As I begin the process of writing my poems for book three, I find myself thinking, almost obsessively, about all the implications of the images and the poems. It all begins with Adam and Eve. In this post, I want to highlight the fact of being born naked, being created in the Creator’s image.
“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.” [Genesis 1:27]
We know that they were created without clothing, a fact that is reinforced with the birth of every human being since the first man and woman. No one questions this fact, even those most angry and upset about the naked human body. If one is to “believe” these words from the bible, then the “image” of God is not restricted to the male human form, but includes the female human form as well. The word “image” is powerful and doesn’t give us much wiggle room when it comes to interpretation. Yet, as a human species, we have turned all of this on its head as though what was said and what was meant were polar opposites.
For example, every image we dare create of God has the Creator in the form of a man. At least this is what we have allowed to exist. Not only is the Creator in the form of a man, but that man is always lost in voluminous robes so that as little skin as possible is visible – hands, face and not much more. Even in the Garden of Eden, where the Creator enjoys the company of Adam and Eve, that Creator is always hidden in multitudinous folds of material while Adam and Eve are totally naked. Okay, so maybe we weren’t supposed to take being made in the Creator’s image literally, in spite of what fundamentalists preach to us.
Adam and Eve decide to disobey the boundaries set by the creator (and there is a psychological side to this that begs to be told) resulting in both of them becoming aware of their nakedness. Their first response – and I must be clear that it is their response, not the Creator’s response – is to invent clothing and “hide” their naked, the truth of their being made in the Creator’s image. It is the image of the Creator finding Adam and Eve “covered” that elicits a heated response from the Creator. Prior to the covering, the Creator had been mightily pleased with these two humans and called their creation, naked – good. Finding them covered, hiding their reflection of the Creator’s image, goodness had been tarnished, soiled, even disowned by Adam and Eve.
And today, we credit God for the creation of clothing. We proscribe nakedness as offensive to God and godly people. We vilify women as evil responsible for the downfall of man and the loss of the Garden of Eden, Paradise. We build religions around the godly [male] beliefs that man must be protected from their sexuality, a sexuality that is lit on fire with the mere image of a woman. And we dare to call the perversions of our religions as Holy Gospel, the Word of God. Nice sleight of hand to call black, white.