It began when I was very young…
From the first time I twirled in my new dress at school
Feeling the thrill of the ruffles making a circle around me,
I learned that I…that my body…was dangerous.
“Don’t do that again. We don’t let boys see our underwear.”
Shame and confusion.
I just wanted to feel beautiful.
As I grew I learned that my body was cursed by the first sin,
By the “first woman” who was too weak to resist the talking snake
And the temptation of the tree.
I learned that life is a series of forbidden trees and forbidden fruit
That are always in the center of my world in order to help me
Prove my love and devotion to a god
Who would always demand my allegiance while also
Always challenging it.
With men, I embodied the forbidden tree.
My fruit was not to be touched or tasted.
But I was also the snake who had the power
To lure, to seduce and to induce sin.
My deep and vast roots could cause him to stumble.
My fruit could cause him to commit adultery in his heart.
I didn’t ask him to gaze at me
But it was my fault that he did.
Shame and confusion.
I just wanted to be loved.
It was my duty to tend my garden.
It was to be beautiful and tasteful
But not too lush or desirable.
It was my duty to know which one single person
Could enter my garden for always and forever.
And once he was in, it was my job to produce fruit for the earth
Which would ultimately prove
The worth and value of my garden
And keep him happy within its borders.
Anything beyond that made my garden a wasteland.
It was my duty to tame and control the weeds of desire and curiosity
And that tree in the center that I was not to touch was
overflowing with ripe fruit
That I always wanted to taste.
I couldn’t stop wanting the fruit.
I couldn’t stop the serpent from offering over and over again.
I had been placed in a paradise
That was really just a reality show that I could
Be dismissed from at any moment.
As my garden bled, cramped, ached and labored
I accepted this as penance for my weakness
Her sin was my sin and her price was my price
I deserved this dis-ease and pain
It was my curse to bear
It was the way to be woman
Shame and confusion
I just wanted to be whole.
And it would take me years of undoing
Of deconstructing and reconstructing
To see myself not as the tree or the serpent
Or the garden anymore…
But as the river that ran through it
As he lightning and the thunder that balanced its atmosphere
As the morning dew that kissed it
As the sun that fed it and the moon that illuminated it.
And as I dismissed the serpent
And the god who sent it
I stood in the shade of the forbidden tree
And I finally let “her” enter my garden
And I tasted the fruit
And declared it “good”
And accepted the knowledge of good
And saw for the first time that the evil
Was not coming from me.
Pleasure and Ecstasy
I am loved and I am whole.
I am not the garden or the tree or the serpent
I am all of creation
I am the fire, the earth, the waters and the air
I am not dangerous.
I am not forbidden fruit
I am the love, goodness and knowledge of
The true creation story.