Forgive me, Father, but I love this story.
A woman with GOOD INTENTIONS tried some amateur restoration work on the deteriorating fresco at her local cathedral as you do (DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!) but the results were less than full-on beatific.
Poor thing. Can't you relate? I can. How many times has something like this happened to me, and I don't realize the exalted artistic vision in my head will not translate onto the canvas/car engine/sauté pan/Smoky Eyelids/why can't I fix a toilet if men with public back crack can/perfect crime/bangs of my neighbor with the anger problem until it's much too late and Jesus looks like a bad paint-by-number or worse, like he's wearing one of those hipster knit hats with animal ears?
No good deed goes unpunished and all that?
Never let a morality play from el corazon go unnoticed, though, that's what I'm telling myself. I will use the pain and heartbreak of Cecilia Giménez as an object lesson to be remembered when I am tempted by Good Intentions.
NOTES TO SELF: LESSONS FROM THE EFFED UP FRESCO
1. Remember the priests will throw you under the bus. Monks you can count on, but get it in writing from the priests.
2. When in trouble, don't confess before you toast slice after slice of rustic bread until Jesus' face emerges to see if the Vatican will accept it quid pro quo. Resist temptation to augment the results with Nutella--remember the fresco, less is more.
3. Blame Martha Stewart! It worked in 2004.
4. Throw Pinterest under the damned bus. Seriously. Come to think about it, they are lucky Cecilia didn't cover the fresco in chalkboard paint and surround it with an altar filled with flickering Mason jars containing glowsticks, oil, Chinese explosives and glitter.
5. Stencils lie.
6. Quit being an Over Achiever. That's the big lesson here. Did the countless people who ignored the problem, did nothing to make it better, didn't have to scrub their hands nightly with turpentine until they were stoned kookier than a Pedro Almodóvar heroine – did those lazy rats get raked over by the international press corps? No they did not.
7. Live by the Prophesies of Bob Ross: Stick with mountains and trees, my child. Faces, hands, phalanges of any kind will harsh your mellow painting buzz.
8. There still is a role for White Out in the post-post-modern world. Photoshop can't fix all ugly.
9. When Catholicism feels judgey, Lutheranism is an option. Also that church with the rainbows.
10. Tell the villagers you were kidding.
I hope they make Frescogate into a movie starring Catherine Deneuve as the determined lady painter and David Bowie as the Priest and Joaquin as the Ecco Homo fresco that talks as it's restored and may or may not be possessed. I want to see that film.