The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is something I can’t actually believe I’ve seen in real life.
Michaelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’; an image that has been parodied time and time again, that covers the pages of thousands of books and papers the virtual walls of the internet – an image so famous, so deeply ingrained into your mind that it’s hard to comprehend that you have actually seen the real thing.
The images you see in books don’t nearly do the real thing justice – before you see it it’s easy to forget that it’s actually painted on a ceiling, along with an entourage of other beautifully intricate images and is ten times the size of the one that you have been looking at on Google. You forget that it is over 500 years old yet still looks pristine, that you’re surrounded by history that you just want to reach out and touch… but obviously you can’t; there’s a terrifying looking Nun standing at the back holding a strap, ready to scold anyone who even dares think about it…
However, it isn’t until you leave the chapel that you feel in awe; when you’re actually in there you’re herded like cattle, practically cheek to cheek to the Japanese tourist trying to take a sneaky, prohibited photograph; getting shushed by the hundred of religious old women for coughing or breathing too loudly.
Of course we couldn’t just keep quiet and get in/get out could we? The Boyfriend, at 6”2’ and towering above most of the people in there waited for the most silent of moments, sucked in a deep breath and bellowed “SHUSH”. It was one of those ‘stranger walks into a saloon bar’ moments from an old cowboy film; everyone seemed to turn and stare at us. Hurrying him out before the angry looking mob of Nuns caught up with us I hissed, “What the hell was that?”…
“I just wanted to be able to say I shushed people in the Sistine Chapel!”