CANADA, January 20, 2014 — In the order of profound acquaintanceship?
The Pieta! First experienced it as sculpture and not as a mere photo while visiting the Vatican in Rome.
Then, The David.
Yes, I had not only read The Agony and The Ecstasy and seen the film of that celebrated novel about Michelangelo by Irving Stone, but actually met the film’s star, Charlton Heston, years later, during a film we had both been cast in.
Oh, I know, Mr. Heston had been an actor and not a great sculptor himself, but so are a number of fairly good men and women I have worked with over the decades. Barring John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of yet another man I idolize, Abraham Lincoln, The Players’ Profession has made life more bearable for not merely millions of men and women, but billons of them.
That said, why has Michelangelo Buonarroti almost achieved divinity itself in the not-so-humble opinion of myself?
My first glimpse of The Pieta in Rome.
I not only wept seeing it but my legs almost gave out from under me. After recovering, I finally came to some realization of what had happened:
Michelangelo saw life, art, and history, not as most men see it.
Michelangelo saw Life in the same way God sees it.
If that’s not a sign of Divinity, I don’t know what would be. We are God’s children and, despite appearances, He virtually adores every one of us! Occasionally lifts us to almost unbearably delicious heights.
No. Chances are Mother Mary and her Son were not in real life the visions of perfection that Michelangelo made of them.
In God’s eyes, however, Jesus and Mary were as breathtakingly exquisite as they appear in Michelangelo’s Pieta; and, if it is possible, perhaps even more overwhelming.
If we fully experienced God’s idea of Perfection we might not be able to withstand it. I certainly doubt if I could.
Michelangelo, however, brought me close enough to such a miracle. The experience permanently changed my life. And I might add, eternally so. I realized that Possibility Itself, rather like a God, is Infinite.
As for Michelangelo’s architectural genius as co-designer of the Vatican and his sacredness as a painter?
The Divine Buonarroti not only painted The Face of God, he had, in the all-too-brief but Divinely Ultimate Epiphany, become The Almighty.