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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leonardo de Vinci's Renaissance World: An Inspiration for Seniors

"Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses it's purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind." Leonardo de Vinci.

Inspiration and mental stimulation are challenges for seniors. For those who like to read I recommend the wonderful book "Leonardo's Universe, The Renaissance World of Leonardo de Vinci" copyright 2008, published by the National Geographic Society.

Scientist, engineer, writer, mathematician, artist - Leonardo was a blend of multifaceted characteristics and so is endlessly fascinating to read and study. He was not a one sided, one dimensional, "flat" person, but a "round" person with many sides. Thus the saying that someone is a "Renaissance Person" or one with many talents.

You can start those mental wheels turning with quotes by Leonardo from the book such as "Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason."

For those of us who watch too much televison, which is usually aimed at the lowest common denominator, often at an 8th grade level, returning to the world of books is a way to start exercising the brain again.

Another Leonardo quote: " We may say that the Earth has a vital force of growth, and that its flesh is the soils, it's bones are the successive strata of the rocks which form the mountains; it's cartilage is the prous rock, it's blood the veins of the waters. The lake of blood that lies around the heart is the ocean. It's breathing is the increase and decrease of the blood in the pulses, just as in the Earth it is the ebb and flow of the sea."

This book about the historical era of the Renaissance and the tale of Leonardo's life was sitting in the New Nonfiction section at my local library, and it may be in yours too. I encourage seniors to hang out at the local library, check out the new books, and return to the world of reading, for mental stimulation and personal growth.

This large, coffee table size book has the National Geographic quality and interesting presentation we are used to seeing in the magazine, but with, of course, more detail in the 277 pages.

Suddenly the television and movies do not appear as appealing, and I am returning to the world of books.

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