Pieces of The Sistine Chapel

After leaving St.Peter's square we were covered in water and ready to make the short journey around the city walls. We were going to call it a day but I thought it was best we do it all including the Vatican museums. By now it was around 2pm and they all would be closing within the next three hours. We approached it like other museums knowing we may not have time to see everything but started big and worked our way back down. We honestly didn't see much art or sculpture and spent most of the afternoon on a journey to The Sistine Chapel. I say journey because it is not a one stop shop. You must enter the main museum and walk past most exhibitions to get to the chapel. At some points we were outside making the trek and cutting clear through the Vatican City. I can easily say I felt mislead by the all the fanfare and expected to be disappointed much like seeing the Mona Lisa. Instead once there everything slowed a bit and it was a very intimate viewing of an amazing space. Sadly what we saw was not to be discussed and we were not allowed to take any photographs. There were many that chose to take chances ruining it for others. Today the chapel is nearing closed invitations for viewing only because too much traffic is ruining the structure. So as put off as I was about the experience of seeing it, I am one of the lucky ones. I can't share a lot of insight on what I saw that day but I did do this…

This dark image is of our feet inside The Sistine Chapel. I just could not help myself. We had been tortured all the way over to it. I think the entire excursion was just shy of an hour. We were hurdled into tight spaces. We were rushed past huge halls of ceiling paintings that were better than those in the chapel. We couldn't even stop to ogle at gigantic cabinets of rubies, gold and capodimonte. Most of us ran to open windows just to see the private city and sniff the olive infused air. We again were commanded to cover up our indecent shoulders and knees. We were then let inside a stairwell to the chapel. We were yelled at to stay silent out of respect. There was seating along the walls but no one would get up. You couldn't even speak to someone to allow them your seat so people broke out in sprints to take empty ones. Once I found a seat and looked up it all made sense. I'll just say it is not as grand as you may have wanted it to be. The colors are really muted. That famous portion you see is about as big as a novelty poster. There are hundreds of little posters all above. When you sit down and look up you can see the story as it was meant to be told. That small iconic image is no longer important. Then all you can do is look to your neighbor and tear up because you are witnessing greatness no one told you all about. Then how can you enjoy it when someones phone rings or the guard yells or more people coming rushing in. It is dark. It is small. It is precious. I really wanted to speak and I couldn't so as we were leaving I grabbed her and pulled my phone out and looked at her and held the phone downward and pressed the button. It was probably the worst thing I could have ever done. I just wanted a piece of it. However, it must have wanted a piece of me because my scarf fell off. I only noticed once we were halfway out of the museum very far from the chapel. I couldn't run back inside and audibly ask people had they seen it and no one would have been allowed to run after me or call for me to get it.

It has a piece of me. Well her. It was her scarf that she was going to donate but I took it. Everyone loved that scarf. Sometimes it got me into trouble at work. I liked to wear it as a head wrap. But it was doing me no justice all day. When I told her I lost it she looked so disgusted. She didn't want it anyways. It was the only thing I had of hers. She walked ahead of me for the hundredth time and behind her I was smiling. I like to think it is currently being mashed around by feet shuffling blindly as their owners look up into the fresco sky. Maybe a female guard took it. Maybe some kid from a private school group picked it up. Maybe it was donated to the church. Maybe some gypsy or tour guide is loaning it at the city walls. Maybe someone reached down from the painted heavens and grabbed it. I didn't feel any loss. I felt nothing but gain. 

So yeah. I have a piece of it….

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