The Lost Book of Lilith

by | Aug 17, 2018 | Featured, Guest Conversations, Lilith | 1 comment

A fanciful midrash by biblical scholar Rachel Havrelock (1998)

Perhaps it is a seedy story I tell, one that will shock you. Often the people with the loftiest thoughts have formed them in shadows. Descendants, however, like to think of their ancestors as clean, so some things are left out of history. Should I dispel the myth? Come out from my guises and admit that creation is not as easy as you would believe? Are you prepared to entertain more than the idea of one man and one woman?

My life began in a garden. Not a tended one with flowers in neat rows, but a dynamic wilderness where earth was still struggling to pull itself away from water. The plants were various, but alike in their newness. We came into being in the same instant, made from the same fire and air. When we first turned to regard each other, his feet were planted in soil and mine in water. We stood close, but still the boundary between the elements was clear. We stayed so long gazing at one another that our eyes did what language later would. He was spectacular to behold: the expansive flat chest, sharp green eyes, dark skin. Looking at him contained elements of looking at a reflection, but I knew that he was different from me. My first moment of being was entwined with his first moment of being.

Finally, he said, “I am Adam.” “Lilith, I am,” I said and stepped out of the water toward him. Adam jumped back. “I am Lilith,” I said, standing still and staring at him. “Lilith, I see,” he said circling around my body and inspecting me. I turned quickly, placed my hands on his shoulders and walked him backward to the water. When his feet touched the water, they slipped out from under him and soon he was floating. He looked about himself quizzically and showed all the signs of being uncomfortable. I dove down and began to push myself through the water. “Where are you going?” Adam called out to me. Out there, I yelled back to him. “Lilith, come back.”

I returned although I wasn’t finished and went with the earthman back to his land. On the dry part of the island, we continued our explorations. We lay in the pale green of meadows, ate sweet fleshy fruits whose seeds stuck in our teeth, and followed the four rivers in the hope of finding their end. When it seemed that the rivers did not cease, the day unfolded into night. When darkness fell, I felt more at ease in the garden. Great possibility lurked between the shadows of the taller trees. I got up to run into the night and greet what waited for me, but Adam took hold of my hand. “Wait for the lights,” he said, his voice causing the night to darken.

He advised patience with such authority that I assumed he saw things which I did not see. When the tiny lights emerged from the darkness, I beheld motion that seemed beyond my form. So many small lights came out of the blanket of darkness that when the great orb appeared, Adam and I turned to each other and held in one another’s warmth with our arms. A rich, wet smell of earth rose up to us.

“I have a story to tell you,” Adam said, stroking the hair out of my face. “On the fourth day of creation before we came into being, The Creator made two great orbs. The bright, brilliant one is called the sun and it is male, like me. The other orb is called the moon. She is a woman who changes her mind all the time. In the beginning, the sun and moon were equal and stayed in the sky together all the time, but the moon was jealous of the sun’s radiance and began to speak badly of him. When The Creator heard her words, he hurled her down from her original height. The moon could no longer generate her own light, only reflect that of the sun. She fell into night over which she still reigns. When she fell, tiny threads of light were loosed from her body. These are the stars.”

I looked at the sky and found that Adam’s story was true. The almost circular moon illuminated the night and breathed life into it. She dispersed the blanket of darkness into a play of light and shadow. Hidden aspects of the garden were conjured as she smiled on us with celestial coolness. The stars shone with her example. She was their source. Adam and I slept side by side with his arms draped over me. I felt where his breath began and how it traveled into me. My breath reached out of me and likewise entered him. We lay together, a cycle of breath, until the night orb was replaced by the day one.

I remember that night and the next day as the golden time. I am not sure if time was different then, longer and more fluid, or if my memory has elongated what transpired. When the day orb rose, I opened my eyes directly into his. Our bodies were warm and unified, still whole after the darkness. At that moment, there was nothing beyond the embrace. The garden was inside of us. The beauty and connection which surrounded us made us up. When we stood, we were embraced by the garden and held together by its morning mist. As we walked, an invisible force bound us.

Exploring the terrain of the garden was a process of self-discovery. The pools interspersed throughout the garden suggested that water was inside me. The trees created a shade which pointed to a shadow within. Tasting the fruits was tasting Adam and the earth under our feet was the stuff of our bodies. The hum of insects and animals was the rhythm of our thoughts. My sense of being one component of a complex system filled me with security. When I close my eyes, I can easily recall the garden, but the feeling of being inside of it is one that I suspect will not return.

The problems began the next day when Adam began the task of naming things. That morning, he did not lie still gazing at me. He told me that The Creator had commanded him to bring order to the garden through names. I laughed and told Adam that to name things would separate them, impose division. I questioned his creator’s intentions. Before, I hadn’t been sure, but I now knew that Adam and I came from two separate forces working together. We were different beings with divergent forms and purposes. The Creatrix had never said anything to me about names. I found the idea absurd.

Adam stared at me proposing challenge. “You are woman.” The sense that our words could have different intentions excited me. I felt a new sensation pulse through my body. I stepped back, “I’m Lilith, do you know me?” His green eyes lit up, “I called you woman.” We were using words to talk about words, but I knew that what we were really saying had nothing to do with them. The sounds meeting in air were a prelude to our bodies meeting in ways that they had not, as of yet, met. “Your names will not change a thing,” I said defiantly and raised one side of my mouth into a smile. Adam’s gaze turned from seductive to serious, “I have a job to do. There is a system to create.”

I looked around me at the low hanging trees and high reaching grasses. A system was at work all around us, inside of us. “Adam, you are trying to grasp things which cannot be held.” He looked at me with fury, “You do not understand. You are woman.” Adam walked away and went about his task of naming. It was so apparently foolish to me that I expected him to soon understand the futility of his labor. I went to one of the pools to bathe. As I swam, I searched the waters for what The Creatrix intended for me. I moved through the water as the water moved me on its currents. This surrender and exchange was what the garden expected from me. When I finished swimming, I lay on the shore of the water staring up. My body absorbed the sun and winds of the garden. I thought of how Adam and I could be like the sun and wind wrapping themselves together to become air. I wanted to feel again the way I had when Adam challenged

me. In the deepest hot of the day, Adam approached. When he stood over me, I knew the shadow was his. I was sure that he was all done naming and was ready to swim and lie beside me.

“Woman, there you are lying down the way you are supposed to,” he said. I opened my eyes and saw the rich tones of his skin gleaming in the sun. The curves of his body appeared rounded and smooth, the embodiment of Eden. “I am lying,” I answered him. “You lie down and I will lie on top of you,” he said with authority. I was not quick to forget how excited the mutual challenge of the morning had made me. “No, I said, you lie down and I will lie on top of you.” I looked up at him and lifted my eyebrows. Adam was angry. “You lie under me and I lie on top. That is the way the system works.” From what I had heard about his system, it was ridiculous. Why did the garden need names and why did who got to be on top and who on the bottom have to be a rule? “Why don’t we work together to make the system work?”, I suggested.

Adam was clearly not playing, I named you, he said as a slate gray color flashed in his green eyes. “I gave you identity and for this, you must lie down.” Throughout this conversation, Adam failed to notice that I was already lying down. If he had just gotten on top of me without having to insist that he was doing it, everything would have been fine. “I must not do anything,” I said and rose to my feet. The gray in his eyes sharpened, “This is how it’s meant to be.”

I pitied Adam. In his assertion of dominion, he seemed small and fragmented. He was losing sight of what the garden was. I lowered my voice to a firm whisper, “No lying is going to take place.” Adam’s faced changed. He stared into me as if I had been made only to be conquered. His arms tensed and no longer appeared to me as the wings which kept me warm at night. They seemed more final than the rivers which surrounded the garden. A sense of despair washed over me as I realized that this beautiful man, this earthman and his body could be nothing but my prison. “Lie down,” he said. “How can you say that to me?” “That is the way it is, you lie down for me.” “I want to be on top”, I said defiantly. “You were created to be on the bottom”, he answered. The burning started in my stomach and moved through my heart up to my throat. My legs shook with the desire for motion, to be gone suddenly and forever. But, I knew that my legs could not carry me as rapidly or as far as I wanted to go. That was what he thought of me, the bottom. Not a temporary or sometimes bottom, but a form intended to be forever beneath him. We could never look at each other as we had on the first day. The garden lost all of its beauty. It became a landscape of confinement as I became aware not of the pools and trees, but of the wall which surrounded it. My salvation lay in escape. The need to leave was so complete and absolute that I pulled the words from the abyss within. Adam had begun a war of language. If he could use words to place me beneath him, then I would use them to disappear.

I howled them, the secret words of God, Her Name which echoed through me and filled the garden with its power. The Name of God. Her Name. The Name. “Let me go!” When I brought my head down from the scream, I had sprouted wings. Two sheer, black wings which shimmered in the sun. My body looked altogether different. I turned to Adam, said goodbye, lifted my wings into the air and felt my feet lift off of the ground. The higher I got, the smaller Adam became. Who was on the bottom now? There was more than the garden of rivers and fruit as I saw once I crossed over the wall of paradise. Weightless, I moved through realms of possibility and felt individuated. I was not just one piece of an elaborate world, I was a separate force within the world. I was alone.

When I saw the desert beneath me, all doubt was dispelled. The stark, empty hills and valleys were open enough to receive me in my freedom. In this new landscape, I could be exposed. I could roam without the boundaries of Eden. The desert opened itself to me with promise. When I saw the blue water which bordered the desert, I knew where I would dwell. The shore of the blue sea, the edge where desert and water met was a dynamic place for my transformation. I landed there, my feet in sand for the first time and walked up the beach. The beach stretched forever with hot sands of promise and the constant relief of water. Date palms offered shade and sweet refreshment. During the walk, I was filled with the satisfaction of solitude, of having no earthman or demands, of being alone and able to turn whenever the spirit moved me. I watched the sun set across the water and disappear behind a distant stretch of land. As the sun sank, I imagined a mirror Lilith there on the other side of the water. She too was free and content with her aloneness. She too had sprouted wings and found her beach. She was all the company I needed.

When the sky grew dark, I continued my walk. For the first time, I could be immersed in shadow with no Adam to hold me back. As the darkness became complete, I noticed that when the soles of my feet touched the sand, sparks of light were ignited. My footsteps glowed and each step brought me farther from Adam’s rigid definitions. Each step was nearer to the cave. The night was made of darkness, but something deeper emanated from the cave. I noticed a shade so dark that it was almost purple looking out like a single eye from a hillside. I climbed up to it and felt an unbelievable coolness stream out and surround me like water. I went in. My perfect domain: an enclosure with one gate and penetrating darkness. How good it felt to sink into the cave, how much like a return.

I awoke to the distinct feeling that I was not alone and saw three figures standing above me. From the heat they emanated, I knew that they were not beings like the earth man. They were made of other stuff. The first one, small, dark and intense, stepped forward, “Lilith, where do you think you are?” “In my cave. How do you know me?” “We are messengers of God.” I drew up my legs and sat up; he continued. “We are Sanvai, he said bowing his head, then pointed, “Sansanvai, and Semanglof.” Sansanvai leaned in toward me. He was very beautiful with rich brown skin and long dark hair. He smelled of sage. “Lilith, you must return to the garden which was created for you” I arched forward to see and smell him more clearly. “Sweet angel, I cannot return. Adam’s paradise requires my submission.”

Sansanvai did not answer me, instead Semanglof emerged from the back of the cave, the darkest part. Tall and gracefully thin, there was something mystical promised in the blue of his eyes. I knew that he was not as beautiful as Sansanvai, yet I was more drawn to him. He was difficult to behold because of the fierce energy which surrounded him. Semanglof seemed agile and lithe, faster than wind. He spread his long arms out in front of him and spoke in a tone whose intention was unclear: “If you do not go back to the garden, you will become a demoness out here on your own.”

Something about the way he said it charged me the way Adam’s initial challenge had. “Fine,” I answered matter-of-factly, “I’ll become a demoness and you can stay with me.” Like that the day passed and again it was night. Sanvai and Sansanvai vaporized and it was just me and that being made of fire. Where Adam had held me in his arms, Semanglof really touched me. His head hung above mine and our tongues twisted around each other in the manner of snakes. The angel’s hands moved over me from neck to shoulders to breasts to stomach and into my abyss. He brought sounds no less wondrous than the name of The Creatrix from inside me. My legs wrapped around his and he entered me. Adam had been so wrong. Some things

were nameless. Semanglof and I turned into pure light and shot up to the heavens. While we moved around and through each other, he spoke to me in a strange tongue. Though I could not understand, I was moved. My body felt as if it had been created a second time and when I lay beside him, I confessed, “I did not know.” “How could you have, my she-devil,” he asked while putting his palm on my forehead.

When it was morning, Sanvai and Sansanvai were standing over me again and Semanglof had retreated to the darkness of the cave. Sanvai shook his head at me. “You had a decision. Now the child that grows inside you will be a demon, but that will not be enough. Your appetite can never be quenched and so you will wander looking for men to father your demon children which

you will unleash into the world and not be satisfied. It can never be him again and so you will search and they will come to you, men of this world and of the darkness. Your race will live on earth alongside Adam’s, but they will never belong to you.”

I stayed in the cave and went out during the days to swim in the sea. In the evening, my cave was quiet. The still of the sea at sunset blew through to introduce night. At this time, the melancholy began. The sense of solitude moved from my head to the cavity of my chest and rang. The place where desert meets water was my freedom, yet with freedom came loneliness. It’s not that I expected him to return. Even when it was happening, when I was filled with such pleasure, I knew it to be ephemeral. We would burn together and then he would be gone. It’s not that I wanted to live with him as I had with Adam. Semanglof and I were made of different elements. The togetherness was a fluke of timing and boldness and was not to be reproduced, except in my child which grew inside of me and was born in the cave, half dark angel and half demoness. After I gave birth, I lay back to rest with my baby beside me. In the back of the cave, I felt Semanglof’s presence observing his child. I knew he was there and he knew that I knew he was there, so nothing needed to be said. I was pleased that we were all together even with Semanglof hiding like that, but then the thing that angers me occurred, the event which makes me curse all the angels even today.

Sanvai appeared and spoke in the strange tongue which Semanglof had uttered the night we spent together. When Semanglof had spoken it, the language was soft and seductive, but Sanvai’s words were sharp and harsh. I did not know the words, but I knew that Sanvai was scolding Semanglof. His voice woke up my child who started to cry. I turned over to hold my baby, but before my arms could wrap around him, Sanvai snatched him up. “Oh, woman unnatural, you made the decision. Unlike daughters of the earth, you will not keep your children.” And then all of them were gone: the child, the thief, and the angel.

There is a sound of loneliness. A sound like when the waves lap up on the shore and the sun slips away. I was not unhappy in the next period on the banks of the sea, but in states of solitude, the mind conceives of strange ideas. I don’t know when the idea to return to the garden formed in my head, I only know that once it was there, I thought of the voyage everyday. Why not see where earthman’s naming had gotten him? Why not behold the lushness of that land and eat of its remarkable fruits? I knew at this point that I had the ability to go anywhere. Unattached, I was a being lighter than air.

Off I went, retracing my route of escape. When I reached the wall which surrounds paradise, I stopped, rested on the top of the fence and looked in. I understood her presence the moment I saw the expression on earthman’s face. He had a certain look of contentment which is the direct result of having an intimate companion. So, earthman had found his bottom. She walked behind him, but did not follow. As she stared alternately at the trees and the sky, an air of innocence surrounded her. Her complacency and voluptuousness could easily be mistaken for beauty. Earthman passed without looking up or sensing my eyes upon him. She looked up and, when she saw me, I made a sign to keep quiet. The woman nodded and kept on her way. I did not look to see how they passed the night; I remained on the wall.

I met my replacement the next day on the shore of Pishon, Paradise’swidest river. She was lying in the sun and dangling her feet in the water.The woman had lifted her hair from behind her neck allowing it to cascadearound her face. Her expression was one of total pleasure, so I approached her without the intent to disturb. I sat beside her and immersed my legs in the water.

Are you separate, I asked her. She did not turn or divert her concentration from the sunlight. Since she had not opened her eyes, my form was not known to her. At that time in the garden, animals could speak and, if you ask me, were more articulate than earthman himself.

Separate from what? she responded lazily.

Are you a part of Adam?

Don’ you know the story? Adam was all alone. He was going about giving names to the animals and he noticed that each of them had a partner. He felt incomplete, as if he was missing something. He went to The Creator and asked that a mate be made for him. That night, a deep sleep fell upon Adam. While he slept, The Creator took one of his ribs and created me. Adam first saw me in the light of dawn.

How can one respond when she had been erased? That’s how the story goesnow. He was naming, he was lonely, she was made from him. No Lilith, no struggle, no Creatrix.

What is your name, I asked her.Woman, because I was created from the womb of man. Everyone knows. My question puzzled her enough to sit up and look me. Her eyes grew wide with what she saw. You are like me.
From my throat I pulled a sound which was part agreement, part laughter, and part assertion of my complete difference.
If you are like me, do you come from him also?
I do not come from him. I was made by El Shaddai, The Creatrix. She gave birth to me in the manner that women give birth. I stared off into the distance, you too will give birth.
If I’m going to make something, no one’s told me about it. All I know is that I live in this garden, I can eat from any of the fruits except the two that grow side by side like companions. If I even touch them, I will die.

I had never been denied these fruits. My brief stay in Eden had been free of denial. I wondered why these fruits were forbidden to her.

Woman looked at me from head to toe, where do you come from? A place without trees and without rules. A place where desert meets water. I came only for a visit, but you mustn’t tell Adam or The Creator.
I can’t talk to The Creator. Only Adam can, he tells me what The Creator says.
Well, don’t tell Adam. I came only to talk to you.
Ah Ha! Adam talks to The Creator and I talk to you. Woman held this idea close to her. Her eyes got bright and she bit the bottom of her lip as if to seal the thought. Who are you?
I stood up. I am Lilith. Then I leaned down and pressed my lips against hers. We kissed each other for a long time, the taste of first woman feeding the second while second woman reminded the first of what she had forgotten. When the kiss was finished, I spread my wings and flew away.

As I flew away from Eden and its now forbidden trees, I understood my particular curse. I had inhabited The Garden and now it was a place to which I could never return. I had fled to my cave and found happiness, but now that happiness was soured by memory. I could not repeat my initial departure. I had to go somewhere new and remake myself.

Time passes beneath the span of my wings. The second woman in paradise does what she needs to get out of the walls. Perhaps her action is braver than my own. Woman, renamed Eve outside of Eden, brought the whole system down when she refused to follow orders. Don’t eat, he told her and she did. After she fed him the taste of knowledge, never again could the chain of command be so clear. They tried, earthman and his Creator, but outside the Garden walls there were other forces to contend with. , their bodies bring them closer to death. Each day makes them a bit weaker and a little
wiser. My experiences mark me, cut my features, alter the way I look, but I draw no closer to death than I did on my initial day out of Eden.

I know that she has children, sons, two of them at once, but I go neither to visit nor to look. Witnessing motherhood is something which I cannot bear. When I first met him, I did not imagine the connection. There were other people apart from their little family, so how was I to know? The mark drew me to him. It indicated that a danger hovered around him which was strong enough to impact the places through which he walked. This was his curse, to walk endlessly, to wander, as he put it. If all men must bear curses, the son’s was much better than the father’s. Cain, who had seen the color of blood, was destined never to settle while his father remained in the same place until the day of his death, facing his beloved earth and encountering both pain and nourishment. Apart from the numbing solitude, it is mostly a blessing to be a wanderer.

We first saw each other on the plateau of a dry mountain. He was burning brush to set up one of his temporary camps. When I saw him, it was the smoke and fire I noticed and not the danger. I had learned some things from my weak angel. I now knew how to watch a man before approaching and how to gauge the outcome by his first steps. In bushes outside the periphery of what he intended to burn, I sat and observed. He set the mountain ablaze with grand gestures as if he were offering a sacrifice. The flames made him smile and seemed to quiet his tumultuous soul. I waited until he finished, stood up, and called his attention to me. Hiseyes caught mine. I walked over.
Why are you marked?
He looked at me with terror and suspicion, How can you see it?
I can see.
Then, why are you marked?
Can you see?
I am a man without a home. I wander here and there across the world. The path teaches many things. The sun was setting behind us and casting an orange glow across the charred mountain. A second fire, one of light, was burning in honor of our meeting. We stood facing each other. Wild, dark curls surrounded his thin face. As well as the mark, he had a scar which arched from his temple down to his chin. His deep brown eyes were set on me in the manner of an opponent. They offered an irrefutable challenge. I looked back as if to say I accept and took off running across the dry hills. He followed me. I listened to my own breath in the expectation of it igniting his. I ran until I came to a pit in the midst of my trail.

The pit stopped me and held me still. He approached and was likewise slowed.
Do you want to go down? he asked me.
Let’s go down.

We climbed into the pit as if what would transpire between us was inevitable. Something was down there. Something was watching that was more ancient and schooled than we. The rocks were covered with a slippery mold. I looked at him and he knew, so I sat down to duel him with my darkness. He sat down. I lived in a house with a man and his two brothers in a city. I heard stories about this city and thought it would be a place to hide. I thought that I’d go there and no part of the past would be able to find me. When I met the man and he brought me in, it was as if my desires were easily answered. In the spring, the man took a wife. She was small and nervous. I made her even more nervous and she had no love of me. Why do you keep him here, she would question her husband in night whispers, don’t you see how close sin hovers around him?
Still, I stayed. The man never told me to go and he never asked me any questions.

Time passed simply and never required me to tell anything. I came home one day in the winter and noticed the blood. It started at the door and led me to the back where the man had his bedroom. I walked in and saw the woman clutching her baby in her arms. She shrieked when she saw me. Her voice was so high and anguished that all I could hear was the
voice of the ground crying when she opened for the blood I shed. Then I looked at her and saw The Fear. I saw and she saw and there was nothing to do but walk out the door and never return.
Why was her baby bleeding?
Her baby was dead.
The shadow was there. The shadow is here.
I’ve got to come out of this pit, I told him and we helped each other
back out to the parched hills and the purple glow of evening.
I’m glad we weren’t together down there, he said to me, you would have gotten pregnant and it would not have been a good thing. I know, I responded, it would not have been you who got me pregnant.
Cain and I parted ways that day, but I knew that I would see him again.
Maybe I knew that I would go back for more.
I waited two months before I returned to the dry hills. The early rains had begun to fall allowing the scorched earth to look up with promise. He was staring off across the horizon when I approached and showed no element of surprise when I walked into his range of vision.
It’s you, he said, what do you want?
To climb the mountain opposite to where you live and see if there are any
The shadow girl wants flowers.
Yes, I said, she does.

We descended Cain’s hills and crossed the road that divides the valley. The earth on the other side was wet and muddy and even we, the great wanderers, often found ourselves stuck in the mud. I think that was the only time I saw Cain laugh. His shoes stuck in the mud keeping his feet from moving and me stuck in my own mud unable to come closer to him.
What kind of vagabond can’t even get out of Nod?
Out of where?
Nod, Shadow girl, that’s where we’re stuck, the hills east of Eden.
I’m not stuck anywhere near Eden.
Then you don’t see as well as I thought. Then he tried to move and couldn’t. His laughter grew until it filled up the entire valley and filled me up too. As our laughter dropped, we were able to pull ourselves out and continue walking. We came to an orchard of grapefruit trees. I was pleased with myself for taking Cain away from his most recent place of settlement and into a landscape which spread out directly across from him.
Still smiling, he asked me, so, I suppose you plan to offer me fruit?
The pause which followed his inquiry was heavy with history. I knew. My dark fugitive was her son. The son of Woman and Earthman. The twin she birthed with prior knowledge, the one who bloodied his father’s soil. I couldn’t explain because my presence defies the cycle of generations, makes no sense in the chain of fathers to sons.
Not the first fruit you’ve had, I asked coyly.
Pick them, he said, and the smile disappeared.
We climbed the mountain and moved from tall grasses to rock face to a forest of thin pines at the top. Among the trees, we peeled the grapefruits and bit into the tart slices. The juice sprayed around his lips. I fed him a piece from mine, then my finger, then my lips. We kissed in the pines and tasted the thin layer of citrus which covered the taste of our individual curses. His tongue in my mouth, his hair falling like blinders around my eyes, the soft wind of pines at the top of the mountain began lightly, but became more oppressive as his desire grew and the taste of grapefruit disappeared.
Stop, I said, there is no reason for us…
The curse got you scared?
The curses.
Worried about who is going to disappear first.
It hardly matters. You’re bound to be remembered.

I left and he followed me to Mt. Moriah. This time, he appeared with the setting sun to my knowing expression. He asked to stay with me and I said yes even though I knew that the weight of his sorrow would eventually be too much for me to bear. I had chosen to leave Earthman and his domain, but Cain had been forced to leave. No matter what he wanted, Cain could not farm as his father did and as he had done in his youth. The earth was commanded not to submit to him. His hands could only uncover the curse and never the blessing of harvest. For all of his reckless wandering, Cain
was afraid. I knew him and tried to pretend that I didn’t see. His hands would surround me, but in the same way that he could make nothing grow, he could make nothing rise in me. The motions were empty and I wondered why I
performed them. The outcast son of Earthman and Eve was not the match he had promised to be. When I slept beside Cain, I dreamt of the angel and his elusive fire.

Why don’t you let it go, I said one morning as I swung around on top of him, forget the sorrow and just burn.
He grabbed hold of my shoulders and threw me down beneath him. It was not sorrow that he laid on me, but rage. His violent rage against The Creator, his father, The Ground all ran together and was directed toward me who was
foolish enough to find herself beneath him. When it was through and I had bruises across my immortal form, I walked away with scars and anger for Cain and the trinity which oppressed him.

I have passed through the city that Cain built with the fury that still remained after he threw me. The first city, I suppose, named after his son Hanoch, a gathering place for the dispossessed, all of whom believed themselves to be cursed by the soil. A city of murderers and curses.

Even as the city is erected, Eve, the mother of all living, maintains her belief. Although her son violates and builds, she gives birth. She plants and in her is planted another son, her beloved Seth, the replacement for the two–one slaughtered and one lost.



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