Oprah once said, “You can have it all. Just not all at once.” And I’m feeling the weight of her words right now.
I want to have it all in making the work we’re doing to reimagine eu2be come together all at once. That said, I couldn’t be happier to tell you that eu2be’s new product packaging is finally breaching our shores. I can hardly wait to show you… Very soon!
And, don’t we all want June’s gloriously vibrant colors, tastes and sensations? After all, summer’s beauty is ours to desire and experience.
Named for Juno, one of ancient Rome’s most powerful goddesses, June is a month that invites us to look—to perfect our powers of observation, even if we’re living in a moment that begs us to look away.
One of the invaluable takeaways I’ve gained from hanging around the arts and artists is that, even in a wary world burdened with trauma and disruption, what we see and how we see it gives rise to our creativity and invention.
How do artists look at the world?
Using trained observation, great creative thinkers create works that invite us to both descend into the depths of our human condition and to ascend bravely toward new and ecstatic heights.
And I’m here for it, because it’s the creative minded who show us again and again that we are connected to something bigger than ourselves. More to the point, we are intrinsically connected to one another—and to the natural world itself.
I started thinking about observance and the act of looking because of someone who used them as his superpower to leave an indelible mark on humanity—Leonardo da Vinci.
The Venice Biennale had me thinking about Italy’s treasure trove of native masters of the arts—da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Morandi, Raphael, Caravaggio… Although long passed, these artists’ works continue to sharpen our powers of observation with towering relevance even today.
Despite being born out of wedlock into a world that did him no favors, da Vinci’s powers of observation helped him devise his own path toward learning and knowledge.
Da Vinci’s design thinking didn’t come from formal education, or scholars, but from nature itself and the beloved uncle who mentored him.
While Leonardo lacked the academic language of his time (he didn’t speak Latin), his rural upbringing tied him to the insights and rhythms of the natural world.
Nature was his first teacher and his last—leading him to see its woven tapestry of synergies, intelligences and technologies.
These powers of observation made nature both his classroom and teacher, a living laboratory, where his imagination took flight, resulting in inventions that were years away from becoming actual designs—cars, helicopters, scissors, parachutes
“The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.”
― Leonardo Da Vinci
Although he is best known for the Mona Lisa smile, it is his studies of Roman architect Vitruvius’ works of the body that are most revealing and inspiring.
His Vitruvian Man still beckons us to explore the intricate relationship between the physical and the metaphysical, deepening our sense of what we are and where we belong in the universe
The work not only embodies the height of the Renaissance’s complex thoughts around art, architecture and mathematics, it blends them together, illustrating the human body in a way that literally connects heaven and earth with the humble human navel at its center.
So there you have it—the macro- and microcosmic magic of the human form in relation to the cosmos.
Here’s the thing about our superpower of observation…
We need only to take ourselves outside and observe the natural world until we see and feel our connection to it.
The practice of being observant can take us beyond the scientific. It can reveal a wealth of unexpected things that stimulate our curiosity and dare us to imagine what has yet ‘2Be.’
Observing da Vinci reminds us of our shared humanity, and to give ourselves over to discovery and the great unknown.
So, in the spirit of ‘having it all,’ I say get thee to the natural world and take a good long look.
Inherently visual and filled with hope, summertime gives us some assurance that tomorrow will prevail—and the natural world is here to help us, as it always has.
Nature calls each of us to greatness and to keep observing, with a good long stare, until its treasures are revealed.
And if you keep looking, you just may discover a new way to see your own beauty in connection to the light of our world.