Genesis 3:8–13

And they saw. And they ate. And they heard. And they hid.

Many have commented on the difference between seeing and hearing. At the moment I am remembering Jacques Ellul and the limits of apprehension. Our eyes face forward. We can focus near and far but peripheral vision, at best, takes in half our current context and the further to the side we strain, the less detail is available. Our ears have their frequency limits but we can gather sound information from all around, a part of teachers’ having eyes in the back of their head.

These senses can work well together, and they can also be so consuming that the other sense is blocked out. To be captivated by a lovely tree makes hazy what we have heard and is still echoing if it weren’t overridden by what we are seeing. The music of the spheres asks us to close our eyes and drop our jaw to best attend to its presence.

The differences between sight and sound energize and relax us, put us on high alert and settle us down. Each can sharpen or dull our attention. Window shopping can trigger our desire, and a snatch of song can transport us miles and years away.

Any tree can be seen to be central, just like a tamed fox or a tended-to flower we have come to know. In this knowing we know good and it won’t be long before we also know what is not-good about this good. Declarations of “It is good!” are always provisional and come back to bite us. Eventually, we will need to see past this duality.

The story we come into the middle of has G*D present in a garden and knowable through hearing. How do you imagine G*D sounds like ahead of our seeing? Humming a catchy tune? Singing “Some of My Favorite Things?” Shuffling clumsily after a long day and yearning for a mini-Sabbath?

If none of these trigger you to alert, why hide? Why respond with fear when you are missed and asked after? Now for more questions.

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