Doubt

photography, black and white, bird, hand, bird in hand

It was like the moment when a bird decides not to eat from your hand, and flies, just before it flies,

the moment the rivers seem to still and stop because a storm is coming, but there is no storm,

as when a hundred starlings lift and bank together before they wheel and drop,

very much like the moment, driving on bad ice, when it occurs to you your car could spin, just before it slowly begins to spin,

like the moment just before you forgot what it was you were about to say, it was like that, and after that, it was still like that, only all the time.

Marie Howe, “Part of Eve’s Discussion” from The Good Thief


“Adam and Eve crossed over from hearing “you” to “I” when they ate from the tree. The snake was able to make Eve step into the gap, to cross over into a personal desire detached from God’s desire, which created a haze that obscured the center.  Now a sense of dread permeated existence. Marie Howe, in her poem “Part of Eve’s Discussion,” imagines Eve’s first moment stepping into this new stage…Bewilderment dominates human experience after Eden, which leads to doubt.  In fact, cabalistic sources refer to the tree of knowledge as the tree of doubt. Human consciousness shifted, and for the first time, there seemed to be a dichotomy between matter and spirit.  This created a problem for the body, which could now be seen as having only animal or practical purposes, devoid of spiritual meaning.  The man and woman immediately covered themselves with the tree’s leaves, the very one from which they ate.”

The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics” edited by Jennifer Heath from Google Books


Poem Source: Thank you Whiskey River.  Image source: Craig Robertson


Comments

  1. haideeab74 says:
  2. The voice of Eve, so perfectly pitched to me. That moment before…all the time. Doubt and just enough knowledge to know you’re not so sure

    Like

  3. teetering on the edge and then –

    Like

  4. And everything changes in an instant.

    Like

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