Today is friday the 13th. A good day to stay home, not walk under a ladder or permit a black cat to walk in front of you. The day is considered an unlucky one in the western hemisphere.
Friday the 13th does not always occur only one time a year. In some years, up to three times.
Where did the day come from? What is its source?
Many a story behind friday the 13th. Which the real one? No one actually knows. People select which ever suits their fancy.
The most popular is the Last Supper. Jesus and his 12 disciples the evening of Holy Thursday. Thirteen purportedly for dinner.
Another source involves the Knights Templar which began with their arrest on friday October 13, 1307.
The story originates from a Norse myth. Twelve Norse gods were having a dinner party in Valhalla. There was a thirteenth god. Trickster Loki who had not been invited. His uninvited appearance made for 13 gods in attendance.
Loki killed the god Balder with a weapon which had been mistletoed on top.
It is said the whole Earth got dark, the whole Earth mourned.
As a result of Balder’s death, the combination of friday and the 13th day of the month have been considered bad and unlucky.
Return with me now to the Last Supper.
The Last Supper is a well known painting by DaVinci. It is a 15th century mural painting. Housed today in the Refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
I have been fortunate to have visited Milan on several occasions. On two, visited DaVinci’s Last Supper.
It is located on a large wall at the end of an even larger dining room.
The painting is neither small nor regular in size. DaVinci was not putting around when he decided to paint the Last Supper. I do not know its actual size. Huge the only way to describe it. Big! Also of course, spectacular.
The Last Supper is painted on the huge wall. The whole wall.
DaVinci first prepared the wall. He sealed the wall with a double layer of gesso, pitch, and mastic, with an undercoat of white leaf to enhance the painting’s brightness when it was done. Lastly, he covered the wall with secco (dry plaster).
He then painted.
In simple terms, DaVinci painted the Last Supper on some sort of concrete wall.
Very small groups were permitted in the former dining hall. There was sufficient room for many. However there was a concern that chemicals in one’s clothes and that germs emanating from the human nose might contaminate and destroy the painting. Before arriving at the dining hall, we had to take 2 separate elevators to “sanitize us” before even getting into the dining hall.
I was in awe of DaVinci’s work. I listened to the guide director’s words and then sat on a bench at a side wall for a half hour “contemplating” the work.
There were the 12 apostles and Jesus. The tour guide asked if anyone could see an additional person. No one could.
There was one in the painting.
Sitting to Jesus’ immediate left was John the Apostle. He was cloaked on his shoulder closest to Jesus in some sort of pink shawl. Looking closely at the shawl after having been directed to do so, there was woman leaning on it. Her face and upper torso.
The guide said many historians believe her to be Mary Magdalene. As the story goes, she was married to Jesus at the time. Even further, the story claims they had two children.
Mary’s purpose at the Last Supper was to help with the food, etc. Her role minor. It is further believed that she followed Jesus around as he washed the feet of the disciples. She would dry their feet.
What is it……Don’t believe everything you hear or read. I am the world’s greatest skeptic. Lawyer training does that to a person. Nevertheless, I have read parts of books and searched the internet re Mary and DaVinci’s Last Supper. There are those who believe DaVinci painted Mary into the Last Supper resting on John’s shoulder starring at Jesus.
It was not uncommon for artists in DaVinci’s day to sneak someone or something into a painting for no other reason than to see if the public could be fooled.
Fred will be visiting today or tomorrow. I may bite my words later, but it does not look that whatever is coming will be that bad. There is no calm before the storm this morning. The trees are blowing as they normally do every day.
Having so written, watch! I’ll probably have to be taken off my rooftop by helicopter.
Fred had reverted to a tropical depression. It is supposed to go back to being a tropical storm before it hits Key West and the lower Keys. Expected landfall later today or sometime tomorrow. Winds at its striking projected to be sustaining at 45 mph and gusts up to 50 mph.
I speak with some degree of authority. Key West is expected to be in the middle of the cone as Fred passes over. Never forget however wind storms of Fred’s nature are fickle. Fred may change his mind at the last minute and turn in another direction or with a different force.
Recall Irma. It was a category 5 approaching Key West. The damage would be disastrous. Very few buildings would be left standing. I was scared and got out of Dodge 5 days before its anticipated arrival.
Irma deviated slightly as it hit Key West. Slightly moved west and dropped to a category 1. Sixteen miles later when over Cudjoe Key, it became a category 4. Much destruction. Nothing seemed to be where it belonged. Cars in the water. Boats on U.S. 1. Houses in the ocean and on land turned sideways or upside down. Furniture everywhere.
Note again, the distance between Key West and Cudjoe Key is 16 miles.
Enjoy your day!