The gods are fallen…

I read this paragraph in Steinbeck’s East of Eden and it wrecked me, in a good way. This pericope reminds me of how children innately see their parents as immortal beings impervious to corruption, as well as to the constellation of cracks that take place in their porcelain little minds when they realize that their parents are not gods. It encourages me to be reminded how impressionable children are and, at the same time, to direct them toward the original source of such a painful realizations of human nature–the Fall in Garden of Eden.

“When a child first catches adults out–when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just–his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of the gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child’s world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.” ยง 3.2.

Chester Delagneau

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