Saturday, February 18, 2012


" his mind's eye, St. Peter's...he entered the church through its front portal, walked in the strong Roman sunshine down the wide nave, stood below the center of the dome, just over the tomb of St. Peter. He felt his soul leave his body, rise upward into the dome, become part of it: part of space, of time, of heaven, and of God."

Irving Stone: the last lines of The Agony & the Ecstacy, his great novel/biography of Michelangelo.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti, who passed away 448 years ago today, on the 18th of February, 1564, not long before his 89th birthday. [Before I forget to say, there was a pretty marvelous movie based upon the book, back in 1965 and knocked out was I when I saw it, I think at the old Midland Theatre in KC]
Years & years later I had occasion to go to Rome - hard to believe now, but I was there. Got lost, turned around in the Vatican, but I craned my neck to see that ceiling that gave him so much trouble. Saw his David, too, in Florence. Nearly got bitten by a sick-&-bloody-tired-of-all-these-lousy-tourists horse in the courtyard of the Uffizi. Made a point of going to the great man's tomb. Mastered my shyness enough to kneel down - very briefly - before it, because, my gosh, what a master. Maestro.
It's Martin Luther's deathday, too, not so by the by. In 1546,.when he was 62.
How's that for a pair of intense gents? What a great deal they must have had to talk about on the other side. I must have death on the brain, after all that exultant funeral this afternoon.... Well, God rest 'em all.

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