Saturday, July 7, 2012
There's a Little Michelangelo in All of Us
"Every block of granite has a statue in it and the task of the sculptor is to discover it."-- Michelangelo
Michelangelo was someone who discovered his call at an early age. He sculpted the Pieta when he was 24 and David when he was 29 . His work is arguably the most prolific and amazing of all time. But although I have been awed by the beauty of the Sistine Chapel and had my breath taken away by the splendor of David, it's hard to relate to a guy who was such a genius.
Which is why I love the sculpture I was so lucky to see in person yesterday. He was commissioned to do create his main patron's, Pope Julius II, tomb in 1505 but it wasn't completed and installed until 1545 in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli (even though the Pope died in 1513 and is buried in St. Peter's.) Michelangelo envisioned creating one of the greatest tombs ever known with 40 ornate statues and three levels. But things like the Sistine Chapel and fewer dollars got in the way and the tomb eventually was reduced in size and scope. He still created an amazing Moses and a better tomb than most have ever seen but it was said that Michelangelo considered the diminshed tomb to be one of his greatest artistic disappointments.
Why do I love this story and this sculpture? Because I can relate to bigger dreams than what I am able to accomplish. I can relate to being disappointed when things don't turn out the way I had planned. I can relate to other things and money getting in the way of living my call, my life as fully and as passionately as I wish I could.
Every block of granite has a statue in it and the task of the sculptor is to discover it. Every human being has a call, a unique purpose and meaning, in them and the task of each one of us, with the the help of the sculptors of life and/or God, is to discover what it is. Sometimes it might even take 40 years...give or take a few masterpieces on the way.