The basilica of La Sagrada Familia – another Gaudi masterpiece – was my destination today. I decided it was definitely in walking distance, although my body kept asking, “Are you sure…?” Music was needed, so I pulled out my iPod and turned on “Winds of Devotion” by Carlos Nakai and Ngawang Khechog. By the time La Sagrada Familia loomed into view, Ngawang Khechog was chanting the Prajnaparamita sutra (also know as Heart Sutra) – form is emptiness, emptiness is form… OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA! Wow. The concrete and stone massiveness of La Sagrada towered above me as this sutra surged through my senses.
How could this equation of form and emptiness possibly apply to Gaudi? As I opened my senses a bit more I thought, “You know… I think Gaudi almost got it!” There is an expansiveness in his forms… There is a movement skyward (EVERYBODY in the basilica was looking UP)… And Gaudi’s emulation of nature imbues his work with an almost transparent quality, despite its massive substance.
Okay, there is also a lot of baroque decoration verging on an obsession for filling up every surface. I did say he “almost” got it.