July 31, 2010 by David Gillaspie
Kris Kristofferson wrote, “I have seen the morning burning golden on the mountain in the sky.”
I liked the idea and wanted the same feeling one day, the feeling of one sun, one mountain, one sky, and me. I nearly got it one morning at Fort Sam Houston, Texas where I joined other young soldiers picking up trash. We were Army medics in training who didn’t go home for Christmas that year.
Since getting up early is an Army tradition we rolled out of the barracks for morning formation, then hit the hillside before sun up. It was a lonely time with strangers who later became the proverbial Army Buddies and I wondered what the heck I was really doing there. Two guys could have done the policing instead of twenty.
Then I looked out across Texas as the first sliver of daylight broke across the far ridge line and Kris’s song started playing in my head.
“Loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again.”
Jump thirty-some years ahead and the band in my brain cranks up in Barcelona, Spain when I laid eyes on the Gaudi church, La Sagrada Família. One look and I was “Achin’ with the feelin’ of the freedom of an eagle when she flies.”
Bearing witness to this work in progress, going on one hundred fifty years, was enough to start “Wipin’ out the traces of the people and the places that I’ve been.”
One part Disney, one part Enchanted Forest, and all parts beyond incredible, the church goes where no building has ever gone. Somewhere between Viking dream and melting nightmare, the structure rearranges what you’d expect man to build. It started from across the street,
“Teachin’ me that yesterday was something that I never thought of trying. Talkin’ of tomorrow and the money, love and time we had to spend.”
Every step on the grounds, every corner turned, felt like a dream. I don’t know Gaudi, but Kris must have to write,
“I don’t know the answer to the easy way she opened every door in my mind. But dreamin’ was as easy as believin’ it was never gonna end.”
The soaring spires, which is no exaggeration when you fall back from looking up so far, was “Healin’ as the colors in the sunshine and the shadows of her eyes.”
Make no mistake, the Gaudi church is an ongoing love affair. The devout man would say it’s love of Jesus, and it probably is when you see the statues of Jesus on the church, but I see Mary there.
And I hear Kris singing in the choir.
Maybe it’s just me, or Kris, or Gaudi, but the feeling I got from La Sagrada Família was all about Mary, and Lovin’ Her Was Easier, if you ignore a few lines, made a beautiful moment more poignant.
Being humbled in the presence was the only natural response. Hearing the soundtrack drove it home.
Take it Kris:
“I have seen the morning burning golden on the mountain in the sky
Aching with the feeling of the freedom of an eagle when she flies
Turning on the world the way she smiled upon my soul as I lay dying
Healing as the colors in the sunshine and the shadows of her eyes
Waking in the morning to the feeling of her fingers on my skin
Wiping out the traces of the people and the places that I’ve been
Teaching me that yesterday was something that I never thought of trying
Talking of tomorrow and the money, love and time we had to spend
Loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again
Coming close together with a feeling that I’ve never know before, in my time
She ain’t ashamed to be a woman or afraid to be a friend
I don’t know the answer to the easy way she opened every door in my mind
But dreaming was as easy as believing it was never gonna end
And loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again”