Friday, January 25, 2008

Pandora's Box...Subtitled: Fingering My Bones...

I've been absent from the blog world for a few days...for good reason. I began my 6 day furlough from work Wednesday and dove into a project I have been needing to tackle for quite some time. It has caused me great pause and contemplation and I have not felt my usual "funny bone" self.

As some of you may recall, a few weeks ago I moved all of my items out of a storage locker I had been renting, into a newly-constructed storage addition here at my home. Among one of the items I have kept in storage (now for many years) was a large trunk full of old writing journals and items dating back to my childhood...something I have jokingly referred to as "Pandora's Box". Inside this locked and guarded trunk are decades of me...in writing...my experiences and thoughts throughout my life until now. Many, many pages of descriptive writings.


Those of you who read CHEESE are all very gifted scholars and well-read individuals (except you read THIS, so I sometimes wonder about your taste!), but just in case you have forgotten your Greek Mythology 101, I will remind you here...at least MY personal version and knowledge of "Pandora". It may help explain my box/trunk situation.


The myth of Pandora goes something like this...before mankind was created, there existed only gods and goddesses. Zeus was the main God and all-powerful, but there were "lesser" gods/goddesses who also were written about extensively by the Greeks. One of these gods was Prometheus and I believe it was this god that created man in human form. He liked his creation, so he gave man the gift of "fire", which pissed Zeus off. So Zeus set out for revenge and had Pandora sculpted out of clay to give to Prometheus as a wife (note any similarities to the Adam & Eve version here?). Pandora was given a jar (actually NOT a box, but somewhere along the way this got changed in the story) and told NEVER to open it...Zeus knew she would though, because she was a curious WOMAN, after all! LOL And, one day Pandora did just that...took a peek inside the jar/box. She was unaware the jar/box contained all of the evils of the world, including greed, disease, envy, vanity, etc., and these "evils" escaped. Somehow she was able to close the lid just before "hope" escaped...and this, my friends, in Greek mythology is why these "evils" exist in the world of mankind, but also why "hope" remains.


My Pandora's Box...


I have alluded to at times in my posts vague references to my childhood without much detail...I will not be disclosing much of that "detail" in this post either. But suffice it to say, not unlike many in the world today, my childhood was...ah...less than perfect. But, then again, WHO among us HAS had a perfect childhood?!? I spent many of my formative years living in sadness and fear and unable to grasp the meaning of many of the "evils" of this world. It took me many, many painful years to get to the place I am in today...a relatively well-adjusted individual (although some may argue THAT point!).


During these painful years, I wrote...volumes and volumes of pages. Enough pages to fill the blank journal section in a book store...and I SAVED each and everyone of these journals and pages in a trunk. A trunk that, over time, has become too heavy for me to carry on my own (**light goes on over that metaphor**) literally. In moving all of my storage items to my home, I heaved and hauled this trunk by myself, nearly breaking my back in lifting it in and out of the back seat of my car...dragging it at some points along the way. And this is when I was hit with a mighty revelation...it was TIME to lighten the load of the trunk/my baggage and use the storage item for things that are important in my current life.


I had to search for the key to the unbreakable padlock that kept Pandora's box sealed tightly shut...it had been years since I dared to unlock it and peer inside at the contents. I had been afraid...afraid to *know* what secrets the box contained...I was afraid of letting out the "evils" into the world and worried I might not be as fortunate as Pandora to close it in time and capture "hope" before it escaped, too.


Yesterday, with the assistance of my mentor, I opened Pandora's box. At first, I casually lifted items out somewhat quickly and meaninglessly, then began to feel an agitation growing inside me...it was as if all the emotions I had once *stored* in my writing were flooding back in a tidal wave. I had to stop handling my "bones" and walk away from it...my only thought was to take all of the contents to the local dump and never lay eyes on it again...I needed to be free from the weight inside the box.


My mentor, in kindness and wisdom, convinced me to wait and not simply dump the contents in the trash. "It is your history", she said. "Your story. And it is important."


I left the trunk and its contents strewn around my living room...fearful that if I simply threw it back in the trunk, I would just lock the box back down and continue to haul this heavy load around with me forever. I am a "neat freak", so I knew this clutter would eventually overwhelm me and I would be FORCED to deal with it...which is what I have done for most of the day today...deal with it.


So many things I have read seem as though they were written by a ghost writer in another life...and much of the contents WERE written in another life period, yet the words are a part of me. Each page I turn, I read about the trials and tribulations of a young teen, a young adult, a grieving child, an angst-filled young woman...all seemingly foreign to me, yet stored in the very sinew and bones of my body. And I find myself reading the pages with compassion, as if a mother watching her child grow up and knowing to intervene would thwart the lesson.


I am tired now...there are still many pages left to read, but I must stop the reading and carry on with the tasks of my life at the end of my day. Forgive me for neglecting to read your blogs...I WILL catch up eventually. But for now, I am "fingering my bones" and lightening my load...I am trying to pare down to something knapsack-sized to carry on my back for the next leg of my journey...

10 comments:

Anne said...

I, too, have some writings from my darkest years of childhood. I wouldn't dare compare childhoods with "anyone" and won't do it here.

But reading over my writings that are so many years old stirs up alot of emotional stuff for me and it finds a place in my "today's" mind.

Even when I am doing the dishes, my mind will pull out some distant memory from writings, and that day it will be all I think about.

Dear, dear Miss Cheese, I am wishing you peace as you read through your writings. It is my hope that you will find at least one (or twenty) positive thing to take away with you and that it will make you stronger for it.

Thinking happy thoughts for you,
Anne

Diane J Standiford said...

I am not suggesting you do what I did, but here is what I did and it was he best thing, hard for a few days, came back for a few moments over the years-but then quickly left, I threw out every page(needed two large garbage bags to do it and had a man carry them, this before MS weakened me) without reading them. Sometimes intellectual reasoning that we need to work through the evils, find closure/understanding/growth/forgiveness/etc., well, for me tossing it all away worked wonders. The evil then had absolutely no hold on me whatsoever. Good luck in however you handle the evils within. AND PS: I resemble that remark about being "...gifted scholar..." and "...well read..." which I KNOW was meant in jest (cause why else did it make me wet myself?) (PLUS, I KNOW you write just to ME) I am very versed, burp,excuse me, dang it's cold here,sorry,I digress, and besides which burp, crap, I thought whiskey doesn't give you gas? Oh, forget it. Hey, that was empowering! Brrrrr

Miss Chris said...

I think you're brave for revisiting those old memories. Far braver than I am, I'm afraid.

Shauna said...

Again, another reminder of how lucky I have been in my life with only a few relatively minor traumas.
Here's hoping your desicion, whatever it may be, will empower you.

Shauna

BRAINCHEESE said...

ANNE:

Your comment is very kind...thank you. I have spent enough time "growing" over the years to find and understand that, in all things, one can find peace and the positive...sometimes it just requires a bit of "dusting off" to discover!

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

DIANE:

Actually, my comments about "gifted scholars" and "well-read" readers was NOT in jest! I have found that the majority of people I have met with MS on line really ARE extremely well-read and gifted/smart...must just be the "curse" of the disease, I suppose...LOL Guess if we have to be "cursed" with something, it might as well be bigger than average intellect so the MS has a place large enough to start chipping away.

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

MISS CHRIS:

Thanks for the words of encouragement...there is a well-known saying by Anaïs Nin which goes something like this: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

SHAUNA:

I have found over the past almost 22 years of dealing with other people's psyche that "trauma" cannot be measured by events alone. It is one's PERCEPTION of the event that results in either a manifestion of "trauma" or a manifestation of the positive. And the beauty of life is this: We cannot change the events that have occurred in our lives, but we can alter our perceptions of the history... :)
Glad to hear you have viewed your "history" with such open eyes...

LD

The People History said...

braincheese I think by opening your pandoras box which we all have ( could be to do with childhood as yours is or divorce or other painfull memories ) , I have always believed we need to be at a better place in our lives to confront the areas in our lives which cause us the most pain, and it sounds like you have achieved that place.

This does not mean you have to confront every one of your demons at one time just as you feel comfortable and I commend you on two fronts the first opening the box and the second knowing at which point to stop

callies hubbie
steve

BRAINCHEESE said...

T.P.H:

Hey Callie's husband, Steve! Nice to hear from you...I feel like I should be PAYING you for that advice! Most excellent...

And BTW, I feel like such a voyeur saying this but, the pictures of your home on Callie's blog are just beautiful! As is how she writes about it..."home"...

LD