The Impact Of Time
After 137 years – one hundred and thirty seven mo’fo-ing years – Gaudi’s infamous and enigmatic Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has been given its first official building permit.
It’s been under construction since 1882, but it wasn’t until a year later that Gaudi took the project on as his own, redesigned it in its entirety to reflect both gothic and art nouveau influences and then, dedicated the remainder of his life to it. At the time of his death in 1926, though, where he was tragically hit and killed right outside the construction site, less than a quarter of the final build was complete.
Despite that, it is already a UNESCO world heritage site, a consecrated basilica that attracts around 3 million visitors a year and arguably one of the modern wonders of the world, as far as our artistic endeavours as human kind have gone to understand the spiritual being by transcending our physical selves in a physical space.
Sounds like an overstatement – but seriously, the Sagrada Familia is an almost existential experience. Like your soul lifts from the box you stash it in while getting through the shit of your day to day and rises to the very surface, just under your skin – to touch, for the rarest and most precious of moments, the physical world around you. There’s a snatch of your breath, a pause of your heart, as your brain frantically struggles to take it in.
There’s something about the manipulation of light and space that feels God-like, an actual, real-life representation of the beauty of heaven … regardless of your beliefs.
And yet, still only 70% complete to Gaudi’s original vision.
It’s a crazy story but do you know what? We get three things from this:
1 – Create something that goes beyond you – Gaudi built a thing of otherworldly beauty, but only physically oversaw a quarter of the creation. The rest is his legacy, his heart and soul captured and delegated so that a hundred years later, it still has hope of being completed.
2 – Move your arse – it’s so easy, especially as creatives, to wait for all the ducks to be in the right place, at the right time, before we start building our dreams. Well … why wait? The paperwork can wait until later. Maybe not 137 years later, but later. Don’t sacrifice the purity of your creation for anything, especially not too much planning.
3 – The good shit takes time – Labours of love are called so for a reason, no labour is quick or painless. True works of beauty – the best work of our lifetime – is paid for in more than cash and coins, and more than sweat and tears, it’s paid for in time. Seconds and minutes, months and years. An especially important one, that.
PS – if you haven’t seen the Sagrada Familia, seriously – haul your arse there immediately.