THE GARDEN OF EDEN, THE FLAMING SWORD, THE GARDEN
Does each human being have to eventually deal with a realization that
the very fact of being born begins with one’s self-becoming, one’s own
birth, traumatizing, injuring, the beloved mother? Does the physical
harm the baby causes the mother in labor, the mother giving birth,
become something that causes the baby to believe that the mother
indeed will retaliate, that maternal love cannot be trusted, ever? How
does the birthing mother forgive the baby? Is the mother so grateful
that the birth process has ended that she loves the baby because the
baby is born, is no longer being born, but is born? Does the birth
catastrophe for both mother and baby become a mutual forgiving?
Does life begin as “etzev”, labor? Eve experiences etzev in childbirth,
Adam experiences etzev in tilling the earth. Both labor — and labor
is difficult. Does labor define life? Is the caesura the recognition that
joy, hope, delight, life itself, is defined by the discovery of what actual
life demands of us?
Is life the catastrophe?
Is the flaming sword barring access to the Tree of Life in the Garden
of Eden the first breath we take?
If life is the first catastrophe, and if breathing to sustain life is loss of
Paradise, we also discover that within the complexities of life, and, of
course, breathing, is the essence of Paradise. Every now and then, we
are welcomed back to the Garden of Eden, and, as we are distracted
by the catastrophes of life, we hear a murmur in the breeze, “Come
back soon. Your Garden is eternal.”