THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME.
Our name Eva's Dream came about because I and particularly Ian Smith-Hughes (our original drummer) are great admirers of the works of Anne Frank. Of course, just about everyone has heard of Anne Frank's famous Diary but not so many know that a collection of her short stories also survived the war. Eva's Dream is the title of one of these stories, collected together in Anne Frank's Tales From The Secret Annexe. ( Presently available from Penguin and well worth a purchase ). Eva's Dream was her favourite and as she said herself, probably her best work. Take time to read it dear surfer and we think you'll see why.
Some might think our choice of name inappropriate for a Band. Perhaps. However, we have NOT chosen this name as a gimmick, we have chosen it not only as a tribute to a literary hero but because the story itself says a lot of truths concerning the human experience. And what's more, it's a pretty name.
"Good night, Eve, sleep well". "Same to you, Mum".
Click went the light and Eve lay in the dark, but only for a few moments, because when she got used to the darkness, she saw that her mother had closed the curtains in such a way that an opening was left through which she could look straight into the face of the moon. The moon stood so quietly in the sky ; he didn't move, smiled, and was friendly to everyone.
"If I could only be like that", Eve said softly to herself, "always quiet and kind so that everybody would like me. That would be wonderful".
Eve thought and thought about the difference between the moon and herself, who was still so very small. She finally dozed off, and her thoughts seemed to be transformed into a dream, which Eve remembered so keenly next day that she afterward sometimes wondered whether it had actually happened.
She stood at the entrance of a big park, looking through the fence and not quite daring to go in. Just as she was about to turn back, a little girl with wings came up to her and said, "Go right ahead, Eve, or don't you know the way ?"
"No I don't," said Eve shyly.
"Well, then I will guide you." And with those words, the smart little elf took Eve's hand.
Eve had walked in several parks with her mother and her grandmother, but a park like this one she had never seen.
She saw a wealth of flowers, trees, fields, every imaginable kind of insect, and small animals such as squirrels and turtles. The elf chatted gaily with her, and Eve had got over her fear enough to ask a question. But the elf stopped her by putting a finger to Eve's lips.
"I will show you and explain everything. After each explanation you may ask questions about things you don't understand, but otherwise you must be silent and not interrupt me. If you do, I shall take you home at once, and then you will know just as little as all the other stupid people.
"Well, now I begin. First of all, here is the rose, the queen of flowers. She is so beautiful and smell so wonderful that it goes to everybody's head, and most of all to her own.
The rose is lovely, elegant, and fragrant, but if something doesn't please her, she immediately turns her thorns in your direction. She is like a spoiled little girl - very pretty and apparently quite sweet, too, but either touch her, or pay a little attention to somebody else, so that she is no longer the centre of interest, and she shows her sharp nails. Her tone of voice becomes catty; she is offended but doesn't want to show it, and so her manners turn stilted and she puts on airs."
"But if all this is so, little elf, how is it that everybody considers the rose the queen of flowers ?"
"It is because nearly all people are blinded by surface glitter; there are only a few who would not have voted for the rose if there had been an election. The rose is so good-looking and dignified, and, just as in the rest of the world, scarcely anyone asks if there might not be another, outwardly a little plainer, perhaps, but inwardly more noble and gifted, for the role of ruler."
"But you yourself think the rose is lovely, don't you, little elf ?"
"Indeed, I do, and if she wouldn't always push herself into the foreground, she might be loveable as well. But since, by common consent, she is the flower of flowers, she will always regard herself as more beautiful than she really is, and so long as that is so, she will be full of false pride. I don't care for such creatures."
"Do you think that Lena, too, is full of false pride ? She is also beautiful and, because she is rich, she is the head of the class."
"Think for a moment, Eve, and you will have to admit that, if little Marie, for example, had some complaint against Lena, Lena would turn the entire class against Marie. The reason ? simply that Marie is plain and poor. And you, all of you, would accept that false reason, because you know that if you did not, you would fall from Lena's good graces. And that, you think, is as bad as having the headmaster angry at you. You wouldn't be permitted to come to her beautiful home, and so you let her boss you. Later in life, such girls as Lena will stand alone, for the others, as they grow older, will understand how wrong she was. Rather than be lonely for ever, girls like Lena should change their ways."
"Do you think, then, elf, that I should try to convince the other girls not to listen to Lena ?"
"Yes. First she will be furious at you. But later, as she gets more sense and realizes how badly she has acted, she will be grateful and have friends who are more sincere than those she has had until now . . ."
"I understand. But tell me, little elf, am I as full of false pride as the rose ?"
"Listen, Eve : people and children who ask themselves such questions prove by that very act that they are free from false pride. You can best answer the question your-self , and I advise you to do so . . . Now let us go on. Look at this : don't you think it is attractive ?"
The elf knelt down by a small, blue, bell shaped flower that waved back and forth in the grass to the rhythm of the wind.
"This little bell is never lonesome ; it has music in it's small heart. This flower is much happier than the rose. It doesn't care about the praise of others. The rose lives only for and by admiration : if she doesn't get this, she has no other reason to be glad. Her outward splendour is for others ; inside she is empty and, therefore, without happiness.
"The little bell, on the other hand, is not exactly beautiful, but it has genuine friends, who value its melodies ; those friends live in its flower-heart."
"But the little bell is a pretty flower, too, isn't it ?"
"Yes, but not as obviously as the rose. Unfortunately, it is this kind of "show" that attracts most people."
"But I, too, often feel quite alone and like to have people about me. Is that not good ?"
"That has nothing to do with it, Eve. Later, when you grow up, you too, will hear the song in your heart ; I am sure of it."
"Please dear elf, go on with your story."
"All right, I will go on." The elf pointed upward with her small fingers. Eve looked at a huge, stately chestnut tree.
"This tree is impressive, isn't it ?" asked the elf. "Yes, it is grand ; how old do you think it is ?"
"It is surely more than a hundred and fifty years old, but it is still straight and doesn't feel old at all. Everybody admires this chestnut for its strength, and he proves that he knows his strength with his indifference about all this admiration. He doesn't tolerate anyone above himself and is egotistical in everything. So long as he lives, nothing else is of any importance. He looks as though he were generous and a support to others. But if you think that, you are mistaken. The chestnut is pleased when no one comes to him with troubles or complaints. He has a good life, but he begrudges it to everyone else. The trees and flowers know this. When they are in trouble, they go to the sympathetic pine and forget about the chestnut.
"Still, the chestnut, too, has a very small song in that big heart of his ; you can tell by his liking of the birds. For them he always has a little spot, and he often gives them a little something, though not much."
"Can the chestnut tree also be compared to some kind of person?"
"That, too, you need not ask, Eve. All living beings can be compared with each other, and the chestnut is no exception. He is not bad, you know, but neither is he good. He doesn't do anyone harm, lives his own life, and is satisfied. Any other questions, Eve ?"
"No, I understand everything, and I am very grateful to you for your explanations, dear elf. Now I am going home. Will you come again sometime to tell me more ?"
"That is not possible. Sleep well, Eve."
The elf was gone. Eve woke up ; the sun had replaced the moon, and a cuckoo clock at the neighbours' called out seven.
The dream had made a big impression on Eve. Nearly every day she caught herself doing or saying little unpleasant things, which she then corrected at once according to the elf's good advice. She also tried hard not to give in to Lena. But girls like that feel at once that someone is making an effort to "take them down a peg or two." She defended herself vigorously, especially when Eve proposed some game in which another girl would be the leader. Then Lena did everything she could to turn her faithful following against Eve.
Eve noticed with pleasure that Lena wasn't quite as smart in her dealings with her as she was with little Marie. As Marie was a small, slight and shy girl, it amazed Eve that she dared to stand up against Lena. As she got to know her better, it became very clear to Eve that Marie, as a friend, was to be valued much above Lena.
Eve had told her mother nothing about the elf. She hardly knew why. Until know, she had confided in her mother, but for the first time she felt the need to keep something to herself. She didn't understand it, but she had a feeling that Mummy wouldn't be quite "with her" in this.
The little elf was so lovely, and Mummy had not been in the big park and hadn't seen the elf. Eve couldn't describe the elf's appearance. It wasn't long before the dream had such an influence on Eve that her mother noticed the change in her daughter. She talked about more interesting things than before and didn't get excited about trifles. But since Eve didn't speak of what had brought about the change, the mother didn't want to force herself into the child's confidence.
And so Eve lived on, thinking always of the elf's good counsel. She never saw the elf again. Lena no longer was the head of the class. The other girls now led the group by turns. At first, this made Lena very cross, but when she found that angry words didn't help, she began to behave in a more friendly manner. Finally, her classmates, finding that she had outgrown her old faults, treated her like everyone else.
Eve decided to tell her mother of her experience. To her surprise, Mummy didn't laugh, but said : "That was a great privilege the elf gave you, Eve. I don't believe that she would think many children fit to receive it. Think always of the elf's trust in you, and don't talk about it to anyone. Do always what the elf told you, and don't get away from the path she showed you."
As Eve grew older, she became known for her good deeds. When she was sixteen, everyone in the community prized her as a kind, gentle, and helpful girl. Every time she did something good she felt warm and glad inside, and slowly she began to understand what the elf had meant by "the song in her heart".
When she was grown up, the solution of the dream and who and what the elf had been suddenly came to her one day. She knew, as in a flash, that it had been her own conscience which, in her dream, had shown her what was right. She was deeply thankful that, in her childhood, she had had the little elf as a guide and example.
Anne Frank. Amsterdam. 6th October 1943.
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