Clay jars



If only I could store away all the mistakes of my life into little jars, set them on a high shelf and never think of them again. Maybe taking them down every so often, dusting off the grime that coats them, and shaking them to make sure my secrets are still securely hidden away.

If I was feeling brave, I could pop the cork, pour them out and pick through them. Poking a finger here and there, marveling at how tiny some mistakes are and worrying that the bigger ones won’t fit back into their crude clay urns. Mildly surprised to count so many duplicates.

Should I bury my mistakes deep in the soil, leaving them to be unearthed by future generations with no instructions, no explanations, like my own personal Pandora’s Box. I could display them in a glass cabinet for all the world to see, a macabre museum exhibit, making others pay the cost for my wrongs.

Should I forget these errors, my imprefections? Or, do I need to leave the jars open so the contents don’t spoil and begin to reek? Can I forgive, if not forget? Are these then to be shared, compared to those of my friends and family. How alike are we, how different? I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.

Filling expensive crystal vials instead, are my mistakes elegant perfumes and rouge, transforming me into who I’ve become, coloring my cheeks with tinges of red and my eyes alluring mauves and taupe, leaving spider filament of silver running through my hair. Not to be flaunted, but cherished as only fine possessions should be.

Today all my little jars, filled to brimming, are lined up neatly upon the fireplace mantle. In the morning, I may find that the cat has knocked each one over, cracking the hard clay pots, as my mistakes ooze and seep into the dry wood.

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