Thursday, June 14, 2007

God is in the big things

What can you expect from a country that's barely a country - smaller even than Disneyland ?

Its main square is not really a square, it's rather curvy.
Its flagship Church is more of a tomb, with St Peter's murder/martyrdom spot about it.
Its noted museum is no mere museum, it is an artifact that ought to be in a museum itself.
To top it, this Vatican City is a certified antique, and yet looks not a day older than I! What's more, like a kid, it struts about, preening about having its own postal system being all independent from Italy's, and then goes on to cheerfully survive without any immigration and border posts at its walls.

With all the contradictions dotting it, one should seriously doubt the Vatican's ability to do what it sets out to do: See how it started off with the bloody Crusades as a direction towards building a peaceful world, to more recently when its Pope Benedict made remarks to start dialog with the Muslim world and instead ended up angering them with that very speech for friendship.

And yet, and yet, and yet - the Vatican City ends up achieving exactly what it sets out to do - make you go Ohmygod!

The moment you enter the massive columns into St Peter's square, you know you are in a special place whose grandness has no equal. The square is big enough to accommodate 35000 people comfortably seated. And the surrounding statues are tall enough for you to recognize them, even if you are 35000 people away.

I'm not going to bother going into a travelogue here - I am no good with descriptions, and there's no way I can describe what it felt like to see one of my favorite paintings (Fresco actually) - creation of Adam - up on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Just consider that I still remember the first time I saw God's hand barely touching Adam's in a magazine when I was a kid, thanks to an ad that had pilfered the work to sell an Onida (I think).

So after two decades of spying it in magazines and coasters and reprints and t-shirts, it was like meeting a hot classmate from early-teenage days at school that I had a crush on and could finally lech at satisfactorily.

Now, leaving the Vatican, I doubt any other city's relics or museums will impress me, ever, or at least for a long, long time to come, or at least till the end of this vacation!

1 comment:

Raccoon said...

"the Vatican City ends up achieving exactly what it sets out to do - make you go Ohmygod"