Discovering Da Vinci's Daughter - Preface
“Who would believe that so small a space could contain the image of all the universe? O mighty process! What talent can avail to penetrate a nature such as these? What tongue will it be that can unfold so great a wonder? Verily, none! This it is that guides the human discourse to the considering of divine things. Here the figures, here the colors, here all the images of every part of the universe are contracted to a point. O what a point is so marvelous!”
There are secrets in the world no one knows. There are things no one has seen and there are words that no one has ever read. What you’re about to read contains many such mysteries.
I’m about to take you 500 years into the past. You’re going to see things not seen since Leonardo Da Vinci set paint to paper- Since he left his many marks on the world. From what I know, no one knows about what I’ve found or what you’re about to read. From what I do know Da Vinci’s the only one who does. That’s one thing I do know, is that he did. He told me. Da Vinci wrote a lot, he wrote a lot about a lot of different things. He’s usually praised most as a painter, but I see him as more as a teacher. He taught me to see. He taught me to think. He showed me his secrets and now I’m going to show you!
Welcome to my first book. This wasn't the book I ever intended to write. This wasn't a subject that I've ever studied. This wasn't a road I was expecting to head down, it’s the road rarely taken. Some call it a high road, some a windy road, but most don't even know where it starts – let alone where it ends. I know I haven't finished but I know I will. I'm well on my way; each sentence is a couple verbs closer to the end. But I write and I wait. I write and I wait.
It seems like I'm always waiting for something. I usually don't even know what it is. It’s something, but it’s nothing at the same time. Not being tangible, or holding any value but what I instill into it. Even that value seems to change of its own accord. I can’t feel it with my skin or hold it in my arms. It’s the unknown.
I lie to myself too! I lie to myself a lot. “I’m going to do this - I’m going to do that.” I’m always going to do something but I never actually do. It’s like I’m waiting, still waiting, always waiting…
What can finally end this waiting? That frees today from future’s filthy hands? When can it, whatever it may be, - truly begin?
I usually forget that it’s the one waiting for me. Some things don’t just happen, you have to make them happen. But then there are other things that won't wait for you, you have to wait for them. Isn't that the real question? When to wait for something, or when not to? How do you know what to do next if no one can tell you? When no one else knows? How do you know what that move is?
I’ve been waiting to finish this book. I’ve wanted to be done for quite a while. I don’t know why I wait. I hate it, I really do. I remember the first time I thought it, the first time I thought I wouldn’t have to wait anymore. My heart was beating so fast. I could feel it in my chest as if I just seen someone die. I couldn’t really believe in what I was seeing, but I couldn’t believe anything else either. I remember being ashamed at how excited it made me. It felt too good to be good, it must be bad. I had to finish. I wouldn’t sleep until I did, I couldn’t wait until I did.
When I thought I solved one of the world’s greatest mysteries. Who is Mona Lisa? But even more than that alone.
But yet I wait. If I’ve done what I really think I’ve done then what am I waiting for? A sign? A sale? A saint? If I’ve discovered what I think I have then I couldn’t wait – could I? I couldn’t just be faking it could I? Is this really real? Did I really write a book? Did I really discover what I think I have? This is too good to be true! There must be something wrong. I know there is. I fear there is. But it waits with me. Maybe what's wrong is that I'm still waiting? Waiting when what I really need to be doing is NOT waiting! “Derek, get it together. Don’t be stupid, this is real. You’re not waiting for something, it’s here. There is no such thing as time or a future, it’s now or never. Your book is done – it’s written. You’re finishing it right now, as we type!”
I can tell myself that. I can even believe myself sometimes. But yet I still wait. It took a while but I figured out what it was. It was fear, it is fear. I’m afraid to finish. I shouldn’t be, but I am. I can’t help it; I’ve always been this way. I wait until the last minute to do everything. But in this situation, there is no “last minute.” There's no finish line, there's just me, and this wait for one. I guess that's what the problem has been, it's up to me. No one’s going to do it for me, I have to do it ALL myself.
It’s been over a year since I made my initial discovery. I’ve only ever talked to one person on the phone about it. I’ve only sent out a few emails. I’ve spent most of this year writing, and then waiting. Writing and then waiting. After not just over analyzing it, but obsessively over analyzing it, again, it comes down to fear.
But this is what sucks! I’m not afraid of failure. I’m really not. I’m afraid I won’t fail. That this book will be a success. That what I’ve found is valid and true and everything I expect it to be. That’s what I’m really afraid of. That might seem strange, but I really can’t help it. I don’t know how many nights this past year I’ve laid awake, unable to sleep, with every-single-possible-negative-thought-imaginable racing through my head. I can have the truth staring me in the face, but still see right past it. I hate it.
I don’t know what it is but I’ve realized it’s not just me, but for some reason we think that good things don’t really happen to us. It’s not that we think it CANT, but that it won’t. That something has to happen before it’s possible. We think we have to wait for it and someday it will come. Whether we don’t think we deserve it, whether other people tell us that we don’t deserve it, we’re afraid of something amazing happening to us. We’ll wait for it, we’ll buy lotto tickets, we’ll watch it happen to other people – but we won’t pursue it. Why? Why can’t we just get up, and take control of our lives and do whatever we want? Why is that so freaking hard?
I’ve actually done it before! I really have and I really liked it. But once it wore off, I haven’t been able to do it again. Ever since it’s been an entirely too slow progression. Not a mad rush to success, but a trickle. It’s really annoying. I have never quite given up, but I definitely slowed down. I wanted to give up, but I haven’t. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I can’t.
So even though I don’t have to, I wait. Even though I don’t have to be, I’m scared. I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you should be. Any single day could be your last day. All the things that seem to matter will wither away. All the things you used to fear will be conquered. The time is up, the wait is over. Without warning you no longer have a choice. Whether you were waiting to go there, or it was coming to you, you might not make it either way. But we wait anyway. Maybe it’s because we don’t believe we’re really going to go. Maybe it’s cause we know we’re going to. But we still wait. “It” and “where” are different for everyone, but some how very similar. Whether – Love, money, lust, power, compassion, friendship – a dream, a career, an experience – we all have something we want, that we don’t have – or want more of…
Why is happiness so eluding? Why are we always waiting for it, instead of chasing it? Why haven’t I ever been able to invoke that original sense of passion and persistence I had when I started? Where did it go? Where is it hiding? I should know, it’s inside me somewhere! I guess that’s the strangest part isn’t it – it’s up to me, it’s within my control. I definitely could, but I save it for the ever alluding “tomorrow!” If I were to do it today, instead of tomorrow I would have been done a long time ago. This is the source of the waiting. The excuse, the bane of my progress, my failure – “I’ll do it tomorrow!” You know what I mean?
You have to ask the right questions if you want the right answers. Every question you can ask, you can answer – eventually!
So now it’s time to start. Inside these pages are secrets that were very well kept but also intended to be found. They were designed to seem like impossible, unanswerable questions, but when asked properly – they start to unravel. They say that a good artist uses lies to tell the truth. “They” also say Leonardo Da Vinci is the greatest artist who has ever lived. I agree. I think you will too. So you could only imagine the kinds of truths he has hiding in his archetype of lies.
What you’re about to read wasn't only written by me. It was also written through me. When Leonardo Da Vinci died, he didn’t just leave behind paintings and pieces of paper. His true legacy was left smiling. She’s been waiting a lot longer than I have. Da Vinci’s been waiting even longer. So here are her secrets, here are his lies. Here is their legacies. Here are the answers to why they have had to wait, but also why we don't have too.
This book was written over the course of a year. Starting in 2006 and continuing until May 2007. It’s taken many forms; it’s come to different conclusions. It’s been a very rough road. What started as a curiosity turned into coincidences that had to be more than simple coincidence. Over the past year I’ve learned a lot about Leonardo Da Vinci but even more about myself.
A couple things you should know before starting:
About half way through this book I found out I had Aspergers syndrome, it’s a form of High Functioning Autism that can go undiagnosed until adulthood. I believe this has a lot to do with what I’ve been able to discover. I also believe that Da Vinci had some form of autism. It’s obvious there was something extremely unique about him and I think autism explains a lot of his brilliance – more on that later. It explains the parallels and similarities between the two of us.
Although I’m a writer, I’m not a professional writer. I’ve learned to write by keeping intensive journals since 1997. They started out small, but soon grew to thousands of pages. I’ve always had problems with spelling and grammar. In my journals they didn’t matter, so I learned to write in a unique way, breaking the limits of conventional writing. This book doesn’t attempt to be something it’s not. It tried, “we” tried – my book and I. Please forgive any of our errors! Sometimes you have to do something for yourself, and not what you think people expect from you.
You could think of this book as an explanation for something that seemed to be unexplainable. Something that required so many different factors to uncover that it’s not surprising it’s taken over 500 years for someone to put them together.
I started this book trying to explain something I couldn’t. It took this entire year, most of which was spent thinking, to unravel the mystery. Some of the wait was necessary, but definitely not ALL. It was that I couldn’t finish until I knew what it was I was finishing. Everything was a progression from one discovery to the next. It was like climbing an intellectual ladder. I couldn’t get to the top without finding each step along the way. The line between patience and perseverance is sometimes blurry. Am I waiting for a reason, or is it just an excuse? Why don’t I just wake up every morning and give it my all, instead of waiting for weeks at a time to do anything at all? That is the question we all have to answer!
This book is an explanation of what I’ve discovered. Something Da Vinci left behind for someone to find. Lies he spun in an intricate web to tell the truth. Each chapter is a series from one to the next. In-between each chapter is something I’m calling Interjections – they're my story. How I discovered what I have, what I’ve had to go through to finish. Why I’ve been so afraid to finish.
This book at its best is inspirational. Both my story and the story I’m uncovering about Da Vinci and his legacy. I’ve learned that if you don’t give up, you can’t fail. I’ve discovered that if we dream it, we can build it. I figured out that fear is a fraud. I’ve found that it’s just life and we can do what we want with it. And most of all that
If you don’t use it, it’ll use you…
No more waiting. No more wondering. No more doubting. No more Fear. Here it is. I hope you like it! I hope you love it. I hope it inspires you to do great things.