FWIW, once I'd figured out the parsing, I'd read that he sees the jay every day and he sees it knowing that the jay has, at some point in the past, broken its own eggs and eaten its offspring, but I do see how John's reading it how he is.
I do like the contrast between the divinity/beauty of the jay and its acts of cruel destruction. I think now that I misunderstood the shame part. I think his shame is at loving this place (the world, his existence) even though there's destruction and cruelty in it -- he loves to see the jay despite it's cruelty. Or even, he loves it all, including the the cruelty and destruction. So the nest, and the act of building it, stands against this cruel, destructive, nihilistic force. It is emblematic of other-concern and care, and future-oriented action -- and this is why it's his conscience.
I guess what threw me off this reading (assuming it's what you wanted) is that when I'd read in S1 that the world was watching pieces of itself fall off, I'd assumed the world was something like the earth, the planet (and "the earth" does occur in S2), and as such was an innocent victim of the destruction wrought on it by others, rather than another cruel, (self-)destructive actor.
Last edited by Matt Q; 01-17-2020 at 06:18 AM.