I walked through the stairwell of Gaudi’s Casa Batllo. It was a gray, wet day outside, but the space glowed. Blue tiles shifted from pewter to cobalt, mimicking the colors, and the other-worldly lightness of the sea.
With each step, I entered deeper into Gaudi’s dream, and the genius washed over me, just as a wave.
Later on, I stepped into another work of his, Sagrada Familia. And again, with the weather gray and clingy, and the crowds touristy and relentless, I felt joy. He juxtaposed light and color and faith and nature, and I held my breath as I walked his path.
The thing is? I don’t even appreciate art–I rarely visit museums, or read about visual artists. I certainly don’t draw, paint or sculpt in my spare time.
But I cherish passion, and genius and truth. I imagine during Gaudi’s lifetime, he was questioned, or openly mocked. He built dragons on rooftops, and dared to use fish scales, bones, and seashells in sacred spaces. He wasn’t easily consumed, digested, and forgotten. And that’s exactly what the world wants. Quick answers. Mindless puttering.
There are days when I do exactly that. Sleepwalk through life, having the same conversations, and wearing my pettiness like a stretched-out cardigan.
And then, sometimes, I find my Gaudi. I show up for new things, and make conversations, and study the horizon for blendings of sunlight and mist. I hold my children, and savor dried mango, and know—in my deepest bones know—that it’s worth it to be wrong, misunderstood, or simply weird.
When I walk through the streets of Barcelona, I see this truth in every tile, curved line, and facade.
It’s worth it to care really, really hard. It worth it find that gaudy, unabashed liberation.