Yesterday we visited the latest and last calf, a week-old wee black bull suckling on its blue-grey mother in a field slick with slippery mown rushes. On the road we pause to chat with friends beside a house, its garden occupied by a donkey intrigued by Sam, letting him paw and lick its snout.
The first morning of the world is brilliant and sparkly, dazzled by its own newness. All of creation awaits their naming. A hush falls—the bated breath of the divine—and a box is opened. From it emerge cacophonous sounds: of a storm, or a stirred hornet’s nest, of chaos and catastrophe. With that first peek into unforeseeable contents, the infancy of humanity ceases.
Who opened the box? A first woman, like Eve; naughty women, damned by their curiosity. Like ‘Eve’, ‘Pandora’ functions as a gendered reference for the worst consequences of curiosity; often it is an invective against unruly women. Stay innocent, we are told, It’s for your own good.
Curiosity, a wellspring of the imagination, is the beginning of human possibility, always touched by its encounter with the divine—a shiny apple, a super appealing box. While Prometheus gave humans the gift of fire that is the material basis for techne—art and craftsmanship—Pandora released the forces that invoked emotional and intellectual responses to them, techne’s metaphysical basis.
With Pandora’s act, layers of complexity are added to the world. Human becoming is initiated by the loss of innocence; the contours of the self are known not just through love and joy, but also through suffering and illness. No song would exist without these forces; every song awaits at the bottom of Pandora’s box.