In the book titled “The Lost Battles” (2010), commenting on the literary works of Leonardo da Vinci, Jonathan Jones makes the point:
“…for Leonardo got no closer to complete scientific theories than he did to finished works of art. It is the process, the journey, that mattered to him as both the artist and scientist, and the pleasure of following his mind is that of exploring a meandering river’s unexpected course”.
His life contributions as polymath, drawer, inventor, engineer, writer… talk about foot prints! Well he did make footnotes in all those notebooks which have been carried right into our century. What a constant instigation of inspiration.
For all we might conceive in our modern concept of later life as a “third age” or “encore”, you have to wonder if da Vinci would have seen it that way, then or now. He lived his life a continuum – just over 67 years, which 500 years ago, was a “good innings” as the saying goes.
There is the tendency for current later life planning (or retirement planning as some might have it), to be chiselled from the construct of the 20th century career. After 30 years in a “second age”, what does a business executive do next? What if you were in dentistry? Or a fire fighter? Well if you’re like the one in the Scotia Bank commercial, “you’re richer than you think”, doing the retirement happy dance. Footnotes maybe?
However is a promise of longevity an unexpected course or a sculpted vision?