16 Dec

It is almost three years since my mother passed away and grieving process attenuates. Just as well because my father has decided to sail his long ship over the rainbow bridge to Folksvangr. The place for the best of folk.

Scattering her ashes helped a lot, but I have been unable to part with her urn. I made the box from spalted Sycamore – the figuring resembling a running river on the sides, Italian Sweet Chestnut for the lid and base. Only the best for Pandora.

Everyone knows that ‘to open Pandora’s box’ is to invite a whole parcel of trouble and strife.

With my daft brain, I like to imagine the characters of Hellenic Myth in dialogue.

Scene 1, Act 1

Pandora  is born to Athena – a wise warrior woman (Hartje de Boer) and to a Smith, Hephaestus (Jr CA Van de Poll). This turned out to be a very potent brew. Lots of screaming and Bolshevism from the kid until 8 years of age.

Act 2, Scene 3

Entrance exam for a poncy Gel’s School aced. Full scholarship.

Pandora means literally ‘all gifted’. All nine Muses had taken up lodgings in her frontal lobes:

Epic Poetry (Calliope – endless rhyming couplets, like The Inferno of Dante, only less cheerful)

Lyric Poetry (Euterpe -making up stupid ditties like The Goons Song)

Love Poetry (Erato – romantic drivel, soaps)

Hymns (Polyhymnia – for God’s sake, literally)

History (Clio – dull as ditch water, like the car)

Comedy (Thalia – a laugh a minute)

Drama (Melpomene, drama, drama)

Dance (Terpsichore – jive baby)

Astronomy (Urania – staring at the heavens – Oh look the Moon is in Aquarius)

Imagine these nine bitches pecking at your head every waking hour. Added to that she had Athena telling her over and over again how stupid she was compared to her.

Her father Hephaestus was mean and magnificent, the strong loud type.

And……she always wanted to know “WHY?” She was bored, bored, bored.

In the end Pandora smashed a pithos (vase) – or ‘box’ in modern parlance, belonging to Prometheus, the Titan and in so doing released the Furies.

Pandora would have heard  her parents rowing.

Hephaestus yelling: “Its no good bringing her up as bloody servant, she needs to find a Prince! She needs to learn how to get things done, how to be a like me!”

Athena “Oh, you bloody oaf, you overbearing fool look at you, you have no appreciation of the finer things, look at my precious child, so beautiful yet not so clever. She will make a good Air Stewardess.

Pandora would have certainly hated the plate throwing, the chair smashing, the VIOLENCE all around her. The Furies. And the fact that no-one was listening.

The vessel Pandora broke was her self, her core.

The bits left over after the Furies had been unleashed could not be easily mended. Yet there was Hope.

Love, kindness and compassion are what we call Grace.

Grace can be used to repair the pith, the core of a person.

Fortunately my father has given me his gold to mend my pith. The hands of a working class Hephaestus. A joiner.

Japanese practitioners of Kintsugi now how to redeem the pithos.

For my Siblings:

Father, “Something you’re not”

All his love, those words:

I answered ‘Placid’


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