This post is a Research Driven Storyline. Read to learn about this type of non-traditional article!
Episode One: Redefining Feelings and the Core Story of Femininity
Adam says we are the first two to walk on heel and toe. And whenever he speaks about the time before we met, he tells me I was made for him – to be his sole support as he built in this world. But something is missing. Whenever I bring it up, question my place in this world, his words become seething brands upon my soul, and his actions become cold as I'm left without any form of an answer. To question him is something I can't help but do. Something pulls me from this place – from him - because it all should have been more beautiful than this. I can't help but wonder, is this right for me, for us?
As Eve laid under the stars, her mind continued to wander towards the distant unknown. With Adam fast asleep, she looked up with a hopeless glint of distant memories and hooded eyes of deepening remorse. The air around her became a dense weight on her chest. Life was so much easier back then – contorting herself to fit into everything he ever wanted. It was almost freeing at first to roam in the bounds of illusion.
I'm happy. The backless thought rattled inside Eve's mind and permeated through the cracks of the unknown. She was quick to fill the space once again. This beautiful sanctuary holds all we want – all we need. The sweet aroma of the midnight wind teased this thought away.
Eden was a paradise of lush greens and vibrant reds. Within it, sparkling waters as clear as glass ran through with a flowing swirl. On days of sun, the colors would shine with the beauty of eternal light. And on the days full of rain, the colors would deepen into a new palette to capture the eye.
But it was through the nights when the light of day could no longer color the landscape. It was then, as she gazed into the depths of midnight skies, that the distant hilltops whispered about a home that never was.
Her feelings branded the back of her chest as she laid in silent refutation of what she knew to be true. But to question what she had, to challenge the words of her husband? How could I? But tonight, a new question was forming: is there anything here so sacred as to destroy me in its safety?
If I leave – if I go, I won't make it. I don't know my way – right or wrong (2). Squeezing her eyes ever tighter, she rolled over towards Adam, who was still sound asleep. The soft ground of grass became harder. I'll never know what this feeling means if I don't follow it. Eve filled the space with thought once again; surely, I won't die (3); there's an entire world out there.
Her restlessness forced her to her feet. The breeze turned into a howling wind as a trickle of curiosity, stiffened her back and widened her eyes to the night sky. The stars of different sizes were clustered and distant. As she set her gaze on the brightest of them all, she took her first step towards the whispering unknown. She knew where to go even though her mind couldn't grasp the unseen path.
In the distant north, she saw a pair of trees (4) towering over the rest of the garden. On one, there were apples full and plump. As she grabbed a couple for her journey onwards, she went to the trunk three-feet wide, with a rock of sharpened edge lying beneath. Whittling away at the bark, she left a message for her husband.
As she continued, she picked some more fruit for her journey and weaved through a resting family of lions her husband had named (5).
"Why are you here?" She said with a delicate wonder. She stepped to the largest, a great lioness, and brushed her fingers through her fur coat. With a powerful gentleness, the cat looked up at her with eyes full of depth, and in them, Eve saw it. With a graceful stretch, the lioness rubbed against Eve's side and lowered her shoulders. The silk coat of the beast balanced the ferocity of her soul. Eyes of olivine, the lioness nudged Eve to get onto her back.
"I know I'm made for more (6)." She said to herself.
The lion began to walk, her walk turned into a trot, and her trot into a gallop. They stopped only once to pluck a leaf from a fig bush (7) at the edge of the garden. She got back on the lion and fastened the vine as a sash to carry what she brought with her. Beyond the lush grasses and vines extent, Eve looked back to a home she never belonged. The shimmering mirage faded into a landscape that was as barren as the lands around it (8).
A flash of lightning from a cloudless sky struck down on the earth and pulled away from her attention. It threw the lioness into a defensive stand and Eve to her back (9). The strike left a ripple that opened the night into an unknown world – a world where everything came together—a world with meaning, a world that she belonged to in her own right. In it, she saw the history of man yet to be told and the story of the enslaved feminine.
As the lioness calmed, it let out a roar into the midnight hour. Eve got back on the lionesses, and they moved towards the ripple of space and time with elegant definitiveness.
"From this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety." Harkened a voice from beyond the ripple. Though the sound was unfamiliar to her ears, it echoed with familiarity in the chambers of her soul(10).
"To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength, Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe. And so, your follies fight against yourself." He said once more. (11)(12).
It was in this moment that Eve remembered the repressed memories of all that came before, and a life forgotten filled her lungs with a vivid swirl of breath. She remembered, who she was, and how far she strayed from her truth to please Adam's fragility.
"Shakespeare is that you?" said Eve. "My dear friend, how long it's been!"
A few steps forward, the lion walked with elegance into the unseen – into the void. As they got closer to the ripple of space and time, worlds flashed by, and memories came to life. She was free to go wherever she wanted. The lioness's whipping tail was the last thing through the opening as it shut closed. The only trace left behind was a crack of thunder that rattled even the trees of the distant hilltops.
Loud enough, it stirred Adam from his sleep to find his wife missing. "Eve." He yelled into an echoing garden. "Eve." He said once more. His empty voice fell to all that surrounded him. "Where art thou?" (13).
As he wandered around, he remembered that nagging feeling that Eve always told him about. His defenses, once high, came crashing as a fiery pain flared in his chest and arms. In his directionless wonder, he stumbled upon the tree where Eve plucked from. He saw a carving on the trunk that wrote, "I had to go. I wish you well."
"Go? Go where?" He said to himself. "My wife, you are supposed to bear my children; I'm to be your only desire (14)." His energy flared. The more he thought about it, the more he destroyed. And under him, the grounds became cursed (15).
Without Eve, the mirage of Eden began to grow into a land of thorn. And so, he wondered to the West in search of a land to harvest (16) – a land to claim (17).
Just the Facts and Author Notes
Why Adam & Eve?
There are many reasons why I chose Eve to be the protagonist in this series; Emotional Intelligence. Long regarded as a feminine trait, emotions, and feelings have long been looked at through the lens of weakness.
Our patriarchy that heavily favors masculine traits comes from a long history of fairy tales, politics, and religion that enforce this idea. As said by Glennon Doyle in her book Untamed,
"And religion, sweet Jesus. The lesson of Adam and Eve – the first formative story I was told about God and a woman – was this; when a woman wants more, she defies God, destroys her partner, curses her family, and destroys the world."
Here, we want to break the status quo and help our underdeveloped emotional worlds grow into the wholeness of the human experience. And there's no better start than one of the first accounts of the enslaved feminine.
Notes & Facts
This post is a Research Driven Storyline, and there is little clarity between fact and fiction, so here are Just the Facts and Author Notes.
1. Untamed – In one of my recent reads, Glennon Doyle articulated a feeling that many women have felt. As a man, even I had noticed when I got in touch with myself; I found a pervading sense of forgone fullness. It is here that I want to give the power back to Eve as she finders what she lost to throughout tamed womanhood. My experiences still through a man's lens, and I know I don't understand the whole problem. – I only hope to get as close to the truth as possible!
2. Genesis 2:17
3. Genesis 3:4
4. Genesis 2:9
5. Genesis 2:20
6. Genesis 3:16
7. Genesis 3:7
8. Author Note – We need to realize that when we sacrifice ourselves for patriarchy's fragility, what we are giving up is only a shimmering mirage. What Eve is leaving behind is only a fraction of the authentic human experience.
9. Author Note – I chose a lioness as a symbol of feminine power.
10. Henry IV, Part I: Act 2 Scene 3 (Shakespeare)
11. Richard II: Act 3 Scene 2 (Shakespeare)
12. Author Note – I used these two Shakespearean lines because the safety of Eden was only an illusion. And in fear of her feelings, Eve gave her power away to Adam (unrightfully so). Additionally, I wanted to reference what was to come in the series, and this lightning bolt's strength.
13. Genesis 3:9
14. Genesis 3:16
15. Genesis 3:17
16. Genesis 3:23
17. Author Note – Men are decisive and stoic in their manner but often lack a real purpose behind the motive – hence their decisiveness. And when we break the mirage of their egoist attachments, it can lead to a fragile state of being. However, the feminine call to be untamed (Glennon Doyle) is seated much deeper than that and often looks to serve more than just the self (if not all the time).