There are many new things learned during my rather spontaneous trip to Barcelona that just happened this past week, major one being about the most talented architect of all time, Antoni Gaudi. It is through him that I first heard about Organic Architecture who 100 years ago introduced something called “modernism” entirely inspired by nature. Gaudi, a man of many passions which included art, architecture and religion, had an extraordinary observation skills which allowed him to continually introduce new techniques and ideas into the field of architecture. On that note, I’m forever thankful for the audio device that we decided to rent at the very last minute because without it, the trip wouldn’t have been complete- actually, I would have walked out of his unbelievably amazing works without any knowledge of how and why they were built, and what the artist tried to achieve through them.
While there is no doubt that Gaudi is a world renowned architect who was revolutionary not only during his time but even on modern standards, what I find most inspiring about him is his passion- passion for architecture, passion for learning, analyzing, observing the world… and most important is his passion for spreading God’s love to the world. When I walked into Sagrada Familia and looked up at the magnificent ceiling, within a few minutes, I found myself filled with emotions while sudden tears rolled down the cheeks… not only because of its inexplicable beauty but because it reminded me of what I saw a few years ago: unconditional love, promising future, and He, himself… I saw them all in Gaudi’s work, which reminded me once more why I’m where I am now, and where my life should head from here.
People ask why I cry… if I’m sad.
In fact, it’s not because I’m sad. Rather, it’s because I’m so happy to a point where I’m unaware of what is happening around me, my physical self included- which is reflected in a bodily activity (i.e. crying) without my knowing, sometimes.
Have you ever felt uncontrollably happy because you are so thankful? If not, I highly recommend you to experience it. Your life will turn upside down, literally.
You will want to live life like you’ve never had before. You will want to grab it and never let go. You will have grown a new passion and purpose for life, a motivation and persistence you had always wanted but failed to possess. It will all be yours, forever. That’s what made Gaudi different- he had a passion for life and knew what his purpose was. How amazing is that not only his works are considered best in the world even after 100 years have passed- seven of which, by the way, have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, a UN organization, but even more amazing is that so many people are able to use his works as a place of prayer and worship, to communicate with God, the very reason for their existence.
It has been said that every single piece of his work (including details such as the ergonomic design of a door knob) was built to serve a purpose, whether it’s to provide more comfort or pleasing to the senses (all the while being mind-blowingly beautiful), hence the term “Constructive Sincerity.”
With Casa Batllo, Gaudi said he wanted every visitor to experience something they had never experienced; feeling like you are under water… with every detail designed perfectly ergonomic while being revolutionarily artistic, his goal was to provide as much pleasure as possible to everyone who visited, with light being part of the design… which he considered as an extremely critical element of his designs.
Known as “God’s Architect”, Gaudi lived a life that was “complete” in my book, perhaps most ideal that I can think of- he enjoyed everything the world offered: fame, friendship, prestige… and last but not least, he got to do what he loved to do all his life to produce works that have inspired and influenced people all around the world for the past 100 years, and many, many more years to come.
But what is even more inspiring is that despite the colorful life he seemed to have, he was a humble man- so humble to a point when he passed away in a sudden accident, he was mistaken as a homeless man.
What a life he lived.
He dedicated everything he had to one passion, one purpose- to please God through his talent, a true gift to humankind.
A life lived with passion is beautiful, but one lived with a purpose is one that cannot be beat.
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