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Pandora’s Jam Jar: Louis Cennamo

Creative Writer | Louis Cennamo


A dimension hopper moves so fast that passing time has no time to pass. Until he passes another time in a spinning blue world, a ghost plane of sunlight and shadows….And a place he knows so well…

The bittersweet smoke trailing from the burning oil of sandalwood and patchouli meandered for a while, and straightened by thicker air, spiralled upward then began to fade and vanish somewhere high up in the room. I had followed the scent-trail to its vanishing point and wondered where I might enter ….I hopped in from the invisible space between what appears to be real and what is something else altogether, something really unreal…

My spacesuit felt convincing to me, and I hoped to those spirits I had come to explore with. They were earthbound adventurers tied to a finite existence, or so it seemed…And locked into forgetting, they were searching for a great truth they had forgotten… most had forgotten they were searching.

Madam Pandora emerged from the half-light with a rectangular carved wooden box and laid it on the table in front of us. Silence roared for a few moments and then she took her seat at the head of the table and scanned us with her penetrating eyes. As she looked into my eyes there was a time-stop moment and maybe a flash of recognition, as if she knew…But she continued like it hadn’t happened, speaking softly….“This is my Pandora’s Box, and tonight it will open for all of you.”

She paused to take in the expressions on our six faces, studying mine a lot more closely, no doubt to feel the vibrations emanating from the auric fields she was sensing, before continuing…
“You see, just like the fabled Pandora, you know her?”…(A few nods). Well this is MY Pandora’s Box, and when I open for you, then out will come many little demons”. There were one or two startled looks, Pandora’s face settled into a reassuring smile.. “But oh you look so worried, no! no, …not ACTUAL demons. No no…these are cards. And I will invite each of you to pick one and reveal which demon you have.”

I knew from previous journeys through the time door that this was thought to be a way to bring negative emotions and attitudes to the surface, to realise how these subconscious baddies were holding the blue world spirits back from personal growth, and with it creative fulfilment and lasting happiness. Pandora told the group that in the mythology of Pandora’s Box, the box was actually a large jar. It had been mistranslated from the ancient Greek…

 

“But I have this box for you, it’s much nicer than a jar, yes…Or if you prefer, I have a big jam jar I can put them in, but first I must remove the jam!”

This brought laughter to the table and some light relief, at least temporarily…. She then reached for the lid of her box and slowly lifted it on to its hinges to reveal an anti climax initially, as there was no dramatic content inside, just a large number of rather small, plain, slightly dog-eared and time-worn cards lying in a jumble, face down. She waited a while to see if any of us would betray any reaction and then addressed the group again. “Who is ready to confront their shadow self?… ”

No volunteer was forthcoming, the air felt heavier with my fellow aspirants’ unexpressed thoughts and emotions. It was as clear as Pandora’s rock crystal earrings that no-one wanted to admit to even having a shadow self, if indeed they even knew what it was. Pandora’s gaze fell upon the first victim.
“Judith! Would you like to go first?”

It was more fun not to know why I entered the revolving blue world here, not yet anyway, and whether I would be thrown into fact or fiction, the two evolving storylines within its dream sequences, but I watched with fascination as the scene unfolded…Judith’s voice said ‘fine, OK’ though her eyes were saying ’panic’. She hastily reached for a card and was about to turn it over when Pandora raised her right hand like a traffic policeman…

“Wait!….Before you face the demon please take a moment to think about which negative quality might be holding you back in some way.”

Judith sat up straight in her chair and closed her eyes for roughly a nano-second and then they half opened and flickered like a candle about to go out and she switched, on an impulse, to another card and flipped it over nervously…
Madame Pandora addressed her once more…

“Would you reveal your little demon now?

“IMPATIENCE!”…”Ah yes, one we have all been visited by I’m sure” said Pandora. Judith took longer to respond this time, her half-open eyes flickered again…

“Though as a therapist, I, er..oh well…you know…have to be SO patient!.”

“Yes, that is your persona, Pandora replied.“ Your mask for the outside world, but the little demon refers to where you may be impatient within your own inner world, your most secret world especially. That is why patience is called a virtue, you see?…

Pandora’s box continued to deliver as the rest of the group turned up their cards beneath her watchful gaze…‘Impatience was followed by ‘doubt’, ‘greed’, ‘anger’,’ ‘depression’….and then it was my turn. As I closed my eyes to reflect, a tiny wisp of cool airbrushed my face, and time, as they measured it, seemed to stop, though my hand still could move and was guided towards a card by a compelling but gentle force. I turned up my card and held it aloft, not waiting for Pandora’s request, …
“HOPE!”…The word slowly released itself from my lips. The only non-demon in the pack, Pandora’s mythical parting gift, and it wasn’t covered in jam. All was quiet, then it felt like a movie that had been paused had started up again.
One by one the little demons came to the table:

“FURIOUS” fired anger….”ANY MORE CUSTARD CREAMS?” asked greed…

“WHAT’S THE USE!” sighed depression… “SPURIOUS” cried doubt…
Judith said nothing, just drummed her fingers on the table and looked at her watch. Pandora summed things up just before I slipped back to my ever present moment beyond the time door …“CURIOUS” she said, looking knowingly at me…

”But HOPE will always spring eternal”.

It was all that remained …at the bottom of the jar.

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