One of my favorite people in history: Leonardo da Vinci –
most likely because of this book:
which I read probably about 15 years ago.
That, coupled with the lovable characher of Leonardo in Ever After,
and the absolute beauty of his notebooks all in sepia … I was and am captured and enthralled.
One of my life goals: to keep a sketch notebook like his.
While watching a special on Leonardo's thought process … (To which in the first 5 minutes, I immediately stopped the show to write this post) -their opening commentary was:
Perhaps his genius was not all orginating within himself – it is possible that he was influenced by other thinkers of his time.
REALLY? Someone spent money to underscore this for us? Are not ALL of us influenced by the people we surround oursleves with? I think all the time (lamentably) that I never have any original thoughts … I just get so excited about other's thoughts.
Does it only count if it is 100% your own?
If you look at any author, there is always the place, either in the preface, in the text, or in the appendix where credit is given to those whose ideas contributed to the work.
Ex Nihilo means 'out of nothing' – usually used in terms of creation, i.e. God created out of nothing, something. I wonder if this desire for god-like staus – to create out of nothing has anything to do with our fierce desire to be set apart and known for something. I am the person who created "x" or thought of "x" first … Like this somehow validates our existence. I struggle here all the time, feeling like – what do I have to say that hasn't already been said?
You can feel the "ranting" quality of this post … because I'm supremely annoyed that Leonardo's genius is in question just because he utilized group think. The important thing is - what did he DO with his collaborations? He acted. He created. He made beauty. He influenced others.
(And here's the kicker – maybe there were lots of others who were significantly smarter, but did nothing with it. Or didn't record it well, so it's just lost).
Leonardo had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with brilliant minds in a wide range of subjects. He saw those opportunities for the gifts that they were and he LEARNED, ASSIMILATED, ACTED.
Sorry for shouting.
Partly I'm shouting at me – Like 'DO something with the amazing opportunities that I am afforded by virtue of the country I live in, the era I reside in, and my current status in life.'
Partly, I'm just offended that this show decided to take pot-shots at one of my creative heroes.
partly, I think I watch too much Netflix and don't do nearly enough creating.