epiphany is often called theophany, "vision of god." a divine appearance of a god to a mortal. the burning bush. the pillar of cloud and fire by night.
one tale of theophany concerns semele, a priestess of zeus, who slaughtered bulls for him. one day, zeus looked and saw her swimming in the river to clean the blood from her body and fell in love with her. he appeared to her as an eagle and impregnated her. the ever-jealous hera convinced semele that it might not have been zeus, though, so semele requested a boon from him. zeus stood on the river styx and declared that he would give anything to her - so she requested to see his true form. zeus was forced to reveal himself and the thunder and lightning of his body incinerated her when she looked.
and we celebrate the appearance of god. the vision of god. something so incomprehensible that if we were to see its true appearance, we would burn away.during the time of dying cats, when my brother was still my brother, i saw the golem when it was small. it was growing bigger and it managed to open a small tear to babel. it was too small to go through, but i could still see it: the true form of the golem, the vision of god.
i did not burn away. i saw it and did not burn. perhaps i did not see all of it, but it was enough for me to now how small i was. but i did not burn. i hope that means something.