‘Cruel mercy and merciless grace’

I awoke this morning thinking about Michelangelo. I don’t know why. Maybe he was in a dream.

I awoke this morning thinking about Michelangelo. I don’t know why. Maybe he was in a dream.

As I tried to piece together the shadows, streaks of memory and sensations that all forgotten dreams leave us, I was reminded of a story from NPR’s Weekend Edition. In April, then-host Liane Hansen spoke to Leonard Barkan, author of “Michelangelo: A Life on Paper,” which, NPR explained, examined the artist’s “old notes, doodles and poems.”

The program’s Facebook page posted photos of two unfinished poems. They’re a little odd but touching. Michelangelo also used the paper for drawings, and those are exquisite.

The last four lines of the second poem continue to haunt me, perhaps because it comes so suddenly to a brutal end:

Cruel mercy and merciless grace
left me alive and cut you off from me,
breaking but not extinguishing our bond;
and not only did they deprive me of your memory …

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA Oasis
2. SPYING GLASS Massive Attack
3. ROXIE Renee Zellweger
4. THE SEA Morcheeba
5. HANDS OF TIME Groove Armada
6. PART OF THE PROCESS Morcheeba
7. PLAYGROUND LOVE Air
8. TRIGGER HIPPIE Morcheeba
9. WHITE FLAG Dido
10. BROTHERS Ry Cooder

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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