This autoethnographic reflection explores the nature of Denzin’s notion of epiphany, an identifiable moment of lived experience that one can identify as a turning point in one’s understanding of oneself and one’s relationship to the world. The recurring, longitudinal but unpredictable characteristic of remembering the epiphanic moment as it erupts throughout one’s life leads to the description of epiphany as if it has a life of its own. Thus the epiphany compels the researcher to return to and explore that life-altering moment. The emotional urgency induced by the epiphany thus turns the methodological instruction—that one must constantly return to that moment—into an imperative, meaning one must constantly reexamine the epiphany because the epiphany of its own accord demands reexamination.
- © 2014 International Institute for Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign