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Morning Coffee II – “Sto lavorando!”

Good morning, it’s been a week since I decided to add this feature to my blog and here is the first proper post that I’ve published for it. Get your favourite blend at the ready and join me for a short stroll through the Morning Coffee!

The content this week is going to be a quote that has stuck with me for a long time, I heard it on an episode of ‘Lost’ of all places and I haven’t had any success verifying the truth of it; true or not though, it’s a nice piece of encouragement and sounds true enough.

Ludovico Buonarroti, Michelangelo’s father. He was a wealthy man. He had no understanding of the divinity in his son, so he beat him. No child of his was going to use his hands for a living.

So Michelangelo learned not to use his hands. Years later, a visiting Prince came into Michelangelo’s studio and found the master staring at a single 18-foot block of marble. Then he knew the rumours were true that Michelangelo had come in every day for the past four months, stared at the marble, and gone home for his supper.

So the Prince asked the obvious, “What are you doing?” And Michelangelo turned around and looked at him and whispered, “Sto lavorando”. (“I’m working.”)

Three years later, that block of marble was the Statue of David.

What a powerful and awe-inspiring piece of prose that is.

I often think of this whenever I’m looking at a blank canvas or sheet of paper before starting a project or artwork; staring into the void and envisioning what it will become; visualising something clearly before committing my hands to work in accordance with my mind’s eye.

As I pointed out earlier, I can’t be certain that this quote is true of Michelangelo, but what I am sure of is that the concept and idea behind it is definitely true to me. It’s one of those quotes that I feel the need to print out and stick on the fridge, but doing that every time I have that thought would lead to my kitchen just being a mass of cut out quotes, a fridge that has been condensed under the weight of so much paper and a brain that has imploded due to the pressure of taking in so much advice or counsel at every entrance to the kitchen.

Breathe… Sip some coffee… Move on from that insane tangent

It’s nice to be able to write more freely for these posts, in fact it’s quite liberating, that’s probably the first time I’ve allowed myself to go off on a tangent on this blog since I started.

I think that the concept behind this quote can be applied to any endeavour, whether it’s artistic or not; though balance is vital. If for instance, Michelangelo just kept staring at that block of marble, informing those around him that he was working, but never actually took up the chisel, we probably wouldn’t have heard of him; and he definitely would have lost all of his patronage. 

There are a fair few key elements behind the concept, elements that can be formed into traits and ingrained into our personalities.

  • Patience
  • Vision
  • Purpose
  • Discipline
  • Focus
  • Motivation

Those are just a few of many elements that can be drawn from this quote, and possibly the ones that stand out the most for me personally, each individual may take more or less from it and perceive a different spin on it entirely. 

In any case, I’m pretty convinced that anyone who reads it can take something away from it, and I hope that they do.

Michelangelo’s David – 1501-1504

Well, my coffee is now finished, probably quicker than yours as it takes longer to write the post than read it, I hope you have enjoyed the content of Morning Coffee; I hope even more that you will join me at the same time next Friday for another.

It’s been a pleasure, and I sincerely hope you enjoy the rest of your day!


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