Happy Birthday, Raffael
Of course, now that the formality is over, I will just call you by your nickname, by which we have known you for eons: “Raphael”.
I hope you don’t mind the impromptu party; but you yourself seemed to suggest it. After all, I was just on YouTube in the wee hours of this morning, your birthday, watching Giant Panda’s cuddling their cubs, and Panda youngsters playing, inspired by Michael Creese’s beautiful panda series on RedBubble. Yes, there is a “RedBubble”; and it’s in Australia, Raphael. Amazing how the world changes, in just a few centuries, isn’t it. For you, though, I imagine it is just a blink of the eye.
But how you found me on your birthday, laughing over the Panda videos, is still a minor miracle to me. Yes I was very relaxed, and clicked an Art video, which led to others; when I saw your name among a long list of hour-long documentaries. Curious, because I don’t know much about you, I viewed the following video. You enchanted, me Raphael, with your manner of study, your humanistic approach, your effusive light, and bold-against-delicate color, your space in time. The hour became a minute.
And when the narrator said that you were “born April 6”, I had to look twice at my wall calendar (a Chick-fil-A wall calendar, with “King George the VI Ounce” cow) to make sure that, in fact— wow, that very same day, in my own time and space, was April 6— your birthday. You are 530 years old.
Happy Birthday, Raphael. You died too young, also on April 6. Thank you for finding me this day, and rekindling our relationship. You were and are a superstar. Now blow out those candles!
Raffael Sanzio da Urbino’s
Stanza della Segnatura
featuring what is known as “The School of Athens” on the right wall