Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Advent 4

Isaiah ~ Michaelangelo ~ Sistine Chapel


I could write about a number of things in connection with Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel portrait of Isaiah, which turned up when I did a google search for images of the prophet whose words form the backbone of this week's readings in Christian churches.

I could write about gazing at the ceiling for an hour one day during the summer we took our children to Italy.

I could write about the course I'm taking right now on the prophets. GREAT course.

I could write about the various quandries of my life, so intense at times that twice this week when someone asked me a perfectly ordinary question, a question along the lines of "What are we doing?" I responded somewhat absentmindedly, "Do you mean that in an existential sense?"

But today, when I looked at this painting, I thought of Michaelangelo himself, lying on his back on top of the scaffolding for four years, arguing with the pope as he did what he did not want to do and fretted over his rivalry with Raphael, painting frescoes down the hallway.

We hear the words of the prophet and we look at subsequent artistic renditions and we think, "They got it exactly right."

But it did not feel that way at the time.

Something to think about.

2 comments:

Kathryn J said...

One of my advent exercises is to read Isaiah. This planned even before this wonderful journal entry. I am so caught by the readings - I need to think more about them.

mompriest said...

ah, creation that continues to create as it inspires through the centuries...so sad he was caught up in what the Pope wanted and his rivalry, but so very human...