I realise I haven’t been blogging half as much of late, partly through being busy and partly through being singularly uninspired. Inspired by Blahpolar Diaries (a wonderful blog which you should all read: Blahpolar Diaries) I am challenging myself to write one post a day for 26 days. Each day I will pick something beginning with the corresponding letter of the alphabet and write about it. So today… A. I think I covered alcohol pretty well in my last post My Story, so what to write about? Let’s go with… Apples.
Apples are a mythical fruit. By which I do not mean that they have been invented and do not exist. Clearly, they do. Or, in certain philosophical circles, maybe they don’t, but in my world they certainly, certainly do. I really like them. I digress. What I mean is that apples feature in a couple of stories I have read, and they are interesting, at least to me.
From a poem I wrote years ago, entitled Greek Myths, as read at Age Nine:
Black sails with wrong-bad news
haunted my dreams for days.
So did pomegranate seeds- just two,
as bright as raindrops.
Another fruit, like the apple,
I made note to avoid
Why should apples be avoided?
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that itwas pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
King James Bible
It is not altogether clear, in terms of translation, that it was in fact an apple that Eve ate. It could have been a different fruit. But let’s face it, the simple apple has been blamed for centuries for tempting Eve (along with Satan-as-serpent) and leading Adam astray. The basic outline of the story in Genesis, for those who do not know it, is this: Adam and Eve live happily in the Garden of Eden. They have free reign of the land and are allowed to roam (naked) and eat whatever they please- EXCEPT- for the fruit from the forbidden tree. One day, a serpent (possibly the devil incarnate) comes to Eve and tells her that the fruit of the forbidden tree is delicious and she should eat it. He tells her that the fruit of the tree will bring her knowledge such as she has never known before, and that this is why God does not want her to eat it. Tempted, Eve plucks an apple (let’s say apple) from the tree and takes a bite from it. She tells Adam that it is delicious and he, too, eats from it. Suddenly they become aware of their nakedness, cover themselves in fig leaves and hide. God asks how they knew they were naked, and they confess. Afterwards, he casts them from Eden. He makes the ground hard so that they must toil for the rest of their days. He makes childbirth painful. Children will be born with Original Sin. Angels and a sword then protect the Garden and Adam and Eve must work the ground from which they were made, in order to survive. Part of the apple remains lodged in Adam’s throat, which is why men have an Adam’s apple to this day.
I find this tale deeply problematic. I have a lot of questions about it. Let me know if I should publish them and I will add them to this post- I’m just conscious of making it too long.
Snow White: Poisoned Apple
The Brothers Grimm created the story of Snow White, the upshot of which is that, having had her life spared by a huntsman hired by her stepmother to cut out her heart, Snow White goes to live with seven dwarves. Learning (from a magic mirror) that the girl is still alive, the stepmother in question tries to kill her. In the final attempt, she disguises herself as an apple-seller and offers the girl a bite. Snow White takes a bite of what transpires to be a poisoned apple, and dies (later she is awoken by the kiss of a prince, whose mouth dislodges the fruit from her throat).
This story, too, is somewhat problematic, as Snow White in the original tale is around seven years of age. Her beauty should not be such a threat to her stepmother, and certainly not to the point where she would will the heart cut from the child. But such is the world of fairytale. I wrote my own version of Snow White. It wasn’t very good but made the stepmother more understandable and questioned why, in fact, a prince would be kissing a dead child.
There you go, my post for the day: apples. I promise to do better next time.