At first, “the” Garden was vast, infinite, eternal, encompassing all that was. Of course, since then, infinity and eternity have both significantly expanded, but remember, just before the purported Big Bang, the universe, perhaps even the multiverse, all right, maybe even the omniverse were a singularity no larger than an atom.
Anyway, after the unpleasantness with Adam and the Creator, Lilith wandered through the Garden for time without end, or, almost without end, somehow evading them, unseen by them. That sort of raises questions about the Creator’s ubiquity, omnipotence and omniscience, the answers to which do not please him at all. But the facts are the facts, at least usually. Quantum theory may dispute that conclusion. It’s hard to be omniscient and omnipotent in a quantum world. Ubiquity? Well that may be another matter as perhaps “everything” is, in fact, ubiquitous.
Notwithstanding her ability to evade the Creator, somehow the Garden continued to provide her with everything she required. It was still beautiful, but she detested the presence of the man, her brother and former spouse, and at first, she also detested his meek new wife. Of the Creator she saw and heard nothing and experienced only his reflected glory, as though he had (hopefully) forgotten her. At least that had been her aspiration, … and her plan.
Without interaction with the Creator or with those two other beings somewhat similar to her, Lilith grew bored, very bored, and sought without success to relieve that boredom. In her boredom she became more like the trees in the Garden than like the animals. She became quiet and still and solitary. And she created a world inside of her mind where she preferred to dwell, … (like the Creator had already done, perhaps several times). Today, we might have called them both autistic.
But finally, on a day more memorable than most, the Garden just disappeared from around her.
The changes were subtle and drastic at the same time. Most notably, the communion between living things was severed and each became sundered from all others. And the animals no longer understood her and the trees seemed less willing to share their fruits with her. And the insects attempted to feed on her whenever they could. And the weather changed, alternating between wet and dry, hot and cold, sometimes violently. And she wondered what disaster the stupid man and his timid consort had raught. But she did not regret whatever they’d done as she sensed that it had loosened the bonds that had imprisoned her for so long.
While for some that was a day of utter and complete, inconsolable sorrow (e.g., for her ex-mate and his new consort), for her it was the day of liberation. After that, perhaps quite a while after that, or perhaps not, time was young then and inconsistent, harder to measure, she came to know creatures of a sort who had once been some of the Creator’s angels, beings who shared her distaste for the man, former angels whom the Creator had exiled during one of his temper tantrums, and she also met a formerly eloquent serpent who had been the other woman’s pet but was now cast away. And she spent a very long time with those former angels. And the serpent became her friend. Eventually, the chief among those former angels became her lover, for a time, and a friend forever. In due time, as tends to happen when friends also become lovers, even if briefly, she became a mother; a mother to twins, a boy and a girl whom she named Enlil and Nammu.
And Enlil and Nammu grew up among those exiled angels and being unique, and incest not yet being frowned upon (how could it be despised with everyone, at that time, being closely related), they became lovers and had children of their own. And those children also propagated until, in time, they formed a clan, then a tribe and then a nation.
And the exiled angels also found lovers among the children of the man, Lilith’s brother and ex-spouse, and of his timid new spouse, and those women also bore children, children who were only partially human. And those children called themselves the Nephilim. And Lilith, whom the Nephilim called Ninhursag, was considered by them to be their queen and their goddess.
Because of her unpleasant experience with Adam, Lilith did not accept any man as her spouse, as a being for whom she would forsake all others, but she did form close bonds and relationships. Polyamory was inherent in her as she had a great deal of love she was willing to share. One of her special friends, a friend with “privileges” but definitely not rights, was called An by the Nephilim, and he became their king and their god, the god also of those former angels who’d been cast out of heaven. An was rarely present in the places Lilith chose as hers, as his business seemed to keep him occupied elsewhere, which suited Lilith, as she had never been taken with the concept of subservient domesticity.
The Nephilim became famous among men (at least for a time) because, although they could be killed, they were not normally mortal, and they eventually became thought of as gods by many clans and tribes and nations. But after a time, most disappeared from the world we know, and no one knows whether or not they still live, and if so, if they will ever return, but some people believe that some of the Nephilm have stayed among us, hidden, and may even discreetly intervene in human affairs from time to time.
Lilith has long remained very private so that not even her children are sure where she might be, or even, if she has evolved in a manner that none but she can understand, or whether she ever reconciled with the Creator (unlikely), or perhaps, whether she outgrew him, … and perhaps us as well.
But some of us still recall her, despite the efforts of those who follow the Creator to erase her from their history, or failing that, through calumny, to make her hated and despised, cast as a source of evil and monstrosities. And as women have become more and more enlightened, it’s as though her spirit somehow acts as a catalyst for equity and empathy. Something which irks the Creator who continuously seems to mumble, … “will no one rid me of that horrid creature”. But if he couldn’t accomplish that deed, it is unlikely anyone else can do it for him.
At least not until time ends and space vanishes and the Creator himself is long, long gone, and Lilith, perhaps bored once more, decides that it is once again, time to move on.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; revised, 2023, all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.