In Jewish mythology, Lilith is viewed as the original woman, even before Eve. In Erika Rier’s stunning artwork “And Lilith Smashed Her Home,” Lilith cries before her burning home as the goddess Inanna holds an axe.
Throughout history, “even” the strongest women eventually fall. This is the message we have been taught for decades: that our intelligence, our wisdom, our complex and multifaceted abilities to survive and thrive, have rarely been valued. If we are to have fallen, it is due to our inability to save ourselves. If we are to have survived the fall, it is not due to our wisdom and craft, but merely due to chance.
In the original stories, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. Not Eve. And Lilith, she left Adam because she refused to be subservient. Lilith left before the fall. But in Rier’s artwork, Lilith sits before the fall, the fall of her burning home.
Our survival is not due to chance. Our falling is not due to our faults. Whether we choose to remain or stay, whether with an Adam or someone who hurts us til we experience hurt as normal, whether we grapple and collide and crash with trauma and mental illness and the dark, ravenous, hungry mouth of abuse and violence, our falling is due to others. But our survival - that is all due to us.
In “Vulture” by Marina Friesen, the male antagonist looks at the female protagonist, and his eyes say “Who are you to fight back against death?”
Who are we? Who are we? The brilliant souls who put together this newest issue, the brilliant souls whose words and images you see in this issue - we are not the vultures that scavenge the remains of the dead. We are those who give back what has been taken, again and again, give back and back and back, til what has been unbuilt is rebuilt.
Read. Listen. Heal. Welcome to Issue 4.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief