is the day of the Epiphany, marking the arrival of the Magi (three kings) to Jesus's birthplace.  In common parlance epiphany refers to the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something...
I always wonder what (if any) epiphanies the intercultural experience in Venice may have generated in the 500+ students who came to the Venice Project Center in its 20 years of existence.  If you read this and you want to share your epiphany with me, please do so.  It would be greatly appreciated...
I have had some major epiphanies this fall myself.  I have realized how difficult it is for me to stay "present" when I interact with people since my mind is always racing ahead and thinking of the next thing that I need to do.  I have resolved to give myself the present of presence this year as the anniversary continues.
On the night prior to January 6, the Befana (basically the Italian version of the wicked witch of the west) comes to visit all children in Italy and fills their stockings with sweets if they have been good or coal if you have been bad (but how bad can children really be?).  We don't do the stockings at Christmas, but only on the Befana and traditionally schools in Italy do not restart until after the Befana.  In Venice, in recent years, the Befana has been celebrated with the regata delle befane, with rowers from various clubs (including the Settemari) dressed in funky witch dresses.  Very colorful.

So Buona Befana a tutti! 

And may this year and the rest of your life be full of epiphanies until you reach satori...

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