Sunday, March 11, 2012
The absence of darkness is light
It is a story about two university students trying to unravel the mystery contained within the pages of a book written by an Italian during the Renaissance period. Quite heavy going sometimes.
Anyway it is not my intention to do a book review. I just would like to share a passage from the book which I found quite enlightening. I was afraid if I wait until I finish reading the whole book, I might forget where the passage is. In this paragraph, the narrator is musing about his room-mate and fellow researcher...
The fact is, Paul has always kept secrets from us. For years he hid the truth about his childhood, the details of his parochial school nightmare. Now he's been hiding the truth about his relationship with Taft. Close as he and I are, there's a certain distance now, a feeling that while we have a lot in common, good fences still make good neighbours. Leonardo wrote that a painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light. Most painters do the opposite, starting with a whitewash and adding the shadows last. But Paul, who knows Leonardo so well you'd think the old man slept in our bottom bunk, understands the value of starting with shadows. The only things people can ever know about you are the ones you let them see.
The Leonardo mentioned above, is of course, Leonardo da Vinci, the genius artist, inventor, mathematician, engineer and everything else. The last sentence in that passage is the one I really like.
I guess I am like that... I don't reveal too much of myself. The surface me does not tell too much of the inner me. Even close friends or family members have different bits and pieces of who I am. If they are to gather around and share information, some of them would probably say, `Hey, I didn't know that about him.'
The only things people can ever know about you are the ones you let them see...