When I went to Italy, a lot of things happened. I woke up on the plane thinking I was blind when really, the eye mask I forgot I had on was to blame. I debated which cord to pull, which button to push or which leaver to turn to flush a toilet and ended up calling for help from the front desk of our hotel by, obviously, pulling the wrong one. I ordered champaign for breakfast instead of orange juice by trying out my Italian skills. And, I walked around San Gimingnano with a hole in my pants. Because, you know, I wanted to make a good impression.
But, while in Italy not only did I make some fun memories, make friends with an old man in a church and try liver (because I mean, you only live once, right?) I also got to see something I’ve wanted to see my whole life.
I’ll never forget the first time in Art History class I studied the ceiling. In fact, it was the subject of an entire exam. And me, being the nerd I am, loved every minute of it. Michaelangelo Buonarroti– he lit a fire in me that could not be quelched. My love for art and history kept me captivated to this one work. And I knew that someday, I wanted to see it for myself.
After spending hours zig-zagging through the Vatican, a small corridor leads into my favorite room of all. Not because of it’s gold lined ceiling or because of it’s historical artifacts– but the story behind the painting covering the ceiling. And the man behind the story. And most of all, his words.
”The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and miss, but we aim too low and reach.”
“If I am more alive because love burns and chars me,
as a fire, given wood or wind, feels new elation,
it’s that he who lays me low is my salvation,
and invigorates the more, the more he scars me.”
“With few words I shall make thee understand my soul.”
“It is necessary to keep one’s compass in one’s eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges.”
“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.”
Photo explanation: That’s my head. There’s a sign and two gaurds in the chapel that say “No Photos!” –complete with exclamation marks to sound extra viscious– but I snuck this one. You know. To be dangerous.