Back in 2000, whilst watching Pedro Almodovar’s movie, ‘All About My Mother’ on the big screen, I was blown away by an aerial scene of Barcelona at night. It started from a distance and then zoomed into the city at such vertiginous speed I felt as though I was falling into it, and I would crash-land in the middle of this bright, pulsating metropolis any second. At that moment I felt that this place, with all its beauty and seediness, was calling me.
There are the trivial questions in life, and then there are the big questions.
What is the meaning of life? What are we all here for? What will I leave to the world when I’m gone? Will there be a moment, however brief, when I will understand it all?
I don’t know how other people’s minds work, but mine has always been flooded with waves of concurrent thoughts intercepting each other, colliding with each other, contradicting each other, at any given time of any given day. Even when I try to do meditation or yoga, the ‘noise’ in my head refuses to stop. And all my life, I have wanted to know what it would feel like to have my mind empty of thoughts, blissfully silent, even if this lasted for only a few seconds. Inevitably, when my wish eventually came true, it was at the worst possible time: my mind chose to go blank – joyfully devoid of words, thoughts or images – in the middle of a speech I was delivering at a public speaking contest.
Bel Vidal - Débutante novelist (author of Exuberance), blogger,