My earliest connection to, and lifelong inspiration for, taking copious notes are the true masters themselves: Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Sketchbooks and journals containing illustrations of people, architecture, engineering, writing, poetry, ideas - capturing thoughts - and life - as it was happening right before their eyes. For nobody else’s benefit or pleasure, but themselves. They captured a time and place, while also revealing the thinker’s thoughts. It was the art of their minds that has always intrigued me most, while their equally unparalleled skills never cease to amaze me, it’s seeing their thinking that remains most inspirational. When Auguste Rodin conceived The Thinker in 1880, it was the crowning element of The Gates of Hell, seated on the tympanum, and originally entitled The Poet. This sculpted man represented Dante, author of the Divine Comedy, leaning forward to observe the circles of Hell, while meditating on his work. The Thinker was initially both a damned soul, and a free-thinking man, determined to transcend his suffering through poetry. He epitomizes the capture of thought, in an all too cliché symbol, but no less of an icon to me.
We all walk around with these pages in our heads, yet rarely take the time to write them down, to capture our thinking. Nothing could be more true than DaVinci’s axiom: “God forbid I forget my ideas.” The personal reflections, in every volume of my journals, notebooks, and sketchbooks are accompanied by drawings, ideas, quotes, and planning, as they capture my selected moments between the heart and the mind, the pen and the paper – as an art, a science, and a little magic that is quietly slipping away from our increasingly digital worlds. Every entry is handwritten or drawn. Every page different than any one before it. Like a bottle of wine, no two can ever be the same. They are living things, with a life of their own. My life.