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  •, Perfection is a funny thing.

    When I was little, my grandmother took me to see the St. Louis arch. First, we watched a video on its construction. The architects built it by drawing up a blueprint, then starting with building both legs on the ground, with the idea that they would meet at the top. If their calculations had been off by 1/32nd (or was it 1/64th?) of an inch, then the peak of the arch wouldn't have come together as planned. After the video was complete, we got to take a trip inside the architectural wonder that pays homage to Lewis and Clark's famous western exploration. I remember standing on a dull, carpeted ledge and peering out the miniature windows. One side provided a scenic panoramic view of the Mississippi River, but as an eight year old who spent most of his time thinking about baseball or baseball cards, I was more concerned with the side that gave an aerial view of Busch Stadium, the grand sports-plex that was home to the revered Cardinals. And it was perfectly round.

    In that same time period I can also recall my elementary school art class. I specifically remember being so concerned with making my painting appear on paper exactly as I pictured it in my head. Obviously, I couldn't do that. And it frustrated me. I knew how the image should look, and I was flustered that I could not paint it so. But my teacher insisted over and over, "You can't make mistakes in art."

    I didn't understand.

    But now I do--not everything has to be perfect.

    I tried to fit four pancakes on the pan, and I mis-flipped.

    And that's perfectly alright.
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