My personal Magic Cabinet is imaginary, made of my memories. It may exist in a storage warehouse somewhere, but I have never seen it and may never do.
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you
~Jim Croce, 1972
-My personal Magic Cabinet is imaginary, made of my memories. It may exist in a storage warehouse somewhere, but I have never seen it and may never do. So would you be interested to encourage me, to crack open the door of memories just a little, and see my smile unfold at times gone by?
-When I was 16, I went to high school in Michigan for a year and whilst there I started collecting some treasures. I bought a turned wood candlestick and a scented cedar box, where I collected small items like my graduation ring, photographs, and a Unesco book where I was writing my poems and memories. Sadly, none of these special things are left to me.
-If I had my box, in it we would find my favourite items such as my ivory organza and silk bands with which I tied bows with long tails on my pulled back hair and a red coat.
-One of my sweetest memories is evoked by this tiny red coat knitted by my mother. I wore it my first day at school and I felt so full of her love as everyone called me “little red riding hood”.
-I have led a dynamic, peripatetic, and tough lifestyle. At some point, after I became a mother, I thought I had enough stability and creative vision for the future, and I decided to have a real Magic Cabinet made for me, with unique and exquisite Japanese decoration. How wrong I was!
-From my childhood I can clearly recall our traditional house in Thessaloniki. I am now a 5 year old and remember the furniture, the silver sword, and the laurel tree outside the window. What grief, my great-grandmother has taken the leaves and the black shiny fruit beads of the laurel tree outside the window and boiled them into a perfumed but dark water, with which she wants to rinse my freshly washed hair. I am wriggling, and pulling, and objecting, and then a wonderful warm liquid bathes me. All of a sudden, I am standing still as I am transported into a heavenly luxury of perfumed delight, which I cannot resist. My hair has become silky, shiny, lustrous and great to tie up in perfect ponytails.
I have led a dynamic, peripatetic, and tough lifestyle. At some point, after I became a mother, I thought I had enough stability and creative vision for the future, and I decided to have a real Magic Cabinet made for me, with unique and exquisite Japanese decoration. How wrong I was!
-I did go back to the old house after my son was born, and it was now a block of flats. My heart was racing. I went round the back of the building to see if the laurel tree was still alive, and saw it, proudly and defiantly keeping watch on life as it had done for a few centuries. It was an emotional reunion, with my favourite tree in the whole world, and I wrote a special poem in my book.
-There would be many treasures more, but I will not take more of your time, because you want to think about your own “magic cabinet” treasures.
-Favourite Greek designer: I like Margianna Dragoumanou and her Magnadi scarves a lot.
Elena Amvrosiadou is a global entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor. Elena has ranked for many years as one of the most influential Women in Finance by FN100. She is a Patron of ARK (Absolute Return for Kids), a Trustee of the Oxford Philomusica Orchestra, she has received the Cranfield Distinguished Alumnus Award and in 2008 she was awarded the Red Cross Humanitarian Award.