HOW TO ACHIEVE INNER ‘SERENITY’

“TO:  The Supreme Pontiff Julius II           

FROM:  M. Buonarroti, artist

RE:  Interior Decorating

Most Holy Father,

It grieves me that your Holiness is unhappy with the progress on the Sistine Chapel.

Admittedly, it’s taken a little time and we’re into a slight cost overrun, but Your Holiness must admit this isn’t something that can be done with a numbered kit.

It’s hard on the neck, too. And, while you don’t do the shopping,You must know the price of fresco colors is out of sight! A couple more years should do it.

Your obedient servant,

Michelangelo

P.S. I beg to point out to Your Holiness that there is nothing in the contract about scraping the sash in the Vatican Refectory. As I’ve said before, I don’t do windows.”

(From an ancient account in Rome’s Vatican Library. Date has been effaced, but is believed to be circa AD 1510)

 

Yes, you read correctly.

This excerpt was written by that Michelangelo, the one of Sistine ceiling fame.

I happen to love this quote!

It’s a page straight out of history, yet – despite the passage of 500 years – not a lot has changed.

It could just as easily have been written yesterday.

Truth be told, the first time I heard this was at a meeting, where the speaker read it aloud before a room full of interior designers.

You can be sure it got a good laugh.

However, I think just about anyone can relate to Michelangelo’s words.

For example, if you’ve ever taken on a project that ran into cost overruns, or was not completed on time, this letter will sound painfully familiar.

Then there’s the part about the “numbered kit”.

Did such a thing even exist back then? (Apparently so).

What Michelangelo was basically saying, was that painting the Sistine ceiling was not just any old work of Art.

His letter makes plain that this was part of a very involved process – one that could not be rushed.

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