Five things : Dave Brubeck, divergent questioning, two year olds, Countes Becca, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Blue Rondo à la Turk.

I can enjoy conversations with a wide variety of people, but one thing I don't ever see happening is me getting along with somebody who has anything - and I mean anything - negative to say about Dave Brubeck's 1959 masterpiece Blue Rondo à la Turk. Oftentimes great songs, and especially great jazz, can take repeated listenings to really get into. Not Blue Rondo. Consider rotating into your Sunday morning listening schedule for the rest of your life. You're welcome.

Divergent questioning.

I have been processing and cross-pollinating the synthesis of two ideas the last couple weeks. Number one, the idea of framing. The way we choose to frame our approach to a particular situation, decision, or problem.

Number two, the idea of divergent questioning; the antithesis of convergent questioning, in which questions are asked that have closed and absolute answers. Divergent questions might be described more simply as open-ended; questions that invite ideas and excitement; that generate possibilities and enthusiasm and snowball into more questions. Divergent questioning also involves giving up a certain amount of ego or expertise and acknowledging that in tackling a particular situation or problem, often the best thing you can do first off is to ask the best question possible...which brings us back to the importance of framing.

So how do we frame our approach to anything, family or social or work or creative or logistical or whatever, in a way that

prioritizes divergent questions

and invites ways to solve or approach it that get us excited about tackling it?


Please, let him get humor, and a small bit of buried news.

Our two-year old. Technically, 27-month old, or 2.25 year old, or 2 1/4, etc. but counting in months starts to get ridiculous after...two. In the last two weeks, it is astounding the leaps he has made. Probably a greater two-week evolution than any period that comes to mind in his lifetime thus far. He is drawing frenetically, frantically, and frequently, and they have started to become recognizably representational; generally as family members or Sesame Street characters.

And humor, oh thank you, thank you thank you God and universe for helping him to not have a dreadful sense of humor, or to simply lack one period. It appears that he has one that is functioning, as evidenced by his pleasure in adding "poop" to the end (or beginnings) of words and deliberately referring to uncles as "aunties;" something which sends him into hysterical gigglings.
Sadly, he consistently skips over six and seven when he's counting to ten. Child specialist visits, here we come.*

Oh, we're 20 weeks into the new little one coming along. This is what functions as an announcement; buried on this little blog on this little post halfway through.

I approach big information a little like super rich people approach cell phones: the wealthier you are these days, the more you seem to divorce yourself of functional "necessities" like mobile phones. The more important the information and news we have to share, the less inclined we are to share it to the world en masse. Sometimes scarcity is what makes something special; sometimes that's the very definition.

Silly us.

My fave hygienist (and person on most days).

Becca has been attending a dental convention the past two days. The children and I have embarked on transit adventures throughout Portland during a large chunk of this time, but that is for another time and for when I have the energy to properly highlight and embellish those tales.

Regarding Becca: I am so proud of the way she approaches these classes. Continuing Education (CE) is required for her field. At some point during the year she needs to get a certain number of credits to keep an active license. Back to that whole idea of framing: there are plenty of people who grumble and groan about having to go through the process every year of attending CE courses.

Not Becca. She is a learner. An educator at heart; someone who actively seeks improved ways of doing her job and broadening the parameters of what it means to serve others in a professional capacity. She has approached her career with both confidence and humility as long as I've known her - which is her entire career. :) Every year it is more amazing to me how she performs work that is physically exhausting and often emotionally draining, yet she consistently frames her experiences with patients in the most positive ways and constantly looks for the good in the people she interacts with.

She frames her CE required courses as opportunities; as a chance to improve. Instead of coasting, of gliding through and doing the minimum possible, of finding the fastest, easiest classes; of joining the inevitable choruses in any field of grumbling...she has chosen to quietly, confidently, humbly get everything possible out of these courses. Not just attend. Not just listen and take a few notes. Not just sign in to get it over with.

She goes to these and she comes back with ideas and excitement and is full of enthusiasm about new and fresh ways to be a better hygienist.

What a wonderful example. She is a living example to me of one of my fave quotes:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I love that.

I love her.

I love how she illuminates the world around and constantly seeks, quietly and humbly, to improve.

Thank you.