*language warning* I like to swear sometimes. When I feel like it.
We landed on the topic of Adam and Eve. Masa, my husband is not Christian. In Japan, Christianity is rare but seeps out into warped versions of made up holidays that department stores capitalize on around fake holiday time. So every now and then, usually around Christmas or Easter time, I attempt to tell some story that I was told as a child, at church or during the holy communion process in which I had to wear a lace and satin dress that made me feel like a regurgitated marshmallow, when all I really wanted to wear was Madonna’s black lace, figure-hugging strappy dress with red wine lipstick and ruby crucifix…you know what she wore in the Like a Prayer video.
Ok, I got distracted and YouTubed Like a Prayer and cried. Fucking queen. That woman was my idol. That film clip. When he whispered in her ear and kissed her on the forehead; shivers. When she picks up the dagger, cuts her hands, then does a hair flick and eye gaze directly into the camera with the strap of her dress falling off one shoulder and sings “let the choir sing” I die. When she dances in the field of burning crosses; ugh, exactly how I imagined my first holy communion should go. Yep, I have always had a vivid imagination, a love for strong and curious women and a disdain for daggy white dresses that make me look like a poodle. I like poodles but why couldn’t I wear Madonna’s dress or even better, MC Hammer’s pants, to my sacred ritual.
To be clear this is not a religious debate, it is a commentary on how prominent stories in society can have a ripple effect on beliefs and behaviors…and a call to contemplation.
Anyway back to Eve.
My version of the story, granted I was never very good at listening in school and I have a creative way of taking something that I hear and turning it into a fantasy anyway (so if you do hold strongly to one version of this Christian story that makes up your belief system and my version feels offensive in any way I want to let you know it is not intentional and also encourage us all to question what we have been taught or lead to believe)
So my version went something like this. There were two original humans that God apparently made, one was a man and one was a woman. They got to hang out in this amazing garden called Eden, everything was gorgeous, there was no violence and they were both vegan (look it up…I confirmed it…although I also confirmed that there is no substantial evidence that these two humans existed anyway…so it all just becomes one big acid trip really) God said you can do all the things but you can’t eat the apple. How crazy was God? When you tell someone not to do something, what do you think they are going to do. Listen to you? Pft.
Anyway, Eve being the sassy queen that she was, started hanging with a snake and the story goes that the snake tricked her but I just think and hope that Eve was a hot, wild woman who immediately said, “Fuck yeah” when the snake said “hey babe, you wanna bite of the fruit that we are not supposed to eat, I hear it is delish” Eve made her own mind up, she didn’t need a man or a snake to figure out that the forbidden fruit is always sweeter.
Long-unconfirmed-story-short, Eve said “fuck yeah, why not?”, God said “fuck no” and we were all doomed to be sinners. Being tempted by succulence, seduced by serpentine, coerced by what is forbidden was, in the Christian story, deemed to be the original sin and cause for the fall of man. What about women?
We were driving down the highway as I tried to recount this suddenly ridiculous story to Masa. I spent the rest of the drive thinking about the impact and the misinterpretations of this dominant story on society, sexuality, women, feminine empowerment and sex. There is no real account of exactly when the story was written but can we agree on thousands of years of sinful shame reigning down on humanity (from a Christian point of view) Oh God, yes God, no wonder so much shame, taboo and deceit exists. That is some deep ancestral shit.
Masa seemed to think it was a whack story and couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t just eat the fruit if you were a vegan and thought the snake was probably more interesting than Adam so would have been cool to hang out with.
But it got me thinking. Mostly about temptation, sinning, shame and sexuality.
Whether the snake and the apple in the story actually represented anything to do with Eve’s sexuality, eroticism and temptation it is certain that over time as these stories and others like it have been misconstrued and fractured we reside in times where much of the story, dialogue and unconscious behaviour around sexuality is still taboo, shameful and for some sinful.
Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. Because it is a broad term, which has varied over time, it lacks a precise definition. (Wikipedia)
What if Eve was a sexy minx? What if she was the one who fully owned her choices for her body and her behaviors? What if the story didn’t paint Eve as a dummy or a victim of temptation who was easily persuaded but as an empowered woman who unlocked her serpentine energy and made friends with it and in that process recognised that there was ecstasy and growth to be experienced in making the choice to eat the fruit consciously? What if Adam supported and nurtured Eve’s choices and sexual liberation and her right to ask for what she wanted and needed? What if the snake and Eve hung out (as friends or lovers…I don’t know I am just brainstorming here…I like to think that the snake was a representation of Eve’s kundalini energy and inner sexual life force) and Eve learned through their relationship that she could fall in love with her body, her desires, her empowering life force energy? What if Eve shared that with Adam, openly and they both took responsibility for their own growth as individuals and as partners instead of being scared or ashamed by some dominant fear or God? Again, Christians please do not come for me. I am simply asking the question.
What if the stories we have been told and the stories we continue to tell ourselves have been contributing to our underlying shame instead of our freedom? What if we told some new stories? What if we created new ones?