We're on day four, my last full day in Rome. I had a big ol' sleep in, then went to the Vatican City and Saint Peter's Basilica, the biggest church in Christendom. The piazza itself is breathtaking. Standing in it, you are surrounded by 140 marble saints perched up on top of massive columns. There was a pretty huge line running along the base of the columns. Those who come on a Saturday in June would laugh at me saying that on a rainy Tuesday in March. I was happy waiting, looking up at the saints, tucked inside my only Italy purchase so far; a big warm puffy raincoat I bought on the way here this morning. Is the fact that it's cold and rainy here a problem? No, it's a shopportunity!
I made my way inside and was, of course, blown away. But I was expecting to be blown away. What I wasn't expecting was to be standing in Saint Peter's listening to a sermon and suddenly realize I could understand every word of it! Thank you Rosetta Stone! And my obsessive-compulsive approach to hobbies. I wasn't really listening at first, absorbed in all the detail, but he was speaking really slowly and clearly and it all shifted into focus. I was so happy! I went to All Saints church after to watch a performance of opera arias, an 'Opera's Golden Hit Parade'. I couldn't understand it all (and it wasn't all in italian) but I could get bits and pieces. It made opera feel totally different, less stuffy and elite and more like people with emotions pouring their hearts out. It was a brain shift for me.
And it lasted long enough to sit and do this sketch. Which will turn into a painting. Which will turn into a linocut.