Confession time: I wasn’t actually home last week, though my blog happily posted along without me. (The joy of postdated blog entries!) Instead, I was making my first visit to Paris. We spent five days in the City of Light and came home with the equivalent of 18 rolls of film. Has anyone else noticed that the advent of digital photography means we take waaaaay more photos than we used to? Sure makes post-vacation photo sorting a lot more work.
Anyway, there is a lot to see in Paris. And it’s not just the big stuff either; there are wonderful little surprises lurking in all sorts of corners.
For instance, this fabulous sculpture sits beneath the feet of the Virgin statue in front of the Porte de la Vierge, on the west face of Notre Dame Cathedral. Amongst all the massive and attention-grabbing art on that wall, it’s easy to overlook such a small bit of carving. But look at the detail!
I was fascinated to see the depiction of the oh-so-tempting Serpent as being female. Come to find out, this was a fairly common depiction back in the days of Medieval Christianity, and in fact this Serpent is often identified as Lilith. Yes, that would be the Lilith of Jewish mythology, who was created at the same time and in the same manner as Adam. Being equal to him in every way (i.e., not created from his rib as in the Eve myth), Lilith was not about to buy into Adam’s insistence that she was supposed to be subservient to him. She said, “I’m outta here,” and left.
Oh, Lilith. This is what happens when women get uppity. They get turned into images of Satan, and folded into identities as various demons. But at least you got to appear in this awesome little bit of sculpture on the face of Notre Dame.
(Click the image for a larger version.)