‘The puzzle is why so many people live so badly.’*
‘At the deepest level of the human heart there is no simple, singular self. Deep within us there is gallery of different selves.’**
In Florence’s Academia Gallery, four unfinished statues of slaves line the approach to Michelangelo’s David. These four are also by Michelangelo and they have fascinated me ever since I first heard about them. They epitomise the quest we find ourselves born into – to free ourselves in order to become all that we can be.
The struggle is to be free of judgement (this is it), cynicism (who cares?), and fear (what will happen if … ?) – from both within and without. Someone once told me there’s a theory that Michelangelo never intended finishing these statues. Maybe the quest will remain an unfinished one, and, yet, this is where we find life.
The journey makes us.
(*From Eugene Peterson’s Run With the Horses.)
(**From John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara.)