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Written By: Joseph Same

INTRODUCTION

I’ve never been a fan of introductory remarks, introductions, forwards, prologues, prefaces, etc., yet I understand their necessity in certain cases, and this, I believe, is one of those. I didn’t wish that my reaction to Mr. Da Vinci and Ms. Gherardini be reproduced yet again, however, apparently some did, and evidently petitioned my city’s mayor George Jennifer that he help facilitate such a development.
So, I’ll not attempt to block this reuse. But, let it be remembered that my meetings with the two above mentioned mortals did really occur. I live in a city like no other. And within its limits the occurrence of any thought, action or event which is either within or beyond the current scope of human perception is a possibility. Thus, I did in reality travel backward to Renaissance Florence. And yes, I found it to be a mecca of hope and vibrancy. And at that time there was what I’d term “a liberation of thought and lifestyle” there, and I found myself often simply staring at people and objects – trying to guess (or remember) what effect they’d have upon humans yet to be born. But it was also a time of individualism - a time in which mortals took care of themselves, rather than crossing rivers so that people living to their north could provide for them.

EXCERPT FROM “THE SAME TAPES”

Italian woman, your portrait hangs in my mind as a lantern in a lighthouse. Indeed the “keeper” should have arrived there in the waning daylight then to “turn on” the great lights which may have guided seafarers who traversed upon nearby waters as the sun’s supplied light was removed by night’s expected darkness. But should he have arrived late, through whatever reason, valid or not, he may have grasped the lantern then to grant himself a lesser light as he searched for the mechanisms necessary to illumine those greater.
Mona Lisa, you are such a lesser light which helps us find the greater. And I believe you to be the greatest of those lesser lights which help mortals find their way upon seas of earthly confusion and wickedness. And one look into your eyes and who wouldn’t say “For you alone Italian woman I’d gladly live without sin? And if for you, then how much more for my Master who guides all sea and land movements from His home where the greatest light of all is timeless and eternal?”
But, within temporal time, the bigger beams from the bigger lights of the lighthouse outshine a lantern’s output, yet can’t match its central brightness. And, as a hopeful artist, I’ve said the lantern spoken of here is real, and so, now it is. And thus, I’ve given that lantern and its light life, though not a life undying.
But Leonardo, once through art, you gave a timeless life to Mona Lisa. And though Ms. Gherardini, or Mrs. del Giocondo was physically mortal, and has long ago passed away from our earth in a living form, does not her portrait and “essence of art” remain forever noted in the Relevant Masters’ great book of eternity, as well as merely on display in the Louvre?
And how much more inglorious, how far less artful was what I’d done with the lantern compared to Lisa’s entrance into reality? I flipped a switch upon my created lantern, and the beams of that light source then left an illumination of sights which my eyes were able to present my mind for its perception of. And as I sit here today, I know I’d grant life to every potential light source I could - all the better to see you - Italian woman.
But isn’t it bad enough that many are already living for a past that’s gone, though admittedly not forgotten? And now we’ve learned that many others simply can’t “face” the present! Is that why they’re attempting to “spin” it in a different direction as it becomes that same past?
Each will have to answer those questions on his or her own terms. But for myself, if I needed to hold and embrace one lasting answer, and its companion memory, I’d hold and embrace you Lisa. I’d never let you go, though many say non-change is more important than you.
And Lisa, Leonardo’s conception of you will forever remain near the pinnacle of art’s achievement. Your greatness won’t be diminished. You have the smile uncompromising. And within it lie “human admonishments” as to how life on planet earth should be lived by mortals, just as assuredly as do “divine keys” lie within my Master’s great book. And your magnificence as art grants a shared ownership of your hope for mankind not only to “true artists,” but to all categories of humanity.
And never will your “portrait of perfection” be touched by the despots, the stealers of time, the advocates of risks not taken, nor the worthless gossipers who were so enthralled to learn of meaningless half-truths which they then embellished and passed on to others even more gullible than themselves. No, none such as those who may think they share your significance, will ever match your elegance, or change your status as one great gift given mankind by the forces of timeless light. And oh, how priceless and timeless are the “lights” granted by artisans to those who believe they’ll someday see their Master face to face!
And Leonardo, has that Master granted you your full measure of esteem within His timeless light? I’m sure He has.
Eternal eyes see through the devastatingly mundane. But mark this people, and underline it; redesigned blandness won’t suffice for you in the end. Imagine now the pedestrian whose walk has led him or her to the timeless light’s entrance door. Will the guards there gladly greet him or her when he or she presents them with yesterday’s newspaper as a token of gratitude?
Yes, the lovers of sameness prefer the bright lights of the lighthouse. And they’re living within that brightness which illuminates their love of nothing. And, time - you’re so fleeting! You’re so fleeting, yet so many whom you move along cling to a catechism of futility.
One day, a life is ended. It’s gone from a zone where others were to have helped others, but of course, not many could. They were fettered down with a whole “bonanza in reverse” of worthless rules and traditions. They never had a chance to say “I think the Masters gave me some talents to use in my life.” No, they couldn’t say that, because they needed to seek out the emptiness they inherited from those banished from Eden.
But Lisa, some of them may have seen you. Yet, how could they have understood the mysticism in your smile?
Italian woman, your portrait has no mortal soul, but I believe it’s eternal. Its face will always live there in the great book within the timeless light. And its memory as art’s “greatest jewel” will remain there in that book forever.
Lisa, they say time has changed you somewhat. It’s apparently removed some of the redness from your lips, which once must have appeared as fresh as roses.
But though time may have changed you slightly, of more importance is how it’s not changed you. You’re so young Lisa! So alive! So hopeful for the future of mankind! And if indeed time has altered your flesh tones and lip colors, never will it, in either a temporal or eternal format, be able to change the smile of Mona Lisa.

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