Inside River Run
With an eternity to deal with, entertainment value would have been a high priority.
A woman’s lot in life — sometimes you wonder why it’s so hard. Guys have their issues, but the club they belong to seems to have a leg up on ours. How did that happen? You can find one explanation in the first three chapters of Genesis. God says don’t eat the fruit. Gullible Eve listens to a fast-talking snake and eats the fruit. Adam comes back from tending the cucumbers and Eve’s there, “Honey, check this out — it’s delicious!”
“Hey, isn’t that the one You-Know-Who said never to eat?”
“Yeah, so? He says a lot of things.”
“So where did you come up with that idea?”
“I was talking to the serpent and he said I should give it a try.”
“I never liked that dude.”
“He’s fine. Pretty funny actually. Had me in stitches.”
“Maybe it’s, you know, bad for us.”
“What harm can there be in eating a fruit?”
“You never know.”
“Well, I took a bite and I’m perfectly fine.”
“But he said not to do it? He must have a reason.”
“It’s a fruit!”
“Maybe it’s a test. Like he wants to see how well we can follow directions.”
“Sure, or maybe it’s a test to see if we can think outside the box.”
Adam laughs. “Yeah, right.”
Even thinks for a moment. “Actually, maybe he’s afraid it will make us just like him.”
“What do you mean? Like live forever? We already live forever.”
“The serpent said it will give us knowledge.”
“What does a serpent know? I'd never trust anything he said.”
“Well, he was right,” she says.
“Right about what?”
“Knowledge. Remember how we talked about how we’re so different and how we have those funny things between our legs? Well, now I know what they’re for.”
“You do? Tell me.”
“I could but you would never understand,” she says. “Or even believe me, if you did. It’s pretty amazing. Here, take a bite. Then you’ll see.”
Adam takes the fruit and looks at it. “I hope I'm not going to regret this.”
You know the rest. God gets really, really pissed and kicks them out of Eden, among other things. Their cushy permanent vacation is over for good. And the same thing is in store for their kids, too. And everyone else’s. Seems harsh but maybe God was going through a rough patch and was in no mood to be nice. We fail the test and so here we are, damaged goods us. Look at that famous fresco by Masaccio on the walls of the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. A masterpiece of realism and emotion at a time (c. 1429) when religious art was stylized and one-dimensional. There they are, the progenitors of us all, naked, ashamed, shattered, vulnerable — rejected by the god that made them.
Or the problem could have been with the folks who came up with the story. Why couldn’t they have gone the other way? Instead of that dreary tale of a pissed off god, why not a pleasant tale about a kind of absent-minded deity who tries his hand at creation and can’t quite manage to pull it off? Not our fault, really, but his. So, we’d be off the hook. The downside is, we’re still damaged goods.
Or, if you’re of an adventurous, or even cynical, cast of mind, there’s the deity who’s just like us (made in his image, remember), who given the opportunity to create a world, creates the most interesting one possible, open to every possibility, including danger and horror, beauty and ugliness, good choices and bad. With an eternity to deal with, entertainment value would have been a high priority.
And right out of the box, we prove him right. We’re pretty decent drama. Never a dull moment in this show!