East of Eden

1. How the bridge spans currents of eternity. How time crests the waves of lowly human pain. Silence, obedience chisel into walls of devotion. Turn toward the flaming sword that casts Adam east of Eden. Turn toward the forbidden fruit that lies rotting on the ground. Evil has no home until our will lodges it in history. We choose solely in passionate ignorance. We seek nothing but the dreamlike good. Impulse makes real what would otherwise not happen: the insidious sovereignty of sin. The blackened spoils of freedom. 2. Now trodding the muck of trails in nakedness, now without shame, fully present in the garden, fully creature before God. Who can dwell in joy without the coil of hubris? We slither along these paths ever alert to the mortal Other, who speaks loss of innocence, who spins spells of cupidity. Each reflection beams the face of Cain. Each decision robs us of nature's sanctity, the bounty of Being, spread before us like a great banquet. The marriage supper of the Lamb. Grant servants freedom, masters deep chests of gold. All things fill the nothingness of self. Few make the world habitable. 3. Stellar ships pass under the bridge, cast shadows far from the madding shore. Dark streams carry the pain of desire beyond the confines of love. Ecstatic foam breaks on the bank. Empty canoes float idly by. What passes for strength is but algae feeding. Hand-hewn wells. Living water cleanses into new life. Adam abandons the old, trapped in the élan vital, his vale of pain. We do well to heed the moans, his sermon of errancy and doubt. Purple berries trampled underground, seeds buried in soil. Trees flourish without Adamic names. Birds serenade in clear, high notes. Life moves of its own accord, pressing ever outward, blind, past Eden's eastern gate.

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