Imagine a house outside of space and time. I picture a nice three-story Victorian house— burnt red with white trim. The front door is yellow. And it has one of those spires, as every imaginary Victorian house should have.
In the parlor, Johann Sebastian Bach is sitting at the piano, not playing anything. Just sitting there. Just like he always does. Over lunch he talked of his love for music and his almost mathematical fascination with bringing melodies and counter-melodies together. Yet here he’s sitting silently, so afraid of the notes that he might play that his fingers never touch the keys.
In one of the upstairs bedrooms, Leonardo Da Vinci has locked himself in a closet. He’s painting in there— we think. But we’re not totally sure. Whatever he’s doing, he’s doing in secret. No one sees it. Ever. All we know is there’s a door and he goes behind it for a while, and then comes out. Sometimes he talks about it. He makes vague references to techniques and theories that he’s developing. But we’ll never know what they are.
Martin Luther King Jr. sits at the kitchen table, pen in hand, writing a speech or sermon that no one will ever hear. He’s been spending his time sitting there every day, writing. And every time you ask him what he’s up to, he simply shrugs and says, “Oh nothing.” He’s not interested in sharing his work.