Friday, April 23, 2010


My point about La Grimsdyke is not to turn this blog into a bunch of boring grammar lessons. (Too late.)

I've been leading up to a question that's been on my mind recently. And that is, do we have a word for that first inkling that a stubbornly long-held belief may actually be up for grabs?

I don't just mean a change in your assumption or your opinions, like when you download a favorite old song from i-Tunes that you haven't heard for years and find it's not quite as good as you remember. (Boy, The Nice were a disappointment forty years later.) Or when that hunter green on the walls of your office that looked so classy when you bought the house seven years ago starts seriously getting on your nerves, but to paint the room a lighter color now means finding a swing space for about a thousand books on the built-in bookcases, which you do like, but even they need a coat of paint.

I mean when your mental defenses weaken enough to allow a slight challenge to the dogma with which you've been indoctrinated from childhood, the belief system that has been the very core of your relationship with the universe.

Such as that moment when you realize that Mrs. Grimsdyke may have been wrong about the possessive form of Dickens or not using the serial comma (don't get me started).

Such as the first time you use a shopping cart in a supermarket, when your mother had so sworn by the humble hand-basket throughout your childhood that you thought wheels were some indication of moral turpitude. (I have a lot of those.)

Such as the possibility that birds don't sing simply to offer praise to God, as you were seriously told in Sunday School, but that mating and territoriality may play a role. And that evolution is a distinct possibility. And that for an infallible guide to life, the Bible does have a somewhat patchy history and more than a couple of internal inconsistencies. Including two contradictory accounts of the creation of Eve in the first three pages, for God's sake, but in twenty years of church-going, you never heard a minister mention that point.

Such as that scratchy moment when, after scornfully questioning the validity of a so-called "Next Generation," you're faintly aware that you may be coming to prefer Patrick Stewart to William Shatner as the Captain of the Enterprise. (WWJD = What Would Jean-Luc Do?)

Or David Tennant's Dr. Who to the Tom Baker of your teenage years.

(Don't worry, Sean Connery, your reputation and toupee are unshakable. Although this new Bond is a lot better than everyone was expecting . . .)

We need a word for it. Because it's been happening more as I get older.

1 comment:

  1. Because these moments are not, by themselves, cataclysmic, I'm going to go with demi-epiphany. At least until I think of something better.