Friday, December 9, 2016

Cross-pollinating with the Sherlockian world. Or just the world.

What is the best quality in Sherlock Holmes's skill set to bring into your own life?

My answer has to be this: cross-pollination.

People tend to focus on deduction, observation, great expertise, and other finely honed abilities when they think of what we should emulate about Sherlock Holmes, but what really made him a never-before-seen detective talent in his debut was his cross-discipline approach to his field. When we first encounter him, he's hard at work in a medical school, working with blood. Not at detective school working with footprints, but among doctors taking tools from their trade.

Whether it was from fields legal, botanical, occupational, or otherwise, Sherlock Holmes liked to go into other areas besides detection to see what he could bring back. And this hobby of ours, Sherlockiana, works much the same.

Sherlockians naturally bring their existing skills and talents with them when they come to the hobby, and use them to celebrate Sherlock Holmes. It's very easy to see. What we often don't see so keenly is when Sherlockians take the things they learn in the Sherlockian community and apply them to other areas.

The Sherlockian world can offer great opportunities to write, speak, network, plan events, etc., and after some time in this arena, you can take what you've learned here and apply it elsewhere. Then once you've spent some time elsewhere, grab what you learned there, and bring it back to the celebration of Sherlock.

What Sherlock Holmes did with detection, we can do as well with Sherlockiana, and do, more often than we sometimes realize . . . taking a bit of Holmes-learned skill out into the world, bringing some other fandom or vocational talent back to Holmes . . . just like bees flying around spreading pollen and returning to the hive.

Bees. Hmmm.

We always take Sherlock Holmes's venture into bee-keeping after he retired from urban detection as a literal thing. I read a theory recently that Sherlock's elder brother Mycroft didn't live to the time of "His Last Bow," and now I have to wonder . . . what if Mycroft died and the British government came to the younger Holmes in their time of need. And Sherlock Holmes decided to keep "bees" as he once did Irregulars, human agents to fly off into this field or that and gain what "pollen" they could and bring it back to the hive. Not thinking of his "bees" as agents for taking action, but just gatherers of information, he might have taken Mycroft's place in a manner all his own.

Could modern Sherlockiana be the apiary Sherlock's own "bees" now come from, cross-pollinating the intellectual landscape in that wide-ranging, world-wide variety of places and roles we call our own?

Well, I've had worse theories.

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