There is always one little box in my house (there was one in all the houses I have lived) that I never get to unpack and it just remains stranded in a corner or a cabinet, but always easy to be found and forever open. I had filled a whole box with all the tickets, invitations, train or plane fares, brochures and whatnot when I first came back home from Germany and I am currently filling one up with everything I want to remember from Spain.
I remembered I had this box just the other day, when I came back from yet another soul touching opera show at the Teatro Real de Madrid. It was probably because I missed going to the Opera, but there I was, enjoying Beethoven and a truly gorgeous mise-en-scène (the kind that makes you understand how talent and vision can actually bring a classic opera show into the 21st century) when I realized I had to open the box again, to make room for another ticket.
It was surely the music and the opera singers, but I almost cried – of happiness, of joy, of that simply delightful feeling that right then and there I really didn’t need anything else, except to listen and enjoy. This is how I came to think of the box again, and this is how I saw that there is so much more than just paper and cardboard in all these boxes of mine.
There are countless pieces of my time – of my life – each one dully documented: in another time, in what so often has come to feel like another life, I have been there. I’ve seen a movie all by myself in the theater on a hot summer day; I’ve laughed my heart out with a dear friend watching some really bad action series; It took me years to learn and accept and understand the new and sometimes monstrously beautiful scenographies that always sought to reinterpret classical opera stories; I got to miss a rainy day in a museum or a lazy Sunday and an open space exhibition; I still remember the outrageously expensive concert ticket but haven’t forgotten the great time I had in a late fall afternoon at a rock concert.
The only thing is… I don’t think I’ll get to close this Spain box too soon. Whereas my Germany box is long sealed and waits for me every summer when I go visit my parents back in Romania, I might need a second one and not finish up collecting my times here just yet.