Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Proof Positive I'm a Genius. Sort of. (TJEd)

My dear friend, Sarah, sent me this article, called How to Procrastinate Like Leonardo da Vinci. I could have just reached right through the ethers and given her a great, big cyber kiss. It explains in no uncertain terms exactly why those of us who procrastinate and rarely finish everything we undertake are geniuses on par with daVinci. Okay, well, it doesn’t exactly say that. But, close enough to suit my purposes.

There has apparently been a modern attempt to psychologically dissect da Vinci and write him off as someone who was so terrified of financial success that he subconsciously sabotaged himself into utter failure by never finishing anything that he started, a theory which has apparently been put forth by those who champion mediocrity. The linked article has a somewhat different take, one that I am (biased as I am) more apt to accept as applicable: Genius and efficient productively are not necessary compatible.

Now, I have nothing against planning and organizing. Among my friends and closer homeschooling co-conspirators, I am known as an Organizational Goddess. Anything and everything that might possibly need to be structured, organized, and condensed into a handy form or graph, I’ve got it covered. And, my innate organization streak has served me well in a myriad of environments and circumstances, whether it be in my PC (pre-child) career as an office administrator and property manager, or at home trying to keep a household running with the precision of a Naval battle ship (that would be me being ironic).

However, I have recently noticed a particular trend that might suggest that organization for the purpose of maximum productively might not actually be totally conducive to Leadership Education (yes, I like using big words). During those spells when I blow off our family routine, such as during recent spats with flue and colds, and spend more of my time lounging and reading and thinking than if I were otherwise occupied with running the household and educating the kids, I seem to be more creative in the one aspect of my life that I feel even remotely creative in, and that is writing. Suddenly, instead of just composing a response to someone posting a concern on a homeschooling list, I’ve suddenly got twelve different ideas about several different topics running through my head, and if I take a moment to jot them down, I’ve got some raw material to work with, either in the moment or at some time in the (hopefully) near future. Since I’ve recently bowed to the omnipotence and intemperance of the Writing Muse, I have found myself, more and more, jotting down ideas and notes about ideas; a flow that had, in previous times, been stoppered most of the time, and only released in times of apparent need. Now, I can’t get through one day without a half-dozen ideas charging through my head, and the more I write them down, the more of them that show up on my doorstep like poor, desolate orphans, begging for someone to take them in and feed them.

The “downside” of this is, there is so much raw material that I will never be able to bring each to fruition, fully developed and ready to bring forth unto the world. Or, even post to my personal blog. They come too fast, and time is too short for me to give each of them full attention. (Yes, believe it or not, I am not posting every idea on the Community blog that flits into my tiny little brain…it just seems that way). So, for someone who considers themselves entirely – ENTIRELY – uncreative, this apparent hint of creatively is simultaneously unexpected, titillating, intimidating, and horrifyingly non-conformist.

So, here I am with 116 pages (over 54,000 words) of “ideas”, only a small fraction of which are currently fit for public consumption, none of which have made it out of my "idea" file (yes, I hear you all trembling in fear). Very few of these “ideas” will end up on my personal blog (yes, I hear the collective sigh of relief), which a very small number of people will actually ever read. None of them, I am sure, will ever make their way into mainstream thought. The novels that I frequently have running around in my head, I don’t even attempt to begin writing, because I know time will never allow me to do them justice. But, there they all are. Patiently waiting.

Leonardo daVinci “produced” an estimated 100 volumes worth of “notes” in his lifetime, the vast majority of which never earned him a single penny, or even ended up being used for “productive” purposes. But, all of those thoughts, all of those ideas, culminated to reflect a human being of extraordinary genius. Every thought and every idea, built one upon the other, is what enabled daVinci to create the extraordinary, breathtaking, and timeless masterpieces that he left us. So, what masterpieces lie silent, latent, and waiting in each of us “common” folk, just waiting for the lapse of time, space of silence, and moment of daydream, that will allow the Mona Lisa, or the David, or the Flying Machine, to come forth? Perhaps the religion of productivity is not serving us so well as the principle of idleness may. Daydreaming. Staring out the window. Doodling. Jotting down ideas which may or may not culminate in anything “productive” or “commercially viable”. But, perhaps the non-productive and non-commercially-viable ideas are the most valuable in the long run.

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