Thursday, November 29, 2012

When in Rome...

Photo op score


One of many many halls
I am overwhelmed with the buildup as we slowly traipse through the Vatican Museum toward the Sistine Chapel.  There are SO many rooms to go through and I had no idea what they had in place on the path to the epic finale.  That a group of people took so much time and cared so much about creating such beauty is so humbling and truly life-impacting.  Is there a group of people alive today that have such a commitment to that level of perfection and the advancement and creation of art?  The build up is like...I can't give it words - I know what is coming and the beauty on the way there is so epic that I am almost overwhelmed with just the anticipation for the visual prize awaiting me.  With each room my heart swells a little bit more, and the glass of wine I had on the way in here isn't helping.  The colors get more vivid with every hall and room.  The gold shimmer in the paint makes it feel like it was done yesterday.  
The only picture...
And there it is.  The ceiling.  We are not allowed to take pictures or even speak above a whisper in this room, which I am appreciative of.  I woozily stare above, completely drowning in utter humility and gratitude.  I used to look at this in a book and consider seeing it with my own eyes a far off fantasy.  It took many years for me to be able to believe that I was going to see this in person some day.  And as I write this, I am sitting here, struggling to hold back the tears.  I expected this, I'm a sap.  I did fine for the first few minutes, but the longer I sat and stared and thought about my life from the moment I fell in love with the picture and the idea of this magnificent work to this very moment, sitting below it in real time, taking the entire scene in with my own eyes, with my own soul - it is my reality now.  I believed that someday I would bask in this creation first hand and now here I am.  It is possible.  All is possible.  And the journey to get there is beautiful.  My gratitude and humility have been lifted to the highest level they have ever been.  
What happened in our world to make the creation of such a magnitude of beauty cease being so important and valued?  We as humans see that time period as the epitome of artistic endeavors - why did we not continue to progress?  I know it changed forms and necessity for certain things affected the process... but to me it displays a potential in humankind that rarely is tapped into today.  It is simultaneously mysterious, heartbreaking and beautiful to think about.  It is also inspiring - to make me want to reach into the very depths of my soul to find what I am capable of as an artist.  To share our greatest abilities and achievements with the world is what moves and changes it, and I feel it is our duty as humans to do so.  Michelangelo did just that, and his impact on the world is immeasurable while he was only doing what came naturally to him.  What if we all followed that lead? What would our world be like?
As the sun was setting over the city and we were standing on the bridge of angels, the lights on the Vatican and St. Peter's Square were beginning to alight.  It was so beautiful, it almost didn't look real.  To top off the epically romantic scene, there was a man playing deliciously beautiful acoustic guitar that amplified off the river.  And if the cheesy romantic factor could not go any higher, my delicious husband leaned in and asked if I would marry him...again.  And we've only been here 7 hours... man.  What a city.  
Our Thanksgiving dinner table
Thanksgiving dinner in front of the Pantheon, freshly made salmon gnocchi, a bottle of local wine, walking in 40 confused circles around the city, coffee gelato... I may OD on awesome before the weekend is up. 
The Colloseum! As we were wandering around the city all wine and gelato-d up, we accidentally turned onto the road that held the Colloseum at the end.  What an incredible spectacle, especially at night. So enormous and emanating of brutal history.  So much more amazing in person than I expected it to be from pictures.  The ruins, the Roman Forum, the massive carvings of the Roman Empire in all its phases... I love my fabulous husband and his joy about the things that bring me joy as well.  Our hostel and hostess were wonderful, and the olive oil was so smooth I could drink it. 
Not sure what else to say.  EPIC weekend, so beautiful, romantic and exhausting.  Plus I found the greatest t-shirt ever:
Allllll the photos from the adventure can be seen by clicking HERE!
 
With deep gratitude,
Emily