Paris, France

June 17, 2018

A Time Capsule

Two years ago, before leaving Paris, I packed up a suitcase and left it with a long-term storage company here.

My plan was to be back in nine months, and save myself the weight and carbon impact of lugging some of my things around the world.

Of course, plans never quite turn out how you plan, and by the time I picked up that box this week, a funny thing had happened – I had no idea what was in it.

We all have this experience – boxes up in an attic, a storage unit across town, a notebook in the corner of a bookshelf.

Objects that freeze in time, sit, and wait, wait to be opened.

This particular box had traveled around the world with me - it was aluminum, rectangular, and covered in stickers - both mine and from the inevitable security screening and tagging that comes from flying with a metal box in the 21st century.

It'd been so long that I forgot little details about it - the way I'd attached wheels with my dad, years ago. The way the years of travel had worn on it, in scrapes, scratches, half-torn tags and worn bits of tape.

And yet here it was, right in front of me, ready for the turn of a small key, two latches unclasped, and a riddle answered.

I opened the box.   And I wept.

I wrote before about how the past year or two has been a real struggle - a big part of that has been losing this life, the ability to travel, to write, to connect to a place and to share it with you.

But that struggle never made it through the dented walls of this box. I unfolded its contents, and my previous life poured over me. Monsoon.

There were little things - metro cards and perfume samples and notes from interviews for stories I was working on in Paris. Big, useful things like a wok, a couple summery dress shirts, a digital scale. There were whiteboard markers and ink refills. Mouchoirs en tissu and notebooks. Lots of notebooks.

Oh, there you are, they said. We've been waiting.

I pulled them all around me like a favorite jacket, and dug into the pockets.

They were filled filled filled with words.

Have you ever experienced this kind of a time capsule? What was opening it like?

Have a wonderful week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw this week made me think about the world a bit differently, and decide to try a new hobby. It's this Vox video on D&D, of all things. Enjoy the magic. :)

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