The most well known of Gaudi’s works and something I’ve wanted to see since my college days the Sagrada Familia exceeded my expectations. Probably the largest piece of environmental sculpture in the world (for that is surely what it is) it blends to perfection the best of sculpture, stained glass and architecture. No wonder he is widely known as “God’s architect” his love for God is expressed in purest form, a meeting of the arts, nature and faith.
The exterior is reminiscent of a mountain inset with caves and grottoes harboring scenes from the life of Christ, rough texture, like a landslide, contrasts smooth classical line and the dove bedecked Christmas tree, coloured fruits and vegetables that top the towers all somehow manage to blend in harmony. (The sketches and molds housed in the basement make it abundantly clear that his constant inspiration was nature.) Even the massive frontal arch of the Passion entrance are reminiscent of ribs and stretched ligaments. Every detail has meaning and I could well imaging living happily alongside it, daily finding more wonders.
Perhaps one of the most outstanding things was that far above the crucifixion facade, on a beam crossing between two towers, Jesus sits, bronzed, at ease, casually looking down on all.
Inside is forest themed. The great classical pillars at first look normal cathedral fare but a closer inspection reveals they are subtly different in size and hue, made from different stones. The roof imitates the canopy, the pillars branching out decked in formalized leafy foliage. The light pouring from the stained glass glimpsed between the “trees” echoes the forest at sunset. Amidst all this Jesus hangs on the cross, suspended below a golden canopy, not touching the earth but gazing up to where far above the roof opens in a glory of gold and silver light.
Something I didn’t realize is that the cathedral is not yet finished (hence the ever present scaffolding) the final towers are yet to be added. Gaudi began building as a young man and they hope to have it finished for the 100 year anniversary of his death at eighty something. It contains the collaborative work of many artists over several generations working in harmony to produce this incredible piece of art to the glory of God.
If you’ve yet to see it
I suggest you add it to your bucket list! (Unfortunately my photographic skills were not up to the glowing coloured light streaming in. The whole interior is full of light and colour not nearly as dark as some photos suggest but at least it will give an idea.)
I’ve never been one to plan stories, it just doesn’t work that way for me (and it’s definitely no fun). Rather stories seem to grow and develop a life of their own. It’s as if the story is already out there somewhere and I’m just opening the window to set it free onto the page.
Don’t get me wrong I also suffer the inevitable “writer’s block” sometimes when the damn catch on the window seems jammed and the weather’s too dark and cloudy to even catch a glimpse through the pane. But then, sooner or later, it always loosens, the glass swings open and I’m invaded by the most inspiring scenes and ideas and I just can’t wait to get to my laptop.
My present book seems to be the most “revelatory” yet. New characters introduce themselves in my head as I wake, parading their own personal diversity. I ponder and realise how well they weave into the plot, adding depth and emotion, so that later I sit, tissues in hand when a plot twist reveals their demesne. Research (tedious as it tends to be) brings to light plot options, small details, and opens me up to places I’ve not been before in my writing. I wake each morning as if seeking to continue reading a book I’m wrapped up in, but it isn’t written yet! Reading and writing become one, with an irresistible urge to turn the next page, start the next chapter. My “overactive imagination” as my teachers called it has found it’s niche.
I’ll miss it when it’s finished (except that when the real work begins, editing, revising, condensing etc.) However I already have a tittle for a possible sequel lol! Meanwhile I’m in danger of becoming a recluse!
Micheal Angelo said there was a sculpture in every block of marble just waiting to be released. As a sculptor in my youth I felt that was a great way to express it.
Now I write rather than sculpt (more practical with no studio) but I sometimes feel it’s the same with stories. It’s like you just turn a key, the door opens and it becomes like dictation, the stories reveal themselves to you.
My present book has been even more extreme of late. I wake with ideas popping
that seem to enlarge themselves on the page, interlocking like a layered jigsaw, creating deeper characters, more intricate plot and getting me so excited I don’t want to stop writing (hence the aforementioned timer lol.)
My other two books were also somewhat like taking dictation, but this one seems to just burst upon me in multicolored fireworks, like watching a movie unfold with my merely taking effortless notes for the script.
They used to talk of a “muse” that gave writers inspiration. That idea is not so common these days, but I could well imagine some heavenly force showing clips, pictures, and flowing script which I, a mere scribe, jot down for others to partake of.
I’m having so much joy in this other things are getting a little neglected. So please excuse my sporadic blogging of late, I’m in love with writing this story! lol!
(Much love to my fellow authors, long may we write!)
Perhaps you are like me? I have a bad memory so “post its” and their occupying “to do” lists are ever with me and have been close companions for many years.
Yesterday however tired of the never ending little pink or yellow lists always at my elbow at my lap top, I decided instead to make my first ever “done list”. As I breezed through the day I jotted down relevant items I completed (leaving out the obvious, brush teeth, eat breakfast etc.) By mid day I was amazed at all I’d packed in (It was an average day, I didn’t make a special effort or anything). My perception of myself changed. I’d for a long while pictured myself as kind of lazy, as age took its toll. A glance at my list totally eradicated that notion! It was renewing! Why not give it a go?
Here’s my morning list (love to see yours too).
- Chill time to pray and meditate on God’s word (always a first on my list).
- Edited and posted a new flash fiction story on my blog.
- Wrote another section of my book.
- Picked up shopping and checked for movie tickets for a grandson treat.
- Picked vegetables at my allotment.
- Walked around the lake (about two miles).
- Made a healthy lunch.
- (My afternoon wasn’t as busy (I’m a morning person and take a rest in the early afternoon – a habit from living in the tropics) but it also had a few more items to add.
He had to go – one last time, while he could still make the climb.
His companion was not the best, but everyone else “had commitments”. He’d met him in the park sleeping rough, a turbulent young fella Chase was, with hard, rebellious eyes. He hadn’t understood but he’d been willing, for the pittance Jim was able to pay, (already sleeping rough, what had he to lose?) He was sullen, but, considerate of Jim’s aging frame, he carried the rucksack, appreciative of the new sleeping bag and use of bed and shower as they prepared.
The slope steepened, the going was harder. Jim had to stop frequently to catch his breath.
“Why are you doing this?” Chase asked. “If I were your age I’d be curled up in an armchair.”
“ You’ll see when we get there.” Chase thought the old duffer mad, but he’d been kind, besides he liked crazy folks, he was half crazy himself. He didn’t care. Help the old duffer up the mountain and maybe he could doss with him for a while after, till things turned sour…
The road lay far behind, the car a matchbox toy. Things were quiet up here. They sat and ate sandwiches feasting their eyes on the growing panorama.
“Wait till we get up.” Jim whispered, “It takes your breath away.” It was beautiful, Chase thought, but not worth this whole expedition – Jim must be in his seventies, maybe more! A cold thought hit. Suppose the old man was to peg out up here, would they hold him accountable? He’d have to leg it if something happened…
Nothing did happen. They camped under the stars, Chase gathering wood, Jim starting the fire. Chase watched the flames as the bacon and sausages sizzled on their sticks and the foil wrapped potatoes steamed. Jim knew what he was doing that’s for sure.
“You must have been a bit of an adventurer when you were young?” Chase ventured. He wasn’t much for conversation, but he was curious.
“You could say that,” Jim beamed. He went on to tell tales of his youth and how he’d found this place. Chase listened entranced. Despite himself he liked the old duffer.
“So why the mountain?”
“I was pretty wild back then. I could be myself up there. It puts everything in perspective, everything is small, seen from up there, only the important things are big – like the sky! … and you can see the horizon…”
They made the summit next afternoon. While not requiring much in the way of hard climbing it had been long and arduous, Jim was exhausted.
“Just help me on that big rock up there and I’ll rest a while.” Chase was concerned. Shedding the pack he picked Jim up in his arms. He was surprisingly light.
“You’re a good lad Chase,” Jim whispered. “Don’t let folks ever tell you otherwise.”
Together they sat above the world looking down on scattered clouds, distant hills, and swathes of pine forest. Chase gasped, awestruck, head turning to appreciate the 360 deg. horizon.
“I think I understand now,” he breathed.
“I thought you would. It’s not something you can explain, but I just had to feel it one more time before I go, kinda get me ready.” Chase looked alarmed. “Now don’t worry son, I’m not gonna peg out on you, still got a bit of strength left. I just need to rest a bit”
“Just as well, ‘cos I’m sure not gonna carry you all the way back,” Chase teased. Then he realised – yes, he would if it came to that, and bugger the consequences. He liked the old duffer – he liked the mountain too.
When days are dull and dreary, the colours unrefined,
When faces are not cheery, a smile hard to find.
Then take a look within you as spirits start to soar
The sun above is shining though you don’t see it anymore.
Love is always waiting to take you in its arms,
It’s just the clouds get in between to keep you from its charms.
(Photo from bing images)
Sent today by my sweet brother in law on hearing I’m suffering a prolonged sore throat and fever. I can’t actually smell (or taste) anything but these cute photos made my day.