Dan Brown’s blockbuster book/movie raised some old yet fascinating charges about the Vatican. Just recently, Leonardo DaVinci scholars raised some old yet fascinating charges about the restoration work being conducted on his masterpieces. Is there more here than meets the eye?
I think you’ll think so too.
The scholars are arguing about the smallest of details to the delicate restoration process. Rather like political scholars are with the smallest of the Iowa caucus votes. But there’s a big difference! The votes in tiny Iowa are but a tiny fragment of a tiny story that will be here today and gone tomorrow. In sharp contrast, the tiny story to the squabble over these masterpieces is not only here today, but it was here yesterday and will continue to be tomorrow.
The difference…? It’s between the timely and the timeless.
In our 24/7 electronic whoosh of reportage, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s new and what’s happening. People by the millions now rush through the day with earphones plugged into their heads so they can’t miss a beat or a byte. However, as you read about the devoted scholars lovingly hunched over a 500 year painting, you have the feeling the every-hour-on-the-hour reporting outside seems a bit silly in the presence of something so immortal inside.
The works of masters — DaVinci and Rembrandt, Bach and Mozart, Shakespeare and Emerson — have stood the test of time. Reminding us that what-has-been is often of greater importance to humanity’s heart and soul than what-is-now. Just maybe the nattering crowds that spill into our streets and malls and conference rooms each day are far too concerned with the glittering tyranny of impermanence.
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