The sun is rising east of Eden – metaphorically.No metaphor is goodenough, these days. The flavour of language changes. Wires,aerials, satellite chatter – it’s all little blips of light, information telegraphedas fast as physics allows. That’s the zeitgeist, the modern cross, the realstakes, where the rubber hits the road – it cuts itself off mid-thought. Metaphorsare getting away from it again.

 But all parks are Eden, always, in some collectivepsyche. Something deeper than language.So – an angelwalks the sleeping winter ground, mud on its shoes. It is dawn and its winglessshadow stretches for miles. It’s just a trick of light, but it could also be aglimpse of something real, something huge and guttering. A candle halfway betweenheaven and earth.The land issuffused with green and gold in rays, the trees upturning their bare frail limbsin worship, but it’s bloody cold nonetheless.

There’s something visceral aboutan earthly winter. The cold of molecules penetrates deeperthan the cold of spirit. Its material body is shivering. The instinct offlesh to hug itself.

It kneels in themud by the water, sinking fingers into the wet living ground. Gritty with siltand gravel. Its fingers hurt, cold piercing from under the skin like fishhooks,silver-bright and swallowed. The sensations of the flesh are a ceaselesswonder. It feels that it has learned something about the urge of a fish towardsthe sharp glittering shape in the water.The lake is awide unbroken sky-mirror, mats of reeds and rotting vegetation floating on theface of god.

Looking up at the sky, a lens throughwhich infinity is refracted into blue, and remembering that everything is justlight. Inconstant flashes across the vastness of mostly empty space. Motion,act, shadow.The distant citysound is all high-pitched buzzing, radio waves and microwaves and satellitefrequencies set sharp against its back teeth. This age of information is asclose as they’ve come to speaking the language of angels.

Strings of numberssinging through the firmament.A valley ofbreathing stars, all talking to one another.Hellis a wasteland of spirit. This? Thisis a garden.

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