Friday, March 10, 2006

If eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being

I was thinking about the times in my life that I was blown away by the scenery. When there was something magical about the things my eyes were drinking in. I'm going to try and compile a list of these places.

My favorite places in the world:
1-Cathedral of Barcelona (La Seu)-
There was certainly a lot of eye candy in Barcelona, but this was one of my two favorite places in all of Spain and in all of the world (thus far). We went back to the Barcelona Cathedral two times during our short honeymoon trip because we were so impressed with it.
Not to be mistaken with the Gaudi cathedral (Which is usually the tourist's favored cathedral in Barcelona ). To me The Gaudi seemed like a monument to someone's insanity, it didn't really move me the way that the cathedral in the square did. It was cool, but doesn't make the list.
Cathedral of Barcelona brought me to tears twice. There was a children's choir singing the second time we went and I just sat quietly in one of the pews and listened to everything around me. I started to think about all of the people who have been through there. All of the people without hope, ready to give up, looking for sanctuary. You could still feel them there. I've never had such an emotional response to a place in my whole life.
It is one of those places if you have an opportunity to go to alone, sit with your thoughts and allow yourself to be open to it you might learn something about yourself. I will go back to Barcelona again if it is only to visit this place.

2- New York on the East River in the moonlight- After Big Star played a festival on Randalls Island the organizers had rented a water taxi to bring the performers back to the city. It wasn’t crowded at all and was the best way to see New York at night. We went all the way up the East River in the water taxi. The night was warm with a light sprinkle. Everyone was awestruck by the beauty of our little 20 minute voyage. You could see everything from the water. I think I saw nearly every landmark ever referenced in my favorite songs about New York in that one water taxi trip.

3- Skyline Drive in Eagle River, Alaska- This was practically my back yard growing up.
You start driving up what seems like a hill and it quickly turns into a small mountain. The road winds and winds up an up and gets smaller and smaller. Eventually you get to the end and that is where you park. It could be described as a very cliche "make out point" you might see in movies. It was so much more than that, but I'll admit that back in the day I did do some smooching up there. :-)
On a clear night the stars are so big you feel like you can touch them while the northern lights are swirling around and dancing above you. Below you, you can see pretty much all of Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak and Palmer... It is as quiet as they come. There is nothing up there.
If you were to ditch your car and hike on for about an hour you will run into a small group of houses. They look like they have been there since the beginning of time. If you peak through the windows you'll see nothing but an antique typewriter and things that look like time stopped during the gold rush. It is possible that it has been developed into condos since I was a kid, but in my memories, this is how it is still.

4- The Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain- A two hour train ride from Barcelona in Figueres lives the Salvador Dali museum. If you ever have the opportunity to go there you absolutely must.
I had time to read the history of Dali a bit and it was very interesting. The man was seriously obsessed with his wife Gala. In fact they put the "crazy fun" in dysfunctional relationships. It wouldn't surprise me if some day they went through that fun house of a museum and found bodies entombed in the walls. (I mean other than his of course)
It was all pretty spectacular and a tad creepy. The whole time I was in the museum I could almost see the parties they used to throw back in it's heyday. Those would have been some amazing parties, with all of the faceless gold figures staring down at you in the courtyard. This is another place that has a soul all of it's own.

5- Franklin Falls/ Denny Creek just past North Bend, WA- It is an easy hike to get to. You sort of feel like you are walking through the woods forever and not really getting anywhere but then the woods open up to these beautiful little water falls that are full of rainbows. It is a peaceful little sanctuary out in the middle of everything.
Jon loved it so much he said that when he dies that is where he wants his ashes spread. Me, I would want a little bit of me spread in all of the places on this list.
One of the coolest things about visiting the falls is on the way back home you can swing by Tweeds cafe and get some coffee and cherry pie all Twin Peaks style.

6- The Cemetery next to Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA- It is a five minute walk from my apartment. I know it sounds all Goth to want to hang out in a cemetery, but it is a really cool one.
Not only is it the final resting place of Bruce Lee and his son Brandon, but it is also full of the families that made this city. If you look closely at the oldest monuments you'll recognize many of the last names as neighborhood street names.
It's also not a very active cemetery. I think it has been full for years.
Usually if you go on a perfect blue sunny day with a picnic you can go for hours without even seeing another person. I find it to be the perfect place to go when I don't have time to get away but when I want to be alone. It is my summer sanctuary.

7- to be continued...

True beauty dwells in deep retreats, Whose veil is unremoved, Till heart with heart in concord beats, And the lover is beloved. - William Wordsworth


Anonymous said...

THANKS for your beautiful words about the cathedral of Barcelona. My city. First sorry for my bad caligraphy in english...
But if you visit spain again,please, if you have the oportunity visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Is a big place of pilgrimage in Europe like Rome. Please. Do it Espirituality is arround the city of Santiago. Have you a nice day!!!


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