I’m sitting in the doublewide chair at the lake house, staring out the picture window, observing the constant movement of swallows, ducks, and geese as they interact with the watery environment. It’s late summer, a familiar pungent aroma melds with the dank environment, as if a massive compost has sprung up in the backyard, when something shiny, slippery, evasive catches my eye. A bass leaping out of his watery lair performing an eloquent pirouette beneath the sun. I admit I’m charmed.
Larry is sitting in a chair not ten feet away, reminding me of a metronome as he moves his head back and forth between two screens, his features contorted by the implicative weight of the data. I’m fascinated by his total absorption and the slight sheen of sweat forming on his brow.
“By the way, if you get mad at your Mac laptop and wonder who designed this demonic device, notice the manufacturer’s icon on top: an apple with a bite out of it.” Peter Kreeft
I don’t know why but it made me think of Eve, sauntering through the proverbial garden, possibly observing the beautiful landscape, picking a bouquet of flowers, Adam off in the distance naming sheep, when the apple caught her eye.
I think it must have been on impulse she took a bite. How desperate must she had felt putzing around a perfectly manicured garden, her life uneventful, bare, tailored if you will, bound by guardians and gates, as if custom made for what was to occur?
I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be totally bare, thoughts unadorned, a body detached from desire, her presence unencumbered by ambition or gain, she moved in perfect union with all that is, and ever will be.
This is when the serpent slithers in, and believe me there’s always a serpent, but did he recognize her innocence, or was he doing her a favor?
I’m of the school she was destined to engender our future, maybe this was her most profound purpose, clearly it’s a women’s nature is to conceive and give birth to that which is dependent, umbilically connected, suckling at her breast, for nothing comes into being except through a feminine womb.
One bite, one irreversible decision, and suddenly she went in search of cover, tasting at once the bitterness of shame, fearing her nakedness. Oh how we rush to cover that which we deem vulnerable, open, pure. I felt much the same when my hips and breasts swelled, when the man sitting not ten feet away caught my eye, and new temptations came into view.
I praise her and give thanks, because her one courageous act brought not only wisdom, but intimacy, and purpose into being.
And Eve being women, shared her good fortune, bringing all things necessary into her future, including her dude. I’m sure she recognized their handiness, taking on the sweaty jobs, shouldering the heavy burdens.
“ADAM AND EVE, sitting in Paradise, chatting:“If we could only open the gate and leave,” says Eve.
“To go where, my dearest?”
“If we could only open the gate and leave!”
“Outside is sickness, pain, death!”
“If we could only open the gate and leave!”
The retaliation was swift, an ending so solid it must have seemed as if the proverbial gate had closed for all eternity, but whose control was being challenged? If God moves with us, for us, and lives in accord with our in freewill, then the only challenge was possibly internal in nature? It may have been curiosity, but I’d stake my life on the fact that boredom is what won her over, and secured our sweaty future. Isn’t that always the way?
Forced to relocate and start the confused, rejoicing, stricken process of living under cover, she went in search of a new identity. We know she’s a survivor because we’re here, but the experience of living without a safety net must have only served to strengthen, empower, enable, commission, qualify, and egalitate her life.
But ultimately it is the bareness that we lost says Peggy Freydberg. No longer comfortable with our nakedness we hide behind technology, trading amity for screen time, we cower from real intimacy. We stay locked up in our houses, anchored to our things, binge watching Netflix, hiding behind jobs, fancy cars, designer clothing.
Behind all these distractions have we lost the ability to revel in the dank aroma, the composted environment, our own bareness, a place to lay down entwined in the arms of our lover?
What happens when I reunite with the serpent?
I’m tempted again and again to choose freedom over a cloistered existence, to escape confinement, to tempt my lover not ten feet away, to emerge from the screens, and join me on the shady deck.
I have lived my life covered in words, in stories, this is the way I shield my bareness. On impulse I started a blog, once having started it, I could not stop. With every new post I’m compelled to bring my experience into words, to match the beauty, to be seen, understood.
I believe that was Eve’s intent, she wanted to live her own life, to be desired, to explore the world on he own terms. I’m so team Eve.
I think we still have an innate longing is to return to nature, to bare our souls, to be in union with all that is and ever was. When Larry looks up from the screen I smile, “time for a coffee on the deck?”
I’m Living in the Gap, drop by anytime, we’ll slice up some apples and cheese.
This post inspired by a poem by Peggy Freydberg.
- God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good. Gen 1:31
- “God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly” Paul Valéry
- “Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man.” Clarence Darrow