And then I spotted the first of many poor, injured, homeless people, begging for anything I might offer. It only took seconds for me to refocus and see dozens of these hungry and helpless- the alley across the way, the corner of the steps, in a setback cubby... My mind whirled. So many. I was sixteen. I grew up in the suburbs. This was new to me.
I stepped into the cool interior, inlaid marble, gold leafing, sculpture, stained glass masterpieces, beauty, majesty. I inhaled the grandeur and then rather than finding the peaceful presence of God, I grew angry with Him. How do you have all of THIS- when there are people on your very steps, starving? I felt confused, betrayed, even. How would I walk out those doors and pass those people, unable to help? How could anyone?
I knelt in front of the Pieta, what in my opinion was Michelangelo's greatest work. I can remember praying, and asking questions, that I wouldn't get answers to for many years. The tears started, and continued to leak out throughout the rest of my stay- when nobody was looking, when I wouldn't have to explain... And this went on for years.
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Pour into me so that I can pour out onto canvas. The Sacred Collective.