Thursday, November 8, 2018

#TFW your life is post-lapsarian

His fire is to burn on in others. Now and then he actually succeeds, like dynamite, in blasting a soul into the air, and far and wide the windows rattle and the foundations of houses quake. - Hans Urs von Balthasar, Heart of the World

Adam's rib is gone and Eve's heart was broken in the fall.

Adam's wounds, his physical sense of lack has, slowly, made him stronger. He is older now—truly a fully-formed man. Pain bakes the half-baked human, and makes him wiser than he was. Gingerly, each morning, Adam stretches each numb toe and cracks his wayward vertebrae back into their places in the fresh Syrian sun. He has learned to listen to the small ticks inside his ribcage and the moanings of his intercostal muscles. He trains his mind's eye on the tiniest muscles of his shoulders and exercises them with tiny movements. Adam has had to rebuild from necessity. He adjust his lungs; they have a new pattern of inspiration. The air tastes newer now.

Having stitched his body back together, slowly, over many months, Adam is expert in the field of physical healing. His body is wise: he has broken man's fundamental impulse of isolation, seeking help from others, knowing corporeal healing is a communal project.


Eve's heart was shattered the moment they departed Eden. The angel's flaming sword seared her to the core, and the cardiac fragments scattered all throughout their exile. She has spent the nights of their diaspora wandering the world and gathering all the broken remnants of her soul back together.

She cries sometimes at night, for no reason other than that the night is very black and she cannot see the stars. Adam holds her to his chest then, tightly, but gasps in pain as Eve's head hits the hole in his side. He loosens his grasp on her.

Eve is still young in many ways, but she has learned that healing is something slow and steady, that you sometimes have to search for what seems obvious. Eve's body has never been broken, and she does not understand why Adam quietly obsesses, like a watchman guarding a castle, about every single twinge of muscle. Eve's heart has been wrenched apart and put back together.

Adam watches Even when she walks, willing her gait to steady and to straighten, afraid for all the accidents that can accompany one misplaced muscle or unaligned bone. Eve does not understand why he worries.

Adam lost his trust that the body he is not imprisoned with, but entrusted to, will hold up underneath him, will not ultimately rebel against him—he sees the great enemy of death making advances all throughout his body. Eve has lost her trust in a world that withholds her heart from her—that has stolen from her what gives her greatest joy.

It's a lonely exile most evenings—the world does not seem to sing, like it did in Eden, and the water is not as lively. The animals shun their campfire, instead of frolicking around it.

Adam and Eve have an entire world to make—even though their heart and lungs feel old and wizened, history is quite, quite young. Today, they exist in two separate wounds—they cannot even reach each other in the other's pain. But they were made to build something beautiful.

Perhaps, thinks Adam, we can try tomorrow.

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