Thrilling and fast, as if the train never stopped. I was kept barreling through the city without revivicest. I dropped off my bag and walked around the Vatican with the heat sucking in my long sleeve black dress. I wished desperately to whip it off in exchange for a bikini and a dip in the Sea. I kept focus on the task at hand, ignoring the peddlers with their pretensions, and found my way inside the Vatican. Staring at a map, a headphone, and an app. which wouldn’t tell me where to go. An expert in a blue uniform sensed my confusion and lead the way to my beloved Sistine Chapel. I whisked past the maps, library, treasures, exquisite tapestries, knowing tomorrow I would spare my time with a guide, but today belonged to Michelangelo, indeed, most of the trip belonged to the poor non painter, sculptor, and architect.
The Chapel was not as crowded this Friday as I had been lead to believe. I saw so many breaking the rules and photographing his beautiful legacy. I could not disgrace the artist so; the entire Vatican city is available to shoot. I looked up, the fibrosis in my neck strained against me, and pain shot through my head. Tears weld in my eyes from the strain, comraderi, and the glory of story of God’s creation as seen and painted by a young Michelangelo.
I held my breath as the figures danced before my blurry eyes. I had no guide, no map in my hand to guide me, just the story. The ascent into heaven, on the wall representing the Last Judgement held me in rapture. I went scene by scene, the art in such detail the ceiling came alive. I weep now in remembrance of the beautiful fresco.
I stare. Blurry eyed, tissue in hand, at the green rolling hills as Rome falls away to reveal Florence. I met a restaurateur who lived in Rome his whole life, and never has taken the $40 train here. I am thrilled to be alive, heart open, and pushing myself to ascend from that which tries to pull me down.