Sunday, October 29, 2023

On Hope: The Pandora's Box.

Photo Credit: PICRYL


I will tell you an old story of hope. A story about Hope. However old, the meaning is never lost. Many times we have needed friends to sing our favorite song and remind us of the lyrics. To hear our own stories and tell them to us when we forget. We listen with bated breath, waiting to hear how our story will end. We latch onto the Hope we hear in their voices. For it is all that will echo back to us when we scream in the dark. I will be that friend. 

The Pandora story is a popular Greek myth. A heavy price for curiosity. Pandora was a woman intentionally crafted and molded by the gods. The fairest of them all. And the most curious. She was a gift to mankind. 

When her marriage gift was given to her in the shape of a box (jar), the instruction had been simple, "Do not open!" 

But rules are meant to be broken. Men have died for less. 

Photo Credit: PICRYL

It was another gift from the gods. A Trojan horse, this time. I imagine it carefully wrapped with beautiful ribbons. For a curious person, it will only take a  peep. A second. It will be over before it starts. A second was all it took. And it was over before it started. Out flew all the vices known to man. They flew with the wind, inflaming hearts. There was an explosion. 

Pandora shut the box immediately, aware of what she had done. Another Eve. Another story of how hardship and misery came into the world. The guilt sank into her. She sat down and wept. 

Photo Credit: John William Waterhouse

Many times, we've worn Pandora's shoes. We feel its pinch each time we've been told to let our curiosity run loose. To be a child. And explore. To stretch and seek new terrains. New terrains are uncharted. It is like rummaging in the dark. They come with potholes we cannot see until we are a foot in. Falling is easy. 

Like Pandora, we sit and weep when we fall. If only we didn't have a role to play in making the world a better place. If only we were not expected to bear fruits. The kind that lasts (Jn 15:16).  

Our shoulders crack. We break down. We bear the weight of the world. In the stillness of the moment, when our cries have quietened into punctuating sobs. We hear the scuffle in the box. Another vice asking to be let out. Only a fool will hearken. 

Photo Credit: Ronak Valobobhai

But we are Pandora. We are curious. How worse can it get? 

We open the box to behold a virtue. The only one. Hope crawls out - slowly. We see why she is the last. Why the light is an the end of the tunnel and not in the middle. Why we rummage for a while before we find what we are searching for. Why we are told to keep searching. To hang in there. Not to give up.

Even her words come like soft whispers. She doesn't fly away like others. She crawls, with a bucket of ice, for all charred hearts. Enough for yours. And mine.

I hope you stay hopeful. I am rooting for you.🫶 

Like every myth, there are different versions of Pandora's box story. But this version is my favorite. I hope it becomes yours too. 

To every Rose that grew from Concrete; Blossom!

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