Forgive my ignorance, but for some time I thought a polymath must be someone with multiple mathematical skills. It turns out the word actually comes from Greek polu (much) + manthanein (learn), in other words someone who knows a lot. A more familiar term is perhaps “Renaissance person”, which refers to someone like the Renaissance figure Leonardo da Vinci, who was skilled in many areas of both art and science.
But recently I came across another definition – multipotentialite. Artist and writer Emilie Wapnick has coined this term for someone who does not have a single focused skill for engineering or healing or making sculptures, but instead has a range of interests and abilities. I suspect that these days more and more multipontialites are surfacing, given the courage and the opportunity to investigate all possible interests and skills, instead of staying put in a lifetime job that just isn’t that fulfilling anymore.
I already have a mulipotentialite cat in the household and depicted her skill set in a recent cartoon, calling it the New Matilda Multi-tool.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, being a writer-artist-veterinarian-writer-gardener-cook-cob house builder- dancer (did I mention writer?) I give you – the Colour and Quill Multi-tool.