11.5.09

Letters to Eve

artwork by artist He Qi

Dear Eve,

You wouldn’t know me from Adam, but my name is Kim, and I am a very distant great-granddaughter of yours. I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Ron and Debbie in 1975 A.D., and now I reside with my husband and children in one of its northern suburbs. Indianapolis, by the way, is really far from where you were from. There are thousands and thousands of miles between the location of your garden and where I live now. In more ways than one.

Eve, I have been thinking about you a lot lately. You’ve been on my mind because you were really the only woman to know what a perfect life was like. In your early days, there was no illness or relational strife. Nourishing food was always at your immediate disposal, and your fingernails could probably remain intact while procuring it. Not that I would care, but I’m just guessing. The weather was probably always pleasant. You were naked, after all, so it had had to be at least a constant eighty degrees or so. And I bet you never had trouble sleeping since there was no stress to keep you up late at night. There was no work, just play. Quite simply, you lived in a perfect world and probably didn’t even know it, or at least until it was too late. I’m really sorry about that, by the way. That silly serpent really threw you for a loop. He threw us all for a loop.

Anyway, quite often I find myself pining for what once was, even if it was something I never personally experienced. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of beautiful aspects about life that I can see now, even from just where I’m sitting. We’ve created it that way on purpose. There are tulips from my husband on the kitchen table, our children’s beautiful artwork on the walls, our rescued dogs freely running about our fenced in backyard. But there are just days when the results of that little fruit incident weigh heavily on my existence, despite living in an ideal community that, in many ways, tries to mimic your former residence. And then I think of you and want so badly the life that you once enjoyed – so much I could cry.

I also catch myself thinking about you because you were the very first woman and mother to all. You were created by God himself and became the template for the rest of us. Abba, our father, formed you and shaped you, and I imagine He sculpted you with care, slowly and with attention to detail. You must have been stunning. I bet you glowed with radiance far greater than we could ever obtain from a bottle. You know, Eve, we spend a lot of time these days talking about women’s issues and becoming stronger women and we applaud and celebrate the legends that have paved the way for the rest of us. But your legacy is even greater than all those combined, I feel. It’s greater than Oprah’s even, though that almost seems sacrilege in our culture. I was actually scared to type that, to be truthful. But no matter the astounding accomplishments of fabulous women around the world, no matter what they have done to impress their lives on the rest of us, you are the reason they are doing it. We are patterned after you, Eve, the original, flawless design. And I think about that when I go shopping, buy cosmetics, or have my hair highlighted and wonder what it is I’m truly purchasing – superficial beauty, or the feeling that I can glow like you originally did? I wonder, when I teach my daughters to use their voices and stand tall, am I really just longing for what might have been? For what you had? For what’s rightfully ours? Is it rightfully ours?

But most of all, I wonder about that relationship with God that you had. What was it like not to need any faith because you could see God and walk and talk with Him without just having to sing about it? An authentic, personal relationship with God can seem so obscure and abstract to us today, and we constantly belittle ourselves for not believing enough, but for you it was very tangible, concrete, and open. When God seems distant, when my strangely vivid visions or dreams are apparently spiritually meaningful yet excruciatingly cryptic, or when I have to surf the wave of spiritual emotion as long as I can because that’s all I’ve got, I think about you.

Yes, Eve, I’ve been thinking about you a lot. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to write to you now and again to help me process my musings about the state of the world, your hand in that, and what that means for me - for us - today.

Well, anyway, I’ve got some women’s work waiting for me, so, to quote Tigger, ta-ta for now.

Your friend,

Kim

1 comment: