So today’s prompt is to write about the most interesting person I’ve met this year. And I drew up a blank. What a boring life I must be having, you’d think. But, truly, you’ve gotta have some luck to come across people who really blow you off your feet.
So, then, what else can I write about? Make a fiction piece out of this? Nooo, just too mentally tired for that right now. Even though I think it would really make for a good fiction piece. Would be good for my character building skills too.
So I’m now deciding to write about a special someone, someone I haven’t met personally but so wish I had! Why couldn’t I meet him? Well because he lived many centuries ago in a far away country. Ladies, gentlemen and everyone in between, let me present to you, the one and only – Leonardo Da Vinci!
For me, he is the epitome of interesting. The quintessence of intrigue.
I guess if anything, I’d probably be indebted to Dan Brown for sparking an interest towards Renaissance Italy in me. Da Vinci Code practically started off a frenzy in me where I’d madly read up everything I could about the man, his life, and his works. I’d roam aimlessly on the streets of Rome and Florence in Google Street View, to get a vicarious pleasure from walking (albeit virtually) in the same cities as that great soul did. And the first time I met him while playing Assassin’s Creed. Goosebumps, literally.
As I started reading more and more about him as a person, I started to understand how dynamic he was in real life apart from being the mind-blowing painter that he is. But calling him just a painter would be doing him terrible injustice. He was the best damn engineer, craftsman, sculptor and a scientist as well of his times.
He was the ultimate jack and master of all trades.
Nothing much is known of Leo’s (see how I call him? Like he’s a friend or something!) childhood and his education. Except for the fact that he wasn’t very good at it. From the very early age, his mind was never fixed on a single thing constantly. The idiom “Curiosity killed the cat” didn’t exist during his times. And there in lies the secret to his brilliance. He was always on the lookout for new things, always searching for the bigger truths, always trying to decipher the world around him. He saw patterns in the world that no one observed. He had an eye for all the minute things in life that others were too busy to notice. He was the first to depict the flight patterns of a bird with such detail that it still blows everyone’s mind on how he was able to grasp so much with just his naked eyes.
One of the biggest things that I have learnt from him is his ability to see the world differently. Logically. Without any boundaries imposed by the society. Because only then would you be able to discover your true self. He was a free soul, and did everything his way and people sought him no matter where he went. Because in the end, if you have the talent and expertise, people will flock to you.
And do I even need to mention his incredible attention to detail? Just look the Mona Lisa. Or the Last Supper. No really! When was the last time you really looked at Mona Lisa? I’ve been reading a book called “Think Like Da Vinci” where the author asks us to spend at least ten minutes just staring at the portrait. Notice all those thin layers of paint that gives it an almost ethereal feel. Notice those smoky textures in the background that seem to evaporate into the air. Notice how lifelike her skin looks. And that smile. God, that elusive smile. And then note how it all makes you feel. I did it, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. At the outset, it seems like a very simple portrait. Just a woman smiling. Dig deeper, and you realize it’s a masterpiece. Sublime has never seen a much better example.
Leo, you have my hats-off!
I don’t want to bore you much further, you can get a much better idea of him on Wikipedia or other sources. I’ll leave you with the principles he followed in his life, from the book I mentioned before. Consider each one carefully –
– questionare, a curious approach to life
– dimostrazione, using experience to test knowledge
– sensazione, refining the senses, primarily sight, to clarify experience
– sfumato, embracing paradox, ambiguity, and uncertainty
– arte/scienza, finding a balance between art and science, logic and imagination
– corporalita, fitness, ambidexterity, and poise
– connessione, an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all phenomena.
Thanks for reading!