Thursday, August 5, 2010
His mother's voice is the first thing a baby learns to recognize. When I was pregnant with you I thought that that was amazing and since I didn't, and still don't, have it in me to just talk out loud about nothing to nobody I went out and bought a book. I didn't want to read a kids book and since I didn't think that it would make much difference to you whether I was reading "The Cat in the Hat" or "A History of Western Philosophy" I went with something in between, something that I would enjoy reading, something educational, something positive just in case the words you were hearing, those first words, somehow had some bearing on who you were to be. I chose a biography of Leonardo DaVinci. Every night I would, very quietly because even scripted I felt weird about talking out loud, read to you about Leonardo.
I don't remember many of the details of his life, just that he was an ambidextrous dyslexic, which meant that he could write the same thing with both hands at the same time, one forwards and one backwards producing mirror-images, he is the first person to explain why the sky is blue (because of the way the air disperses light and the fact that most of the world is water - which is blue), he is arguably the world's greatest artist, and he was a lot more than an artist, he was the true original Renaissance Man. His parents were not married. His father was a noble notary who came from a wealthy family and his mother was just a peasant woman named Caterina. His choice in parents worked out well for him because if he had been a true heir he would never have been sent to Verrocchio's workshop where he learned to draw, he would have had to be a notary like his father. Also, his pictures are often so cluttered because paper was very expensive when he was alive in the 15th century. He was a perfectionist and a notorious procrastinator. These are the things I remember.
I'm telling you this because you're an artist now, and I think that's amazing for so many reasons. Your drawings are like nothing I've ever seen before and I think even Leonardo at age six would have a hard time drawing Transformers and staircases the way that you do. I like to think that despite the fact that you live so far away and I'm not the one who is there to draw with you maybe I still have something to do with how great you are. There's my genes of course and then there's me sitting in my bedroom whispering to you about Leonardo DaVinci. I love you lots. --Momma
On a side note, I wonder what Story will be? I read Einstein's biography when I was pregnant with him.