Some clever sage once said that left-handed people are the only beings that function in their right mind. Medically speaking, that statement is valid. Figuratively, however, I’m not so sure that observation holds water.
Most folks are aware that the cerebrum, the largest portion of the human brain, is divided into two sections, the right and left hemispheres. Over the centuries, based upon plenty of hands-on training, doctors and pathologists around the world have also discovered that each hemisphere controls numerous motor functions for the opposite side of the human body—right hand, left brain; left eye, right brain; etc. In addition, medical scientists concur that each section of our convoluted gray matter also influences thought process and individual character traits. Logic, for example, is handled by the left brain. Creativity—artistry—is manipulated by the right.
Grasping those notions, I participated in a brain test—not to prove that I have one, as some of my friends question from time to time, but rather to determine which side of my brain is most often in control. The quiz offered no high score rewards, and there were no incorrect responses. Instead, the questions and corresponding, multiple-choice answers were constructed to expose dominant cerebral processing from either the right or the left brain. The results indicated I was a ‘left-sider,’ which, when considering my background, was no great surprise.
My father earned his living as a mechanical engineer and, therefore, reflected predominant traits of a cerebral southpaw. If we accept that pure creativity is derived from the right brain, my Dad’s wild imagination department was limited. This is not to say he wasn’t resourceful, but his artistry was most often conceived from necessity, then nurtured by technical knowledge and mechanical skills. Yep, he was, definitely a right-hander.
Guided by my dad’s nuts-and-bolts persuasion, I eventually embarked on a similar path. Following high school—then two-and-a-half years of mediocre college, studying Art in Education—I entered a technical career in the automotive industry. At the time, the switch to mechanics was the obvious trade-off, and I excelled in my field. Yes, I also swing and throw from the right side.
But after 30 years of exhaust fumes and skinned knuckles, I deliberately removed myself from that aspect of my life. Other than transportation, I could care less about the automobile. Now writing (and other creative venues) captures my attention—my new focus, perhaps my new career. I’ve become a published writer, and produced collections of short stories, and poems and essays, plus a completed novel and concepts for more. Abundant writing challenges await me. And, although I’ll never completely dispel left brain dominance and the influence it’s imposed on my life, I don’t regret the change. Writing gives me the opportunity to expose my creativity. And God, what a joy it is to go dancing in the right side.