Friday, July 9, 2010
The Ceiling of the Blackbird Chapel...Michelangelo eat your heart out.
Sorry, this one's not too funny. I promise more absurdity next time. Honest.
I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Dublin, GA. The cute one. The one with culture and character and celing artwork that rivals that of the Sistine Chapel. I'm enchanted with the accoustic tiles, each of which has been purchased, designed and painted by a different customer. My neck hurts from staring upward at the crayola-esque slice of life quilt that hovers above.
Some tiles have serious themes, like the one directly overhead with a black background and a fetus cradled in the hands of God. The title states boldly "A Child, Not A Choice." Isaiah 4:42. I agree, but wonder how the tile's owner came to choose this message. Was an unwanted pregnancy something they'd grappled with? Did they choose child over convenience, or forever live with regret? Were they a former abortion clinic employee who saw too much? Or perhaps a labor and delivery nurse who witnessed countless miracles each day?
Another tile is covered by an enormous green eye reminiscent of Count Olaf in a Series of Unfortunate Events. Words are written in the lashes. If I were closer I'd read them. The eye appears void of emotion, unblinking, yet interested in nothing that comes into view.
As a kid, I loved to draw eyes, angry, villainous Cruella DeVille type eyes. The more sinister and cold, the better. I'm sure teachers wondered what was wrong with me as they passed my desk noticing that my notebook was filled with cruel, accusing eyes.
So many tiles here share Bible verses: John 3:16, Psalm 34:8, Proverbs 27:17, Philippians 4:13. That's one of my favorites. In the South, religion is part of our culture, not something we hide during the week and dust off on Sundays. God is a part of our everyday lives like flip flops and sweet tea.
Another mainstay of the South is college football. A handfull of tiles boast UGA, UT and Auburn logos.
Two stacked tiles honor the best friendship of Karlie and Beth. They like soccer, Diet Coke and smiley faces. I'm guessing they're preteens and wonder if they're still friends today. Or if their once BFF ship has hit an iceberg and sank like so many unbreakable bonds between friends, especially girls. Maybe Beth is now BFF's with Autumn three tiles over who likes rainbows.
"We Miss Kristin Gillis" says a tile near the coffee shop's entrance. I wonder who Kristin was or is, where she went. Is she simply on vacation, away at college, serving a life sentence in the state pen. Or maybe she's crossed the Heavenly threshold, leaving behind a throng of friends and family who'd give anything for another day with her.
Directly above me, I strain my neck to see a random view of outer space or perhaps a bad acid trip. Next door is a cave drawing with chaotic stick figures surrounding what I imagine as Brontosaurus bones. The next scene comes straight from a Corona commercial or Kenny Chesney song...beach, palm tree and umbrella. I'll go with that.
It's now 2:16 in the afternoon. Enough musing. Time to shut my laptop, re-enter the real world pick up kids, plan dinner, etc. Maybe one day I'll paint my own tile.