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Floating in Aqueous Humor

Michaelangelo. To me, the name means ‘enigma.’ I was grown before I started to comprehend the extent and magnitude of his life, the flecks of DNA he left behind in a chiseled finger, a swath of plaster and paint, a daydreaming doodle, or a stone pediment. How could a creative with such ADD excel at everything he touched? Was he a first a painter, a sculptor, an architect or a writer?

A friend sent me a fragment of his writing this week. Through the eons, he spoke to me. I heard his voice, and I cried. Knowing a man so gifted experienced the same crushing frustrations feeds my spirit.

May his words nourish you today in your struggle to create.

I’ve got myself a goiter from the strain.
My belly’s pushed up by force beneath my chin.
My beard toward heaven.
I feel the back of my brain upon my neck.
My brush above my face continually makes it a splendid floor by dripping down.
My loins have penetrated to my pouch.
My rump’s a crupper as a counterweight.
And pointless, the unseeing steps I go.
I’m not in a good place, and I’m no painter.

- Michaelangelo, while painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Thank you, Amber, for thinking me a tough cookie and for caring. xo

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. I just want to know who the heck he got to put all those numbers on the ceiling??!

    November 5, 2011
    • Between your early morning comic and this comment, you may help me laugh my way out of my migraine, Lou.

      Go Buckeyes! Eat more Jeni’s!

      November 5, 2011
      • A laugh is always a good start to healing pretty much anything. Hope you get better.

        November 5, 2011
      • That is one heck of a paint by numbers set. And if you want a good laugh – then yes, Lou’s Buckeyes are where to look!!

        November 5, 2011
      • If I can laugh with a headache, then it was pretty funny. You are both cracking me up today.

        November 5, 2011
  2. Hmmmm…
    To you his name means ‘enigma’ but to me Michaelangelo means a dude hanging precariously high above the ground getting paint dripped all over his face… and for what? lol!!!! ;) ;)

    November 5, 2011
    • Anybody who could do something like that is an enigma to me. ;)

      November 5, 2011
  3. Knitting isn’t so hard, but it does present its own challenges. :-)

    November 5, 2011
  4. Often, I’d guess, much of the challenge is simply finding one’s talent and then believing in it. Who’d have thought that anyone so gifted would have suffered such uncertainties? “Sticktoitiveness” DOES pay off! :)

    November 5, 2011
    • I think it is the willingness to fling it before the world in spite of how one may feel about it that takes the most guts.

      November 5, 2011
  5. The best artists have the deepest self-doubt. There is no way to stand on that peak without at some point looking down and being pulled toward it. Of perhaps worse, to look up and realize the sky above you knows no bounds.

    Take heart, take comfort in your bounds, and know the ground beneath your feet is solid and we are here to hold you up, and push you forward.

    November 5, 2011
  6. We all have our bad days….and don’t his word show how such feeling of defeat are not just mental but physical? His words are immediate.

    Courage, mon ami :-)

    November 5, 2011
    • His words hit me like a rock. He could’ve written them yesterday.

      November 5, 2011
  7. ‘I’m no painter.’ It’s encouraging that even he doubted from time to time.

    November 5, 2011
    • I hope it encourages all of us, Earlybird. It certainly spoke to me.

      My harvest of peppers is ginormous this year. Every time I pull another bright red bit, I think of your lovely “necklace.”

      November 5, 2011
  8. I like this one, Andra… and you’re right – you can feel his frustration through his words.

    November 5, 2011
    • Thanks, Tom. It is good to know geniuses get frustrated. :)

      November 5, 2011
  9. Great post Andra. Did he hang upside down to paint? or did the finished works get hoisted up? I think it was probably the former, in which case I understand why and how his gut was under his chin! Love it! He was human after all…

    November 6, 2011
    • Denise, he was hoisted up on a scaffolding system. I think he painted flat on his back. I can’t imagine how one could have the perspective to create the images in the Sistine Chapel from that close.

      November 6, 2011
  10. Creative spirit, genius or not, is a double eded sword isn’t it? One must create, even when it’s hard/impossible, even when it’s deformed or incomplete, in the midst of a storm of angst, and then one must put it before the world, warts and all. Hell! And yet, what sweet hell it is, the chance to sometimes fly and conjure great magics, to give the world wonder. No matter how it batters, it is always worth it.

    November 6, 2011
  11. Amber Deutsch #

    Just catching up after being out of town and – most lovely – out of cell and internet range. Glad you got the card and it spoke to you. I carry his words with me, to remind me I do not always have the best perspective of where I stand.

    November 7, 2011
    • It was a gift. Thank you. Hope you had a good weekend.

      November 7, 2011

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