I am a frequent meditator and I sometimes have visions the minute I close my eyes to meditate. This morning’s meditation took me to the Sistine Chapel. I was there on March 5th, 2013 and I remember it so well that I had to wipe away the tears while meditating. When I entered the room that day I was so overcome with emotion that I cried. Nothing prepares you for that vision and magnificence of what man can achieve, and I truly could not fathom the genius of Michelangelo. The above photo was taken by my iPhone so it’s blurry as the technology was not as advanced as today’s phones. At the time we were not allowed to take photos which is a common practice in many museums, but many people around me were sneaking in photos without a flash, of course. And one guy right in front of me was so cocky and bold taking photos with his selfie stick that I got so mad that he was so blatant and getting away with it so I took a few photos, too. Perhaps I’m as bad as he is, then. To lessen my guilt I want to emphasize that I didn’t use any flash!
As I sat in one of the benches against the walls I looked up in utter amazement. I could FEEL the awe of others in the room, too, and with all our heads tilted toward the ceiling it felt like a spiritual moment. And it was. I did not want to leave, and knowing that I will most likely never be in that room again I tried to linger a bit longer. When I visited and saw the entirety of all that I could experience in a few hours, I came out of the building to take a break. What I completely forgot about that amazing experience until this writing is that it truly was a miracle that I got to see the Sistine Chapel. You see, before I left for Rome from Chicago I almost hesitated on going because at the time the Papal Conclave was to take place which happens inside the Sistine Chapel. My Italian instructor at the time was in fear for me that I would not be able to see it. He made me consider going to Rome on a different date because of this fact but since the travel gods have always been on my side, I decided to go and take the risk. A few minutes after I came out of St. Peter’s Basilica and after the Sistine Chapel, I saw that I got an email from the Vatican Museum indicating that the Chapel will be closed that day from 1:00 pm until further notice. Whew! I just made it! I really was amazed.
As the pandemic is still ongoing without an exact end in sight, I dream, hope, and pray for normalcy so we can go back to enjoying all the wonderful human experiences, especially travel.