We may go to Apalachicola tomorrow, why? I meant to go twice during my sabbatical, and here’s it’s all used up but one week and we’ve not been once. Why? It was home for fourteen years summer 1984 through summer 1998, and there I ate oysters and mullet, though not to my heart’s content. And there found out that church management as vicar and rector was not all that different to independent duty on a warship. Both fit my personality: I don’t like nobody telling me nothin’. My brother Walt would understand. My life’s goal: as much space as possible between me and bishops or admirals.
This morning I wandered into the brambles. How the jumpin’ BJeez did I get off distracted reading an essay about hapax legomenon (look it up yourself)? Oh, yes. My desktop link to George MacDonald’s fantasy fiction novel Lilith, which I read part of, several chapters, enough to see where Lewis got started. Lilith. לִילִית. lilit. Isaiah 34:14. A hapax for Isaiah and a hapax for the Hebrew Bible. Who, what is lilit, a lilit? Not for absolute certain. That a word is a hapax may render its translation problematic, so, in the context maybe a night hag, night demon, she-devil of the night. Or as, the first night of the Pevensies’ stay at the professor’s home, a scary sound from the darkness outside, “hooooooo,” and Lucy, startled, shaken, frightened, “What’s that?” Peter, the rock of a brother in the story, assuring her, “Only an owl.”
Wandering alone among scorpions, viperous snakes and giant spiders in the pitch black desolation of Edom’s darkness, the screech of “only an owl” could be demonic, terrifying enough for one to collapse into a pile of dust. Lilith, the night hag, Adam’s first wife who, deserting him because he insisted on being head of household and then, after committing adultery with the archangel Samael would not return to the Garden of Eden. [I mean, not to wander even farther into the brambles, but WTH, it's a no-brainer, right, choose: mistress of an angel, or wife of a simpleton peasant tenant farmer who's field is so unplowed that he hasn’t even tasted the apple yet]. Anyway, לִילִית lilit a figure of legend more ancient than the Hebrew campfire stories. Isaiah 34:14.
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