Cain faces the—
Adam, something’s wrong with Abel.
Eve tries to pry open the eyes of her son, because it seems abhorrent they could remain closed. You might suppose that she has seen a dead thing before. Surely, she has swatted at a fly or seen an eagle catch a squirrel. Nothing, of course is sure.
But what you overestimate is the ability of the human to believe ourselves exceptional. We are different than the animals. Surely, the fate of the monarch in winter is somehow different than ours.
Surely the decay that wraps its long, twisting fingers around all of this extra-paradisiacal world will miss us? We love one another, we can speak and know one another? Death has no place here.
What has happened to him?
Surely what we have done can be erased, atoned for with our own suffering? Surely, the innocent will not fall by our unwitting hands? Isn’t there an exception, a grace period, a do-over? Isn’t there a way that we can erase the wound we’ve made?
If Cain is marked, then so should we be.
For we have caused this. How can any parent watch the violence of their son and not feel implicated? We must have failed him, we must have left him undernourished. We somehow forgot to pass onto him all the love that we were given. Were we too hard-hearted? Too tight-fisted?
How do you show your child all the love you mean to give them?
The first death we saw was not a quiet death, it wasn’t our own gentle surrender to the entropy of organic living. The first death witnessed was avoidable, so utterly avoidable. It was a violent instruction, perhaps, in how foreign to and unlike us death is. And yet here it has come to stay.