His face cringed as yet another splash of 16th century paint dripped mockingly on his tired face.
“I am not in the right place… I am not a painter”. – Michelangelo
Who would have thought these words would come out of this most famous painter’s mouth.
His most famous work of art during the Renaissance in the 16th century, the Sistine Chapel, took him 14 years to complete.(1508-1512).
Along with many laments characterizing his self written poetry of his painting experience, Michelangelo penned these words: “This is torture…” My brain is crushed”… ” every gesture I make is blind and aimless”….”my thoughts are crazy”… “My painting is dead”.
14 years of these laments, torturing his mind. And yet he carried on and created one of the masterpieces of all masterpieces.
At the age of 74, Michelangelo was called to save Saint Peter’s Basilica, himself painting for many of those next 14 years and instructing other painter’s to complete his work the last years before he died at the age of 89.
How often don’t we “lament” over things we know we are called to do in our hearts, and speak to ourselves loudly some of the same poetic words of one of the ultimate Renaissance Masters.
“This is torture… My brain is crushed… Every gesture is blind and aimless… I am not a painter… My painting is dead”.
We think our efforts are futile in our calling and passion because we may have this ever-present dialogue in our minds, perhaps 14 years… or even more.
You may not be the painter of the Sistine Chapel over 400 years ago now, but you may be the painter of the 21st century of encouragement, kindness, love generosity, hope, or even the best literal painter, along with all that looks like in our own unique gifts and Passions.
Do you constantly cringe from the “paint drips”… The feeling that every step you take in your passion is “blind and aimless” and even “dead” as Michelangelo lamented, though his gift was clearly not dead?
Despite these constant thoughts and feelings, Michelangelo went on to paint and oversee the Saint Peter’s Basilica till the day he died at the age of 89.
Take courage… Your thoughts and feelings don’t rule your abilities in your Passions. The world needs them. They are unique to only you on this planet of 7 billion. That fact alone makes your gift /passion priceless.
We can learn from this master painter of the 16th century. No matter or thoughts and feelings about our abilities and Passions.
Let the majestic colors of your unique gifts and Passions color your world with the brightest of the brightest hues only you can give.
But more than that, find your encouragement/ truth from the ONE who is the author of those gifts and Passions.
We may not reach 89 but we will all reach whatever day will be our last.
Make each day count and despite your self talk and discouragement… Keep moving.
And… Just keep “painting”.