In the Jeffery rush film, The Best Offer, in which Rush plays an antique and art dealer, there is a magnificent room full, floor to ceiling, of paintings. Scenes of this room transported me back to the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, where there is a similar room, a replica of a room in a villa of the Grand Prince Ferdanando. The movie and my memory of the Uffizi had me considering the way we present and frame our lives.
If life were a canvas, or a tapestry, how would you frame yours? Would your emphasis be on the sections you didn’t favour? Would you frame to highlight the wonderful bits? Would you set your frame off centre and capture a small section of life that stood out for you?
Would you, perhaps, capture different aspects of your life in a variety of frames – small, large, in between, gilt, matt, oval, square, round and place them all on a wall for perusal, review, consideration; each picture telling a part of the story?
Or would you set out to encapsulate the entirety of it, choosing to include all parts- good, bad, indifferent, significant, seemingly insignificant?
Often we zoom in with a telescopic lens on sections of our life. I expressly remember learning about Michalangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings when in school. Particular panels were bought to our attention to engage us, excite us, to make us question – the skin of Michalangelo in the Last Judgement, the fingers of God and Adam and that extruciating gap between them. While they are intriguing and significant, they are but details that make up the whole and neither of these details tell the story of the whole work on their own. Nor would the work be the same without them.
Coming back to my musings on life as a work of art. I began reflecting on how often people I meet frame themselves by their past or by the dreams they have for the future. So many times I’ve heard people say things such as “I had a difficult childhood therefore …” or “One day I’m going to …” This type of focus serves only to capture in minute detail the intricacies of the one part, excluding all others. It’s like looking only at Mona Lisa’s smile and not recognising the depth in her eyes or the world outside her window. It isn’t you. It’s part of you but it isn’t the entirely of you.
As humans we use photos to caputre significant moments in time, and that’s fantastic. Memories are treasures but let us be aware this year as we go forth to enjoy new adventures, to live and learn and grow that we are more than a moment captured in time, we are the length, breadth and depth of our experiences here on this earth and all of them, the good, the bad, the ugly make up the rich tapestry of our lives.
Enjoy the whole of you. Celebrate your uniqueness and the small things that make you you but always see them as a part of a grand masterpiece. Do you need to reframe your masterpiece?