“Adam: Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.”
Those were the closing words in The Diaries of Adam and Eve. Mark Twain offered a version of the story of Adam and Eve that could be written only by someone who truly understood the differences between men and women. The story is humorous and it is tragic. It is also a love story.
I read the final words of the book again this week on the internet – either on Facebook, or a blog, but I can’t remember the exact location. The words and the book haunt me. I read the book after Stephen died last year. I read it again from time to time. I’ve been a Mark Twain fan for many years but had never read The Diaries of Adam and Eve until last year. Samuel Clemens wrote the book after the deaths of his beloved wife and one of his daughters.
I’ve been more interested in the concepts of love and attachment over the past few years. I loved my first husband and was surprised that I could fall in love again a few years after his death. But I can’t get over Stephen.
Some of the words in this allegory of Adam and Eve remind me of some of my emotions of love over the years.
For those who have not read the book, Mr. Clemens (Twain) created fictional diaries purportedly written by Adam and Eve.
Adam was quite happy living alone in the Garden of Eden and did not easily welcome Eve, the “new creature” with long hair who was “a good deal in the way.” Adam attempted to abandon the new creature when he needed alone time and especially when she cried or “shed water out of the holes it looks with.” The creature further annoyed Adam because she wouldn’t stop talking and was obsessed with naming animals and everything else in their world. She was continually experimenting with nature and eventually discovered fire. And of course, Eve will forever be known for her role in the fall of mankind (the serpent and the apple tree incident.) Adam couldn’t have a moment to himself once Eve entered the garden. Eve followed him everywhere and even told him what to do. She didn’t like it that Adam enjoyed going over the “Niagara” Falls in a barrel. It was too dangerous, she said. Over time, Adam began to have feelings for Eve although he couldn’t explain those feelings. He accepted the Fall and noted, “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.”
Eve provided her version of events in her diary. She defended the curiosity she showed in her new world and tried to explain why she loved Adam. Of course, there is no reasonable explanation for love but she made a good case from a woman’s viewpoint. It seemed reasonable to me anyway. In Eve’s words, “The Garden is lost, but I have found him, and am content.”
In the end, Adam sat at Eve’s grave and spoke the words, “Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.”
The characters in my love story exchange places at the end. Eve sat at Adam’s grave and said, “Wheresoever he was, there was Eden.” Life will never be the same.