Shocked and in awe of Alfred Hayes, author of 1954’s book ‘In Love’, I was inspired by his ability to efficiently describe his soul’s desire into a short love story. By way of his projections onto his lover, and following, his blank canvas, I recognised in myself some of the mysteries of the mind of a romantic.
Deeply rooted in our past is an extraordinary urge for humanity to understand the full aspects of their own souls. And what a better way to understand our own psyche’s than to read about another’s. Where one man’s soul begins, another man’s psyche is projected, and likewise, better understood.
Hayes continues as he describes another man “I’d do it, just as sure as the sun, not even I suppose really feeling like he’d won anything because he isn’t the kind of man who behaves as though there’s such a thing as winning or losing, what he thinks is that the world and everybody in it are a certain way, a way he says they are, and when I called I guess I was only doing what he had expected me to do so that there was no question of his being triumphant, he’d just been proven right once again, that was all“.
And, isn’t that what it means to fall in Love? To be triumphant. To be right. To be in love with an aspect of one’s soul? To see exactly what it is you need to see in another for your own soul’s progress? Reading Hayes, I was struck once again by the realities of the human condition. How we see our own shadows, our own strengths, our own weaknesses, our own likenesses, our own shoulders that we stand on and our own rings that we desire to wear.
Alfred Hayes had a remarkable way of gripping hold of every emotion that has ever passed through the shoulders of my own soul. Good, bad and indifferent. And I believe it is our own journey to see that each emotion is a real truth. And by duly accepting this truth, should we not partake in a state of convergence whereby each morsel of the greater being take it in good stead to transform their lower vibrations of each other into those higher frequencies of love and acceptance with good humour, respect and a clearer state of understanding.
As I read the final pages of ‘In love’, I regarded the tone pure genius ‘Love bade me welcome, but my soul drew back, guilty of dust and sin.‘ And likewise, my own ingenuity closed the door in parallel to the book, on the mind that projects its own dust on to the world around me.
And that is why, this Valentine’s day, I will be projecting my love at the beauty of the world around me while I sit alone on a bench in my favourite place. Let me start by telling you that I don’t have one particular favourite bench, just like I don’t have one particular favourite friend or relative. I love each of them in their own ways. But there are some marvelous benches to be enjoyed with some fabulous outlooks around Barcelona. In no particular order, these are the benches that I consider special around the city of my dreams.
The first bench on the left as you reach Virreina square, Gracia. As you lull into place, look to the left and you will find something special going on at the modernistic style church radiating below the equally modernistic street lamps. Look ahead and you may see some interesting people seeing some special things on their plates or within each other while they pose in the chairs of the bar across the way. Look to the right and you will see a side street that crawls past an abundance of fine spots to meander as the verbena plants study its sidelines. Look above and you may see heaven smiling down at you as you wait for the right lover to join your side some day. But don’t look behind you whatever you do. There is a past that’s been let go of so you can go forth and live your new age of truth.
As I encourage you to find your own loving projections this Valentine’s day, here are the other bench spots I simply love to love in this glorious city we call Barcelona.
Jardi Botanic de Barcelona, Montjuic
Placa de la Concordia, Les Courts
Placa de la Barceloneta
Placa del Sortidor
Vila de Gracia
Biblioteca de Catalunya, Raval
Or simply come and sit on the circular floral bench outside our pharmacy on Passeig de Gracia. We will be there in the shop opposite lovingly welcoming you through our doors on this day and every other day of the year.
Happy Valentine’s day
Lots of love, the whole team at Farmacia Barcelona