Before I get into the mix of all this, I’m going to be pretty open. There are some things that I’ve really wanted to talk about lately. Some of which are pretty heart heavy. So, who knows what I’ll really want to say. Maybe I’ll figure it out when I say it.
Who is familiar with the Greek legend of Pandora? For those who don’t know, according to legend, she was the first woman created by the Greek gods. She was created by Hephaestus and Athena as punishment for Prometheus going rogue and imbuing man with the knowledge of fire. But, that didn’t stop the Hephaestus and Athena, along with the others, from granting Pandora their qualities and traits.
We too, are a lot like Pandora.
We are built of earth and water. But, for the purpose of this entry, we are essentially made up of dirt and blood. The dirt that is our indiscretion, evil, and injustice alongside blood, which is the life we’ve taken because of those injustices. Despite being possession of the best intentions and most endearing qualities that we could have been graced with, the fact of the matter remains: We are the sum of our parts. There’s no escape from design.
Much like her, it feels like punishment to be made up such things. Honestly, who plays in the dirt? What appeal lies in building something out of it? One could say that they have no other choice and for a great many of us, there isn’t much in the way to dissuade us from agreeing with them.
Personally, my hands have been filthy. There is so much garbage that I’ve dabbled in and I’m not proud of it. Even worse, there are things that have tainted me on so many levels, I’m not even sure how I’ve managed to find them again. I’m not sure if even I know what it is I’m truly looking for or if I’ll ever find them again. I’ve been hit time after time with no relent and I’ve really wondered why I’m here and what it is I’m supposed to be doing.
I suppose that I’m rather fortunate to be in the company and protection of some people who know more than I do.
Ever since December, I’ve had struggles with these three things: Love, forgiveness, and how to reconcile my storied history with the unwritten future. These three are the biggest perils to me and try as I might to contain them, they continue to elude me. The real bummer is that in my effort to capture these things, everything that I’ve managed to keep a lid on manages to flee.
The further along the story goes, the more and more I find that Pandora and myself have a similar tale.
According to the legend, Pandora was offered by Zeus to Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus as his bride. As a wedding gift, Pandora was offered a pithos, or a jar if your Greek is rusty by Zeus himself. Intrigued at what it contained, Pandora opened it and released all of the evils into the world.
Little do we understand just how much we have in common with our dear friend Pandora.
When we offer ourselves to others, we give them a gift. That gift being everything we were, are, and could ever hope to be. The things that make us special, unique, and give us the power to positively affect the world; however, along with those things are our individual perils that can put everything at risk. Try as we might, there’s nothing that we can do from others opening that gift and letting all of those things loose upon those for whom which we care.
In a frantic, Pandora quickly tried to close the jar (which is “pithos” in Greek) with all of the perils and evils voraciously escaping and forever being a pestilence and plague upon mankind.
We too, share Pandora’s urgency when trying to contain our perils and evil. We desperately try to keep those things contained when we realize what they are capable of doing and the damage they can inflict upon others. The inherent guilt and shame of being responsible for releasing the essence of those things can be overwhelming. Who wants to walk around with that burden? I sure as hell don’t. I don’t think Pandora did, either. I guess that’s why she was so determined to put the lid back on that jar.
To end the story, Pandora did re-seal the jar. Much to her chagrin, all but one of the perils that would now go on to plague mankind forever was contained. That one “evil spirit” was called hope. Depending on what version of the story you read, it is implied that she either was able to keep it captive or it stayed of its own volition. Either way, it is the singular blessing to ease the burden of being what we are.
Me personally, hope was very much so fleeting. I thought it was gone. I thought it fled away with no chance of being caught. It was so disheartening because in spite of everything that we have to offer, whether it is a means to incite peril or protection, hope is the one thing that we must not lose. Everything else can be damned. So long as we don’t lose that, everything else is negotiable.
The point is that there are going to be times when we feel like Pandora did. There will be times when we let all hell break loose and find ourselves trying to contain all the havoc we’ve wrought upon the world and in our own lives. But, the one thing Pandora did that we have to do as well is not let everything escape. We have to hold on to hope. We have to protect that at all costs.
Because if there is a moral to this Greek legend, I find it to be that hope is the most costly thing to lose. Even in the midst of that has gone awry and the price tag that comes along with it, I find it even more costly if hope is lost as well.
I suppose I’m fortunate to have been able to hang onto it for so long. Even in the echoes of legends long since departed.
As well as something just like this…