November 14, 2018
I understand now why you had to leave.
Your souls are honed, refined, the more you search
for meaning and connection. Here with me
humanity's the only thing that couldn't
grow. But did God ever stop to think
how much I'd miss your sweetness once you left?
How lonely I would feel, remembering
your laughter and your song? It's true, sometimes
you visit on Shabbat a little while.
But mostly you forget my roses' scent.
No one comes to taste my flowing spring.
Still, a drop of hope moistens my earth
and nurtures blossoms waiting to burst free
the moment when you knock upon my gates.
I'm not sure what sparked the idea of writing a poem in the voice of the Garden of Eden.
This poem draws on Zoharic images of Shechinah (the immanent / indwelling / feminine Presence of God) -- the rose garden, the flowing spring in the middle of Eden. Also on the idea that Shabbat is a "foretaste of the world to come," a taste of Eden, when we allow it to be.
One way of understanding our exile from Eden is that it is a necessary component to the birth of human consciousness -- that when we ate from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we became capable of growth and change. Still, I'm struck by the idea of Eden missing our presence and our touch, which had not occurred to me until I started working on this poem.