One of the most spectacular things to see in Florence, perhaps in the world, is the statue of David, sculpted by Michelangelo. The location of the sculpture is in the Academia museum, sort of in the back. The rest of the museum is filled with lots of paintings of the saints and of Madonna and Child. In fact this was one of the museums that made Madonna and Child a meme on CR10. Any painting we didn’t understand of a woman instantly was labeled as “Madonna and Child” by our group. But I can talk about CR10 memes in another post.
Once we emerged in the hall with David at the end, our jaws dropped. This was it. This was the masterpiece. But there were several other sculptures on the sides of the hall. These sculptures are less famous, probably because they’re incomplete. However, I enjoyed them as much, if not more than the actual statue of David. These incomplete sculptures allowed us to see how Michelangelo’s vision was transferred into marble, how one single slab of rock could be turned into a man. They show humans emerging from the stone, rather than the finished product.
Once we made it to the feet of David and he stood towering over us, we understood how Michelangelo transferred his vision to the piece of rock. It’s amazing how the story of that statue relates to our own lives. Michelangelo was told time and time again that the slab of marble he wanted to use was worthless; that it would never become anything beautiful. But he saw David inside that rock, and new he just had to carve it out.
How many times in our lives do we believe the lie that we’re not good enough? That we won’t reach the beauty we are striving for? I know in my own life, it’s really easy to fall into that trap. But I believe that there is a master sculpture out there that takes one good look at the mess I’ve made of my life and carves out a work of art. I recognize that not everyone believes the same things I do, but isn’t it nice to know that our most disgusting messes can be cleaned up and made beautiful with no more than the vision of that beauty? That’s a thought I find comforting, and the I think that museum was set up the way it was to show us exactly that. We don’t have to be perfect right now; no one expects that. But we all have the potential to be great and to make a lasting impact on the world, even if everything else tells us otherwise. Something spectacular can be made out of the chaos of our lives.