Yesterday morning I woke up with an epiphany, a sudden understanding about how I will frame the argument in my current writing project. This is always an exciting step in any writing project--the moment when a nebulous mass of ideas starts to crystallize around a core insight that will shape my work from this point on.
Epiphanies like that come along only after proper preparation; all the reading, thinking, talking, writing, and traveling I've been doing created the right conditions for the production of epiphanies. I'll have to work pretty hard to transform a momentary epiphany into a polished journal article, but that's what my sabbatical is for. For once, a great idea won't get shoved aside by committee work, grading, and all the petty annoyances of the academic life.
That's the magic of the sabbatical. I'm living in Epiphany City, where ideas can come out and play without fear that shopkeepers will shoo them off the sidewalk.