13.30 train from Madrid arriving in Granada. A blonde bobbing head in the crowd. My mom had arrived, and I immediately began to relax as seeing her gave me comfort. Seeing her gave me a rapid reminder of who I am: seeing her was like seeing me in my purest form. The hotel receptionist begins talking to me, “Mother and daughter? You two look very similar.” Yes. Como dos gotas de agua. The voice, the hair, some of the same behaviorisms. I used to dread the comment, but now I’ve come to realize its just genetics– I am fifty percent her– its in my tree, my roots, passed down from the older generation to the younger. Older to younger with space to evolve. We decided to take the 2 hour bus ride out of Granada to see the Mezquita in Cordoba the next day. Mid-October and and the sun was beating down. “Go ask them this. Go ask them that.” buzzed in my ears until a map was placed in my hands and off we went in the proper direction.
The dented golden doors dully shone in the high noon sun, each yellow valley and hill reflecting and refracting the light creating a shimmering portal into the scared place. The shade instantly cooled the atmosphere as we walked into the patio of the Mezquita allowing our eyes to open a bit wider, as if in preparation for what lay inside the dry beige walls. Once inside our eyes took time to adjust from the blaze to the cool sanctuary that now surrounded us. Fuzzy arches became solid as a ceiling filled with Dr. Seuss-esque arches caused muscles to tighten pulling our eyes open wider in order to absorb more detail with each prolonged blink. Red and white stripes: two colors on opposite ends of a spectrum put together in a startling repetition. The colors of Christianity. The colors of Islam. Red. White. Repeat. Two religions clashed together in a symbolic and hovering battle. Completely different, yet so similar in nature and background. Red. White. Repeat. Similar morals taught. Histories obscured by years of prejudice. A Mosque. A Cathedral. Red. White. Repeat. The ultimate inquiry and opinion of who is Man and who is God artfully arched over and over as if to form never-ending cartoon question marks over the heads of the crowd. Jesus. Mohammad. Red. White. Repeat. The passing down of misconceptions, skewed perspectives, and dismissed unknowns from the old generation to the younger. Red. White. Repeat. Conquest ideology through the times: now almost glorified in a tourist destination. Reinforcement. We won. Christianity won. Old to young. La Conquista. 911. Christianity. Islam. Red. White. Repeat.

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