They have asked me to do that which I consider as impossible; improbable.
Ah! These foolish men! They think that to wield the brush is an exact art, one governed by certain rules of science. No. They are wrong; for to wield a tool as noble as the brush is to master the ability of one’s hands. You must be calm. Shaking hands and trembling fingers will only ruin your masterpiece. You must exude an aura of confidence. You must be able to breathe life into the colors that you have befriended, must let them glide across your canvass freely.
These men, they also think that I know everything in the field of the arts. They are mistaken. For I only know that when you paint, your mind must not be restricted, must not be caged. I only know that if you let Blue streak out smoothly, just as the sky above you does, but do not forget that it must too, be savage, inconsistent, just as the sea before you is, then you will achieve realism. And if you let Red sound his war drums in the morning, then in the evening, lay him to rest; let him speak of love and passion, you will understand the magnitude of his voice. I only know that each color, each hue and shade is different; utterly unique, and that you must handle each one with reverence, and with respect.
But, ah, truly they have asked me to do that which I consider impossible; improbable.
For how, O Lord, would one such as I, paint your perfect poetry? How would I, a sinner, dirty and stained, have the courage to paint your face, oh so pure? How am I to exhale life into your nostrils, bring vitality and compassion to your eyes, give warmth to your hands, and strength to the back that carried that wooden cross, as well as our sins, up the path to Calvary?
I cannot! I cannot! I refuse to be the one who will inevitably soil the Savior’s grace. I will not be the one who will make His portrait so unlike my Lord, so unlike He who is nothing but grandeur, nothing but beauty, nothing but perfection. I will not!
Oh Jesus, sweet Jesus! They will not stop! They are knocking, banging, threatening to bring down the doors of my humble abode. See? They will not stop until they persuade me to do their bidding. Dear Lord, I am not worthy to paint your lovely face. I am a sinner. I am a sinner.
Wait. Is that you, Lord? Yes, I can hear You now; hear You whispering in my ear. Do You really think so, my Lord? Should it really be I whom You will allow to paint your magnificent face? Yes, then, Lord. I will heed Your orders. I only hope that You will pardon my mistakes. Know that I will strive to bring You to the people by my brushes and paints. Yes, Lord. Of course, Your will be done.
In the year 1508, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, started to paint his grandest fresco yet, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He spent four years, laboring to bring to perfection his Lord’s Word, and Life; the Creation, the Downfall of Man and the Promise of Salvation through the prophets and Genealogy of Christ. Today, people from all walks of life, upon entering the Sistine Chapel, look up in awe, and silently praise the painter whose life was dedicated to the service of his Church, and God.
I am but a tool in His hands. For they asked me to do that which I thought was impossible; improbable, and yet, with His guidance and grace, I have succeeded in giving this world a reminder that God is very much alive, and that He lives in all of us. These were my last thoughts as I lay, content at last with the world.
I was born a sinner in the eyes of men, and yet, to Him, my Savior, I was born a painter; a painter whom He called His son, His child.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.