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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Forever Paris Contest: the meaning of Pandora's box

Pandora recently held a contest on Instagram to win a limited-edition gold Eiffel Tower charm. Fans were asked to, "Share a photo and write why you are a true Pandora fan." I submitted a photo and write-up on five of the six days that the contest ran. And one of my submissions won! This was my entry for June 23.

For your information the contest details are at the end of the post.

The meaning of Pandora's box

Although most of us are familiar with the expression of "opening Pandora's box" and it's meaning, that doing so may have far-reaching and dire consequences, or release ills upon the world, what most people forget is the most important part of the story of Pandora and her box: the gift of hope.

In the ancient Greek myth about Prometheus and Pandora, Zeus orders a woman be made of clay. The gods then clothed her, adorned her with necklaces and finery (Pandora's jewellery), gave her beauty, gave her musical ability, and gave her speech. Because each of the Olympians had given her a gift, she was given the name Pandora, meaning "all gifted" or "all giving," and derived from a combination of Greek παν (pan) "all" and δωρον (doron) "gift". In my house, by the way, in my family, regardless of the occasion, all gift giving for me is Pandora. Just sayin'. In the story Zeus gives Pandora a box (a jar really) but tells her to never open it. Pandora could not understand why Zeus had given her a wedding gift but not allowed her to see it. She could not resist the temptation to peek into the box. I can totally relate to that, especially when it comes to Pandora gifts.

As Pandora's mind was consumed with thoughts about what must be kept inside her box, my mind is often consumed with thoughts about sharing sneak peeks on Instagram. Just as Pandora could think of nothing else but opening the box and unlocking its secrets, there are times when I can think of nothing else but designing Pandora bracelets. Unlike the mythical Pandora, however, opening MY Pandora box brings me nothing but joy.

Being overcome by temptation and curiosity, Pandora opened the box, as Zeus had expected she would. Out flew all the evils of the world: misery and poverty, death and disease, and sadness, sickness and strife. Pandora was able to close the box, but all that remained was Hope. When the world is full of pain and suffering, Hope makes all the difference in the world. And if you suffer from depression or anxiety, the one thing you need is Hope. That's why I'm a true Pandora fan.
There were days when the only thing that would get me out of bed, and in the shower, was the promise of a trip to my favourite Pandora store. There were weeks when I could barely put one foot in front of the other, but Pandora had me looking forward to the next promo or gift with purchase.  There were periods where I could not think beyond just getting through the day, and yet Pandora had me dreaming of one day getting retired charms from different countries. There were times when I was so overwhelmed I couldn't organize my thoughts enough to clean a room, but Pandora had me organizing an ever-evolving wishlist. There were times when I didn't know if I wanted to live until tomorrow, but Pandora had me believing I might still be alive come the end of August when the fall collection would be released. Pandora has given me so many things to look forward to.
There is always Hope. In the Pandora myth, Hope is meant to heal the wounds of the body and soul, and Pandora has certainly done that for me. When my life was consumed with sadness, grief, shame, fear and anger, Pandora gave me the gift of hope. I am a true Pandora fan.
P.S. Zeus actually sent Pandora as a punishment to men, and many a husband would tell you that their wife's obsession with Pandora jewellery plays the same role!

The Pandora's Box charm on my "Serenity" bracelet.
My updated two-tone "Serenity" bracelet with the chalcedony dangle, lavender cz and periwinkle star muranos.

Related Posts:

Forever Paris Contest: grieving the loss of my mom - the winning story and photo, now with more photos of my mom's trip to Paris and the surprise I discovered; my submission for June 21, 2016
Forever Paris Contest: using Pandora charms in my recovery - a story about the role Pandora has played with links to stories about some of the charms; my submission for June 22, 2016

Forever Paris Contest: Pandora fans are not Grinches - a story about collecting Pandora promo items and the community of Pandora collectors (with some Dr. Seuss inspired rhyming); my submission for June 24, 2016

Forever Paris Contest: Ode to Pandora - a silly poem I wrote about Pandora, now with a photo for each stanza as well as a photo of my whole collection to date; my submission for June 26, 2016

Here is Pandora's description of the contest:
"To celebrate summer in the city of love, Pandora has created a limited-edition 'Forever Paris' dangle charm, and from June 20 - 26 you can win it in our #PandoraForeverParisContest. Each piece is beautifully crafted from 14K gold and features two diamonds.
"Because they are true collector's items, only 500 have been produced. Each dangle charm is engraved with a unique number (from 1-500) and they are only sold in selected stores in France but we have kept 10 for you!" 
Contest rules were available on Pandora.net.
The charm was valued at 599 € (approximately $860 CDN/$665 USD)

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