We wandered around Barcelona today, seeking out architecture by Gaudí. Our last stop was the Sagrada Familia, a massive cathedral, Gaudí's magnum opus. We stood in its shadow with what seemed like a million tourists, all snapping photos and chattering in foreign tongues of Gaudí facts, Gaudí fictions. Looking up at its massive towers, I couldn't help but think of the abandoned factories of Winston-Salem, how their smoke stacks always make me feel like the factory is some sleeping monster, waiting to eat me. The towers of the Sagrada Familia gave me the same feeling.
I turned to Lauren and asked her if she thought the cathedral pointed people to God, or to Gaudí. She said that it probably depended on the person. That maybe if we were inside the cathedral, it would feel holy.
The admission was 13 euros, so we decided against testing that theory.
But now we sit by the Mediterranean Sea, and despite all the tourists, topless sunbathers, I have that peace that passes understanding, that feeling that some might call God, some a connection with nature, or the universe, or whatever. I see the sea, and my desire isn't to take a picture to prove I was there. All I want is to be in the water and to write, because somehow the intangibleness of words scribbled on lined paper better express how I feel when I stand before beauty like this.
And so I write.