This week I went to the Sagrada Familia for the first time. What I got from this experience is the notion that it is impossible to imagine somebody else’s dreams. Impossible till those dreams become reality. Like everybody else, I saw the images of the Sagrada Familia from inside and outside at least hundred times. I looked at it in the tourists books, I made pictures of the facade and even mailed a dozen of cards with its details to my friends. Yet, I have never realized how that space can change one’s understanding of reality.
If somebody shows me a suburban house from outside, I can imagine how this house will look inside. Square from outside, it will be shaped in square units inside, may be it will have an arch in the hall or an arched window. The space in predictable, how you will feel inside is somewhat predictable too. When I saw the Sagrada Familia from outside, I never imagined how it will look inside. The fact that it is a church, made me think that it would have something of a church in it. I could not have been further from the truth.
I entered a forest. An open space. A space without walls. The columns were trees. I walked in this enchanted forest and the afternoon sun was playing light tricks through the colored maple leaves. It did not feel like a safe place. It did not feel like one was walking in the right direction. There was no direction. A place to get lost amidst the light spots and the shadowed passages. Exactly as in the deep woods. With the shades of all shapes and sizes. With the wind weaving through the branches of the trees. With the lights sliding over the trunks.
What impressed me so much was the magic of being lost, of not having any answers. The fact that I could never have imagined how this space would look and feel. This space is its creator’s dream. And we can never imagine somebody else’s dream. We can foresee how the square building will be structured inside. We will not be surprised when we enter it. We will align our expectations with what we see and go with it. It will not change the way we see and understand things. Only the spaces born from the dreams have this power.
Others cannot imagine your dreams. You need to make them come true. You need to build something very true to its stem. Very true to the essence of the impossible. Do not let go even an inch. Forget about expectations, predictions, reality. Do not look for the path, do not long for the safe. Forget what others would like to see. Entering this open space made me realize that others cannot imagine your dreams.
I am talking to you. I am talking to myself too.
Barcelona, January 27th 2013
Thank you, Angela.