The Small Box of Everything

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.

Author: Ruxandra Constantinescu

My every now and then jottings run on this blog in English, Spanish, and Romanian, as a tribute to all cultures I currently find myself at the crossroads of. I was born and raised in Bucharest, but I had been traveling in my mind every since I could read. Eventually, I started doing it for real as soon as I could, so I got to study, work, live, and travel in Romania, Germany, France, and Spain. Take your pick of posts on books, travels, places, people, current social and emotional issues. International politics or current affairs are no stretch, as neither are movies, series, journalism and communication, nor teaching EFL.

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