The Initial Unravelling

And God created humankind, so that we may be guardians of the Earth.

When Lilith was born, a quiescent soul in the full formation of a woman, she gazed only at the vast, flower-covered land across her dark eye. In the meadow she saw her destiny unfolded, and she lifted her gleaming halo of hair to the sempiternal reign of movement above her and sighed a quiet aubade. The rush of the stars crowned her with the force of all that would come. And, having no alternative, the weeping willow wept.

Lilith titled her magnificent head, and as she was asked, she Named. She named herself, and all that was around her, and when she had finished, she found pleasure in the likeness of things.

She grouped what she had named together by likeness, so that they might find pleasure in each other and know one another.

It seemed to her, at first, that she had placed these shapes into groups by the most arbitrary method, but even the wildest thing has patterns, its own rhyme and rhythm, and though she was involved more in an artistic concept—she delighted herself in this thought—she supposed that somewhere deep in her mind she had been following an almost unintentional demand. Expressively, she accorded to an inclination that did not consist of categorizing as a basic standard, but rather a hidden one; but human beings themselves, which Lilith had come to understand she was, are uncomfortable with imbalance, so she decided. Even the designs she had created with these shapes—though their categorizing seemed arbitrary—formed to have a certain balance, and balance is one of the important properties of art, declared Lilith. She could not know exactly what she had been thinking, for it was thought so deep it might not have even existed; to be simple she was merely following whatever her heart had desired, and wherever her mind was at the moment is almost thinkable—the categorizing was based on the whims of her design. She was free to do whatever she felt, without apparent form of thought.

In the practice she had found, at the very least, a sense of control; organization, and—if she were to categorize herself with things of her likeness—a sense of belonging. She liked to be in control of what she did, and she liked to see things from certain points of view. Placing objects, ideas, and such things into groups enabled her to take care of these needs and feel a tug of control over herself that put her to peace. Were something to be lost, uncategorized, or imbalanced, she reasoned, it would make her feel discomfort, and she would fidget around with it with a mind that refused to silence itself.

And so Lilith organized the Named Things to care for them, and to Tend to the Earth, but she knew and could foresee that she would soon be at home with loneliness and disorganization. And, having no alternative, the weeping willow wept.

***

She was watching the heavens from a red earthly cave when Lilith heard that she had apparently descended upon the Red Sea; her silvery laugh trinkled like rainwater on glass in sheer amusement. Even before the rumor, she had felt herself fracturing, into—she calculated—at least two pieces. Fate was lining the skies, and the forthcoming desires of men to govern and dictate her would cleave her body into shedding a new being.

“They will call her Eve,” she mused, “and Lilith will forever be known to be among the demons.”

After a moment, she turned to Adam at her side and smiled, “My own children will say I am barren.”

Adam gazed into the distance, his eyes clouded with remorse for the garden. Upon his expulsion he had searched for his love every day, and was at least partially content in finding Lilith at last at the peak of the mountain from which the sun rose. Twice the determined, pining romantic, Lilith had searched both day and night—

“—but it will be Eve who is known to have searched for you,” narrates Lilith. “And it will be you who is known as the fearless romantic, the white knight, the trope of the driving lover in the form of the masculine anchor.” And she leaned back, with a content smile, as though ready to birth her history. And before the sideways gaze of Adam she transformed into a new woman.

First her face, her hands, her legs, the shift in the darkness of her hair, and sighing at him there, was Eve, with all of the soft femininity of Lilith; Eve, a fully domestic creature, and only a fraction of the wildness that had, over and over, broken his heart.

“Lilith?” he whispered.

The creature looked over her crown of hair and smiled with a strangeness that, with a makeshift spark, belonged at once to the woman he’d remembered, disappeared.

“Lilith,” cried Adam.

Eve reached out to comfort him. “We cannot always be wild things.”

He shed silent tears for a while, then asked quietly, “Where did you go?”

Eve tilted her head. “The Red Sea, my dear. We will make right among the demons.”

***

It is said that Lilith married the Devil, but it is only true that, when the newly she-demon saw her fate written in the stars, she came to visit him in the middle of the Red Sea. Having left Adam with Eve—the tamer ghostly adaptation of herself—she searched day and night once again for love. It is only true that she offered him love. It is only true she came to forgave him for her Fall from the Garden, for she knew what was Written, and so did he. And what soul of God would not pity what she had named as her likeness?

 She spoke to him:

 You knew, they said, how to Love. The way you worshipped, you were a creature of fire so much like an angel that you practically became of their esteem. There was not a place on this earth, they said, that your forehead had not touched.

Lucifer, how did you fall?

And what need did you have to drag this world down with you?

They blame you for all of corruption and it is true that when you have reason to leave me I feel as light and as good and as sweet as though it were what I was created to be. When you are absent the desire to do only good comes quickly, easily, rushing like instinct, instead of the dreary, dragging way I sometimes pull myself up, struggling, foreseeing the afterlife to save myself rather than dropping to my knees out of love. Sometimes, at my weakest, it is only a battle against you in my mentality, because I had refused to let you win.

And most times, even in your presence, I Submit out of Love.

And many times, even in your absence, there is contempt in the world. Have you not seen how I was Broken in Two?

And this is because, Lucifer, as I’m sure you’ve been aware, that these humans who have struck your jealousy, are corrupt in themselves as well.

They mock you and judge you in their speech and are yours a moment later. And they say this is because they have been possessed by you. The devil, they say, comes in pleasing forms. Like me. Like Lilith.

But you don’t.

You never come in disguise.

Murder! Theft! Injustice! When I look you in the face I know it is you.

They credit you too much in your work. Or too little in your knowledge. You know mortal beings are weak enough so that disguise would be a waste of time. And some of them can not see that they are corrupt themselves, but how else would they oblige while knowing it is you?

And so, Lucifer, I, Lilith, will not judge you. If the devil can change one, it is because one is changeable.

And when Lilith finished, Lucifer, the hater of humanity, his eye gleaming, kept his promise to make men dance for his amusement until the world fell, but he promised Lilith that day that he would, from the middle of the barren Red Sea, spare Adam’s soul for ever.

When Lucifer offered to spare only one other, only hers, she laughed and kissed him. “You fool. I need no sanctuary from the likes of you.”

And the barren Lilith birthed a flight of ruthless demons.

“Fire will conquer the world,” she sang. “But justice will come. And Guardians will be Appointed.”

And, knowing the children of Adam would fail in their original task, Lilith whispered to the Earth, “My Love, I am your Guardian.”

4 thoughts on “The Initial Unravelling

  1. Both of you–thank you! I’m so glad. I wrote this at work very quickly (because I always get to the office about an hour early) and was dissatisfied because there’s nothing I can really do with it. But I’m glad it can provide some enjoyment here.

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  2. this is a general comment for the blog in general…and the comments… i am so thrilled to have stumbled upon this. it is refreshingly honest, thoughtful, and intelligent while sharing the heart of the matter. thank you nahida and to your readers as well.

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