A Country Longing and The Magic of Thinking Like Davinci
I am extremely fascinated by stories. Ever since I can remember, I longed to be captivated by tales of mystery, of fantasy and adventure. I owe this to my insanely creative family: to my Mom for cultivating the creation of the Littlest Crab and for my Grandpa (Papa) for completely infatuating my pre-teen mind with this extroidinarily adventurous story of Tommy and his best friend Pete. The Littlest Crab was more of an innocent bedtime story that my Mom used to help my mind wander into a deep sleep, but had become this happy visualization of my favorite place in the world (the beach) and along with it a colorful representation of these innocent little beach characters who sparked such a place in both my tired little mind and in my heart. There was not a chance I would make it to bed without Mom's soft words weaving their way into my imagination. I remember at one point I loved the Littlest Crab so much that my Mom helped me illustrate a whole little book about it; 2 crabs, a black cat, and endless possibilities on the vast beaches of Maine.
Now Tommy and Pete stories... let me tell you these were just as good as The Hardy Boys or even The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Well, to me at least. My Grandpa was a story-telling master. I'm not sure how he did it- he is a creative wizard of some sort, and I love him for it.
"Once upon a time in a village not so far away, there lived a boy named Tommy and next door lived his best friend Pete. Tommy had a a little sister named Sarah and a little brother named Sammy. One day......"
My brothers and I would huddle around the living room, eyes wide with excitement, and my Grandpa would captivate our minds with these amazing tales of adventure. These were the stories you don't fall asleep to, but rather keep flipping the pages eager to read more, while the concept of time slowly eludes your thought. Except there were no pages, just Papa's words floating around the room while our imaginations boomed with incredible scenes as if we were actually there.
There is something so incredibly beautiful about the entire concept of gaining insight into somebody's mind; into their thoughts and dreams; views of the world in a different light. And then being able to visualize them in my own mind- as if there is a collectively alternative world changing within each perspective.
So though I still enjoy tales of adventure and fantasy, I have now become infatuated with non-fiction books--The kind that give me a better understanding of some of the things I already am aware of around me. Getting to the point here... I started listening to Leonardo Davinci by Walter Isaacson, which is absolutely incredible. Not to mention, being an artist, getting inside the head of an artistic genius is so beyond fascinating. We think alike in so many ways.
There was one fable that Davinci wrote that stood out to me. And moving to the city from the tranquility of the countryside, I found a bit of charm in this one.
A stone of a good size, recently uncovered by rainwater, lay in an elevated spot where a pleasant grove above a stony road. Surrounded by herbs that were adorned by various flowers of different colors, the stone viewed the great number of stones lying in the road below it. It conceived a desire to roll down, and said to itself: “What am I doing here among these herbs? I want to live in the company of my fellow stones.” So letting itself roll down, it finished its tumbling course among the companions it desired. But after a while it began to suffer continual distress under the wagon of wheels, the hoofs of iron-shod horses, and the feet of travelers. Some of them turned it, and others trampled it. At times it raised itself up a little, all covered with mud or animal dung, and in vain looked back at the place it had left behind, a place of solitary and tranquil peace.
Like many artists (including me) he was stimulated by being around people with diverse interests, big cities booming with creativity. However, based off of his notebook writings, he always had that longing to be back in the coutryside.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Manhattan. I thrive off of stimulation. However, I do at times long for the country. I long to be in nature, where I've always truly feel at peace with my mind. Where time drifts away into but a whisper of wind in the trees. I've always found beauty in the little things, but recently I've started to appreciate alot more, and I think this is what makes a difference in my mindset and sets me apart from most. But the fascinating thing is that for me, the wonder of life remains constant no matter where I might be. Finding a little beauty in everything goes a long way. Whether its the countryside or the city, each place has their own way of sparking a light of excitement in our minds. Its just about opening our eyes and embracing the curiosity within. So hey, next time you are in nature,
DaVinci that shit! :
“I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand. Why shells existed on the tops of mountains along with the imprints of coral and plants and seaweed usually found in the sea. Why the thunder lasts a longer time than that which causes it, and why immediately on its creation the lightning becomes visible to the eye while thunder requires time to travel. How the various circles of water form around the spot which has been struck by a stone, and why a bird sustains itself in the air. These questions and other strange phenomena engage my thought throughout my life.”
Anways, back in October I ventured home to my family in Vermont and as the holidays approach I have found myself so excited to go back. To embrace the way the snow twinkles on top of the great pines in our back yard. To get lost in the cold with my big pup Cyrus...And most importantly to spend time with my wonderful family and friends.
Mid October it was still warm, and the golden sun felt even warmer reflecting off of the reds and ochres of the leaves that covered the hills.
I also am a strong believer that the people you surround yourself with need to spark a joy inside of you that helps to radiate who you truly are as an individual . Well besides my family, I am lucky enough to have friends all around me who continue to provide me with the support and excitement about my artistic endeavors.