Meet me in St. Louis

This summer I’ve really put to reinventing myself.  During the school year I read Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer, and I realized there are many untapped ways we all can increase our creativity, drawing on the right side of our brain and helping us see connections that otherwise are not obvious to the left-brained world.

I also returned to Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind, which I read a few summers ago and loved.  Now that I’ve completed the coursework for my doctoral program (three years of left-brained activity), I want to engage my right brain.  I’ll write more about Pink’s work later, but in Chapter 5, Story, Pink encourages us to tell stories to engage our right brain.  After the chapter, in a workbook for such exercises, he recommends digital story-telling.  So, here goes.

Ben (5) and Jake (3) took and adventure with my wife and I.  We went to St. Louis for a friend’s wedding, and it was beautiful.  Perhaps more beautiful, though, were Ben and Jake.

Ben first- In the picture above with his arms outstretched, Ben is waiting patiently with the wedding party through post-ceremony pictures.  Here, bewildered Ben ponders why the fountain will not go off again.  Rather than be concerned with the formality of the day, Ben wanted to enjoy the fountain.  He was so well-behaved for the three hours of pictures.  At dinner time he fell asleep in Mom’s arms on the car ride back to the hotel, where he promptly ate a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich, insisted on staying in his suit, and wanted to go back to the party.

Jake- With arms stretched aloft in victory next to the Mississippi River, Jake exudes joy.  Missing here is the morning we spent in bed because of a stomach bug, which Jake had not overcome yet.  But, Jake didn’t let that keep him down.  Smiles, joy, and sunshine.  I love how he finds very simple joy in life.

Both- Climbing the steps from the Mississippi back to the arch was no simple feat.  Ben and Jake did not relent; rather they went ahead full-throttle.  This is how they play life- 100%.  As a dad, I want to keep this fire going so they never relent in pursuit of their goals– climbing several dozen steps up a hill, hitting a home run, or getting the best job.  That’s my goal in life, so they live their lives to pursue their goals.


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