On my second day in Madrid, I continued to explore after Tals gave me a sort of walking tour the night before. I figured I’d pass by these places in the day time (since Tals can only bring me around after her work) and this time I tried looking for a museum to go and see (since I had already done some shopping on my first day).
Looking for the Casita Museo de Raton Perez, near Plaza Mayor (which was were I first went to pick up my tourist maps of the city), I kind of got lost and found myself at the Monasterio de Las Descalzas Reales in Plaza San Martin.
It just stood there and coming from Arenal, which is a street filled with boutiques and shopping options, it was a breath of fresh air and demanding of attention. Going through the map several times, I thought the church was the museum and walked in.
I couldn’t take photos of what I saw inside but it was, as all Catholic churches are, ostentatious and assaulting. But there were four people — ladies, two of which looked like tourists — and they were all whispering prayers.
I walked up to a pew and sat down and found myself praying. Very strange since I’m no longer Catholic and I don’t believe in a Christian god, but the atmosphere was conducive to reflection and I was carried away by the power of the people seated there and praying. Their belief granted me some for that one moment.
So I started my own prayer. It began like this:
“I don’t believe in you, but I believe in a higher power. I believe in something so great and it could be you, or it could be a universal spirit, or a creator being… whoever you are, hell, you could even be me and this prayer might really be for me…
I ask that this not be my last trip. I pray, and maybe I’m praying to myself, to the god inside of me, that this is not the last trip I take and that this is not the highlight of my life. That I will fix my life and stabilise my practical and mundane life so that I can experience this continuously. I want my life to be filled with more experiences like this. This is not my last trip like this. I want more.
I ask you — whoever you are, even if you are really me — to do all you can to make this the beginning and not the peak of what my life can be. There’s so much more. I want it all.”
It went something like that. It’s probably not exactly what I said but it’s pretty much what I had meant. It was a very spiritual moment. I didn’t make the sign of the cross or anything of the like. I came in there, fuelled by the energy of the people with their own hopes and wishes that they send out to the cosmos and the universe and to whoever is listening, even if it is to their own persons, and used it to channel my own sense of gratitude.
Because if anything, I am grateful. I am so grateful for this. And to not be grateful for an opportunity and an experience like this is such a horrible thing, to be honest.