Stone Poems

Recently I visited Barcelona, Spain and I was very impressed with the magnificent work of Barcelona’s most famous architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). He was a man of profound sensibility towards beauty and the gift of creation. A true mystic and a poet. He was inspired by nature. As he would often say, “Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.” Gaudí was a devout Catholic man. A man of deep faith. He went to church twice a day. He was also inspired by the writings of Saint John of the Cross, a Discalced Carmelite saint. He believed with conviction his architectural ability was a gift from God, and that his pursuit of excellence in his field benefitted his city and his beloved Catalonia.

Here, I share a beautiful poem and a few photographs I took of some of the work of this great and humble Catalán architect that won the hearts and the admiration of not only the people of Catalonia but the whole world.

*If you would like to know more about Antoni Gaudí, please check:
https://www.barcelonaexperience.com/sightseeing/about-gaudi
https://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=66039

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Casa Batlló, Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

To Antoni Gaudí, poet and architect

Haven’t you ever thought that Gaudí was a poet
and that his work breathes poetry?
Message, light of expression and harmony
they have always been a path to the final goal.

Haven’t you seen a wonderful verse vibrate in its structure,
and felt the songs of rhyme in its harmony,
or the rhythm of expression in the symphony
of the materials, the colors, the architecture?

Not every poem is born of words,
not only with words you compose a poem;
the image, the sentiment, the charm, cherishing
are other ways of saying beauty or fable.

To wake up emotion, spell, message
any art can open the mind to the heart,
the dream of an excellent and strong creative being
can describe a poem with its language.

The art in Gaudí has dreamt dreams of stone;
placed its voice in the charm of new columns,
builds spaces with the taste of other perfumes
and in the infinite of its time there is no ashes.

He has searched for God, the nature, the beauty
and its wish of building has brought the wish,
of approaching, with brand new eyes, the earth to the ski,
always striving for perfection and more grandeur.

His transcendental sense has never hindered
that even human warmth was always present
in the details of its work in all moments,
from the halls of the palace to the garden.

And even the temples combine splendor
and humanity. The figures offer
the echo of a godliness, which expand
with overflowing love.

He had mistery in its heart,
the metaphor in its vision,
the structure in its brains
and in its fingers a touch of soul.

Each design is a symbol,
each shape has a spirit,
each color a word
And each detail a kiss.

The “torres del Naixement ” are like flames,
the lightning of forged iron shout at the wind,
the seats that surround Parc Güell resemble waves
the mosaics of live colors are like rising sun.

God’s poet, space’s poet and nature’s poet,
poet of the well-being and of peace,
you have built your world of architecture
garnishing the blue ski with magic poems.

Your poems of stone always wake up a charm
from the unit to the detail,
from the biggest to the smallest,
from elegance to precision,
from the root to the summit,
from surprise to miracle,
under daylight or moonlight,

And what is this other than the being of a great artist
who sings with barroc songs, exuberant, modernist,
until it created a personal and unconfusing style
who has impacted the whole world with its unique vibration?

The great Gaudí, who is for everybody, an incomparable architect,
he is for me, more than anything else, one of the greatest poets.
With a language of stone has written profound poems,
religious, lordly, of nature and symbolism.

As every poet he has strived for emotion and perfection,
with metaphoric conceptions or with peculiar features.
It is still moments, ideas turned to a volume,
structured concepts, well suggested sentiments,
which will consolidate as the infinite time goes by.

~ By Pere Brosa, Gaudí First Prize of Poetry and Short Narrative from Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo fachada

Casa Batlló, photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo detalle

Casa Batlló (details) photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo Gaudi

Casa Batlló (beauty is everywhere) photo taken by me in September 2018

 

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Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera or “The stone quarry” photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa Gaudi best shot

Gaudí House-Museum located within the Park Güell in Barcelona was the residence of Antoni Gaudí for almost 20 years, from 1906 till the end of 1925. Photo taken by me in September 2018

Barcelona 2018 casa Gaudi great shot

Gaudí House-Museum gardens and sculptures…So beautiful. Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

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The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, (my photo) September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 sagrada familia

Basilica of The Holy Family (Sagrada Familia) western side (Passion Façade) Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

 

The Splendor of the Day

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“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. ” Saint John of Damascus – (my own photo)

 

Your grace is my constant companion.

I find You everywhere in the splendor of the day.
I find You in the trees and in the gentle movement of the leaves.
I find You in the breeze of the summer afternoon by the bay.
I find You in the beauty of the sunset. 
I find You in the love and care of good friends.

I find You in the beauty of the monarch butterfly flying carefree
searching for the sweet nectar of each flower.
I find You in the sunlight that passes through the green leaves.
I find You in the beauty of the scenery of this country road.
I find You in the joyful songs of your happy birds…
I find You in the hummingbirds, blue jays, and woodpeckers.

My heart is overflowing with love for Your creation.
Oh Beloved, your grace is sufficient for me.
I find Your beauty everywhere in the splendor of the day.

These days at the cottage with dear friends
and the blessings of each hour enjoying each other’s company.
Sharing meals together.

Our early evening swim at the bay,
admiring Your beautiful sky and all the cloud formations.

Bike riding after so long…Thank you Lord Jesus
for making my body strong again.

There is so much to give You thanks my Beloved!
Your Bread of Life I received on Sunday Mass at the Martyr’s Shrine.
My heart is so full of gratitude.

And how can I forget about the starry nights,
the sky is Your canvas.
I find You in the sounds of nature,
the crickets chirping at night and the birds at dawn.
They wake me up with their sweet melody.

Thank you! Thank you, my Beloved!
for I find Your grace in the splendor of the day.

~ My Personal Reflection

 

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“It helped me to look at fields, or water, or flowers. In this things, I found a remembrance of the Creator. I mean that they awakened and recollected me and served as a book.” Saint Teresa of Avila – (my own photo)

 

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“God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty.” Saint John of the Cross –  (my own photo)

 

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“Believe one who knows: You will find something greater in woods than in the books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” Saint Bernard of Clairvaux – (my own photo)

 

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“From the creation, learn to admire the Lord! Indeed the magnitude and beauty of creation display a God who is the artificer of the universe. He has made the mode of creation to be our best teacher.” Saint John Chrysostom – (my own photo)

 

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“‘With my mouth,’ God says, ‘I kiss my own chosen creation. I uniquely, lovingly, embrace every image I have made out of the earth’s clay. With a fiery spirit I transform it into a body to serve all the world.’” Saint Hildegard of Bingen  –  (my own photo)

 

All photos are taken by me from the beautiful area of Georgian Bay, Ontario ❤ in August 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature & Grace

 

Varadero Beach2

Varadero beach, by unknown artist

 

I just got back from Varadero, Cuba. My husband and I went for a week’s vacation to the pristine beaches of the Caribbean sea. The resort we stayed at was very close to an ecological reserve and our room was located close to this beautiful gem of nature. Every morning the beautiful birds would be waking us up chirping in the blue sky and lasting all throughout the day like praising the Creator for all his goodness and love.

We saw many kinds of beautiful butterflies and little colourful iguanas among the tall palm trees. What a delight to the eyes and the senses. After breakfast we would walk to the beach and as we approached it, we saw the beautiful crystal clear turquoise sea’s gentle waves washing away the white sand. The view felt like it was taken from a very fine photograph. We felt so blessed to have experienced those days surrounded by God’s beautiful creation in the place we loved the most…the sea.

Sunsets were so amazing diffusing so many different shade of colours in the sky. It was truly a golden hour. As I always say: God indeed is an artist!

We had the amazing opportunity to go in a catamaran to see the dolphins in the open ocean close to the beautiful island of Cayo Blanco. What a surreal experience. I couldn’t contain my tears from flowing as I interacted and swam with these beautiful angels of the sea. It was a long time dream of mine.

And I can’t forget the flowers! They were all so beautiful and full of rich colours shining towards the bright sun. We met amazing people and made new friends. I love Cuban people, they have a beautiful heart.

And the food…was simply amazing! Especially the fruits. They are blessed with so many different varieties of fruits like mangoes, papaya, pineapple and guava; these were among my favourites. We ate a lot of seafood and it was very tasty and so fresh. We loved it!

We are so grateful and thankful for experiencing moments of grace in those blessed days. Those memories will be with us for the rest of our lives. Thank You Lord for the amazing gift of life and your beautiful creation and for meeting new friends. It’s all a blessing.

Thank you for reading! Always take the time to enjoy nature wherever you are and be aware of those moments of grace ❤

 

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A dream come true! Interacting and swimming with the dolphins near the island of Cayo Blanco, Cuba. (my own photo)

Birds

That God made birds is surely in His favor.
I write them as His courtesies of love.
Hidden in leaves, they offer me sweet savor
of lightsome music; when they streak above
my garden wall they brush my scene with color.

They are embroideries upon the grass.
I write the gayest stitched-in blossoms duller
than birds which change their patterns as I pass.

I nurse a holy envy of St. Francis
who lured the birds to nestle at his breast.
Yet I am grateful for this one which dances
across my lawn, a reckless anapest.

Subjects for gratitude push up my living
praise to a sum that tempts the infinite;
but birds deserve one whole psalm of thanksgiving
and these words are my antiphon for it.

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

Birds of Cuba art

Birds of Cuba, art by Julio Cesar Rodriguez

    

Who Is A Gardener?

woman and the roses

 

And who is a flower gardener? A person who prays to God in beauty. A painter of the Lord. A musician of God. A poet of the Almighty. A person who makes beauty in the colors of flowers.

No one—atheist, communist, sinner, or saint—can pass a flower garden without stopping. In some places, raising flowers is an art almost beyond our understanding. A person’s soul, a nation’s soul, can be expressed in a garden.

Who is a flower gardener? An utterly dedicated person, who loves each flower tenderly, and knows intimately the ways, habits, likes and dislikes of each one. He is someone who gives beauty to everyone—not ordinary beauty, but God’s beauty. And if a gardener did not know God before he became interested in flowers, if he perseveres, he will know him soon, and know him intimately.

Who is a flower gardener? A person who sooner or later falls utterly in love with God, who approaches flowers reverently (you have to, otherwise they will not grow for you), and thus silently shouts his love of God. The one who grows flowers gives God to man, and becomes possessed by God themselves.

Gardeners grow beauty for the Lord, and to bring others closer to him. Each flower, tree, or bush, wild or tame, is God’s love letter to us; each reflects an infinitely small part of his beauty. Yet, this small part can be so enchanting, so overwhelming, so healing, that words can fail to describe it.

 ~ A Meditation by Catherine de Hueck Doherty

 


Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?
~ Saint Augustine of Hippo


 

“Christ within us,
Light above us,
Earth beneath us,
Love surrounds us.”

 

Happy and Blessed Earth Day!