Thursday, April 15, 2010


The self-drawn fellow above is one Leonardo da Vinci born this day 1452 in Florence, Italy. He is the best example of a Renaissance man in the world. He had some much skill in so many fields that to attempt to write a blog post about him would be futile. So let just give you a couple of tidbits. I once claimed, like Leonardo, to be a Renaissance man. The person I made that claim to hung up on me, and did not speak to me for over three months. So be careful when trying to be like Leonardo, it could have some dangerous consequences. He was left handed, and did not go to any "formal" schooling. This is the basis for his famous mirror script handwriting. If you know any left handed people ask them to write a sentence from right to left, and see if they can do it. Almost all of the ones I tested could do it with a little thought. That is how left handed people would naturally write, backwards for us right handed people, but natural to them. It is only when they are enrolled in schools, and forced to conform to how the majority of pupils write, do they then learn to write from left to right. Those are the two best tidbits I have about Leonardo da Vinci, but there are tons of other. Get thee a biography of the man, and prepare to be amazed. However, I am going to use the rest of this post for my own purposes. I will start it with a quote from a fellow by the name of Elias Canetti.

". . . a strolling prehistoric creature, that was what I wanted to be, an animal that doesn't run from anything, into anything, that doesn't make way, doesn't stumble, doesn't bump into anything, doesn't push, doesn't have to be anywhere, a creature who has time, who's after nothing, who makes doubly sure not to carry a watch." The Torch in My Ear- Elias Canetti

Ponder that quote for a second, I have been since I read it about two hours ago. It dovetails nicely with an interesting chat I was having with a boon companion of mine last night. He was a bit deep into his cups, but that didn't stop him from making some sense (for a change). He expressed a similar feeling to the one quoted above. He was bemoaning that his debts tie him to his job, and that his job is not a source of joy to him. He stated that his sense of duty to repay his debts (student loans mostly) are what kept him from becoming the creature Canetti describes above. A shame isn't it? The everydayness of our jobs have made us creatures who do the complete opposite of what Canetti is talking about. We make doubly sure TO carry a watch, and a cellphone, and all sort of other devices to make sure that we are creatures always after something, creatures who are pressed from time, and have places to be, and people to see. If only we could be so lucky to have the above ability to be that prehistoric creature that Canetti is describing (he had that luxury somewhat, family money must be nice). However, most of us have to be somewhere all the time, or we take a "day off" to just get away, and end up wasting it by doing laundry, or washing dishes, and then realizing that we have to be somewhere tomorrow, and the cycle starts all over again. For da Vinci, experience was the queen of all, and perhaps he was right, perhaps we all need more experiences, more time to have experiences. Different experiences, not the same experience where only the date on the calendar has changed. Which is why I am contemplating running off, and joining the circus, but I am not sure if I would make a good bearded lady or not. Either way, for being the ideal Renaissance man, in a world of slugs like me, Leonardo da Vinci (April 15th, 1452-May 2nd, 1519, at the age of 67), you are my (234th) hero of the day.

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