"I dreamed that I floated at will in the great Ether, and I saw this world floating also not far off, but diminished to the size of an apple. Then an angel took it in his hand and brought it to me and said: "This must thou eat." And I ate the world."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The above picture, as you may recognize, is an edited version of my blog avatar. It is, in fact, a picture of my granddaughter taken a couple of years ago. She looks almost exactly like me at her age. When she was almost three years of age she would insist that pictures of me as a toddler were actually pictures of her. She became quite indignant when others would confirm that they were truly pictures of me. So the fact that the picture actually resembles me as a child is one reason for the selection of this photo for my avatar.
Another reason is that I love the image of a little female tot biting into the forbidden fruit. I have always sympathized with the Bible's first female, Eve, knowing that in her place I too would have defied what I see as unreasonable commands and picked the fruit. The forbidden bites are especially succulent AND when they are described as holding knowledge and life ... well ... I for one could not resist.
The choice of this image symbolizes my refusal to toe the line, to follow the flock, to obey arbitrary rules of the day, to renounce questioning, to restrain my instincts. A tree is meant to be climbed, the fruit at the top tasted and I have done so both boldly and timidly. While sometimes reaching for and tasting the apple has resulted in challenging situations, it has ultimately liberated me from moribund legacies and mind-crushing belief systems. I am grateful to have mustered the courage to take those little bites and am sure there will be many other forbidden fruits yet to taste. :)
The piece above is the first collage I ever attempted (and it shows!). It is, however, useful in this post to illustrate my fascination with 'forbidden fruit'. As you may notice, it was done with images of Klimt paintings (clipped from a ready-to-fall-apart art book). At the time I made the piece, I was not consciously aware of placing an image of Eve holding the apple, as the central image. (It is the pale image of the naked woman with long dark hair. She is holding an apple in her left hand.) I wonder - is my fascination with Eve, the forbidden fruit, or both?
So, now those of you who have asked about the significance of the little girl eating the apple avatar have your answer. :)
And what about YOU? How tempted are you by forbidden fruit?
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