phi·los·o·phy noun \fə-ˈlä-s(ə-)fē\
: the study of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc.
: a particular set of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc.
April 15, 1452 was a day that should have been marked on every calendar since, and celebrated with an international holiday. It was the day Leonardo DaVinci was born into this world. If you don’t know who this is, Google him. Seriously, how have you lived to your ripe age without coming across a mention of his name? In short, I believe Leo was the sole reason the term “Renaissance Man” came into use. And for those of you who don’t know, the definition of Renaissance Man is “a person who has wide interests and is expert in several areas.” (Meriam-Webster Dictionary)
The fact is, there truly is no rest for the wicked, and Leo is a perfect example of it. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer, and I’m sure he dabbled in other things in his spare time as well. I’ve heard it said the man was ambidextrous, but wrote backwards with his left, which ended up looking like a secret language on the notebook pages he left behind. I’ve also heard rumors that he was an incurable skirt chaser, and possibly gay. Clearly, a man who enjoyed life to the fullest, which is noteworthy in and of itself, I think.
Just try to wrap your mind around all this. Any one of those fields would have taken years to master individually. People go to college for half a decade and never learn all the stuff Leo grasped all on his own, simply because he was curious about them. He wanted to find out how things work, how they fit into the larger scheme of things. That makes him one more thing the encyclopedias failed to mention: a philosopher. The only difference is he didn’t share his findings in lengthy essays, he shared them through art and inventions, demonstrating his beliefs by living them. In that way, he made the knowledge he’d acquired accessible to everyone, literate or not. How amazing is that?
So why am I talking to you about some dead dude from the 15th century? Well, firstly, because he deserves to be talked about. A lot. I mean, this man should be an inspiration to every person on the planet! He single-handedly proved that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. All you have to do is want it bad enough to reach for it (and put in the hard work).
Leonardo DaVinci is my idol. I read about modern achievements, about people who worked their way to the top of their chosen field, the lives of bestseller authors, A-list celebrities, world-renowned scientists, inventors, philosophers, artists, sculptors, and I am duly impressed with their achievements. But in the end it always comes back to Leo. Because he’d done it all centuries before any of those guys. He wasn’t limited by the constraints of field, or genre, or emphasis. He just did his own thing his own way.
It makes me smile every time I realize I am sort of doing the same thing. Not consciously, mind you. It’s not like I wake up in the mornings and say to myself, “I’m going to be a Renaissance woman today!” It happens, I suspect, because I don’t know any better than to let my imagination run amok. I write, and my stories rarely fit into any one category. Most of the time I am lucky if I can narrow them down to two or three. I also play around with art. I’m not an artist–I can’t fill a blank canvas with fantastic imagery. But I can manipulate something that already exists into something new to fit my vision. The same goes for videos (read: book trailers) and music to fit them. I’ve played around with my dad’s CAD program for designing buildings, and interior decorating, I’ve dabbled in jewelry making (briefly), even costuming (very briefly and I might say unsuccessfully).
I don’t like limitations. I don’t like being told, “You’re doing this, so you can’t do that too.” It’s the surest way to make me try “that.” Thank you Google and the World Wide Web for making information on how to do “that” so beautifully accessible.
Basically, this long-winded (but stunningly decorated) post is meant as an explanation as to why what I create tends to spill all over the place. If you’re expecting long novel series about one thing or another, you’ll be very disappointed. I never settle. Allow me to offer a shrug and a wry little smile. Take me as I am, or not. If you can’t handle the convoluted labyrinth that is my inner psyche, there are many safer alternatives for entertainment out there. I won’t mold myself to appeal. I can’t promise my career as a writer will turn into some deep study into a particular genre or subject matter–and I think my stories so far are proof of that. All I can promise is that I will always deliver the best, most memorable story I am capable of creating. They will be varied, eclectic, and probably a little weird, but they will be worth the read.
PS: For those of you who missed my Facebook post yesterday (for some reason it didn’t show up on my News Feed), here is the latest of my creative endeavors. Yes, that is my voice. Yes, I understand that quitting my day job to become a book narrator or radio star would be ill advised. But at least I can say I did it. Just this once =)