Opinion Wellbeing and Family

Limitation is a Mother

Limitation comes in several and sundry forms these days. For the vast majority of us, it comes in self-, entity-, or state-restricted movement. We are home. To work. To eat. To play. To school. For very many of us, limitation has also visited in the form of unexpected unemployment. Followed by limitations in unemployment office bandwidth and applications for new jobs. For too many, limitation has worn a mourning veil or a mask of frustration or a shroud of desperation.

Limitation is a mother.

She brings change, sometimes unwelcome. She bears us out of comfort into extremes. She does the hard thing, the demanding thing, the wholly unfair thing. She unites us, if only against her. And she bears the brunt of all our angst.

Limitation is a mother.

She brings forth creativity. A kind of sprawling, infinite sea of change in contracted, finite acts. Designing masks. Rethinking triage. Tending the dead.

But also teaching the alphabet. And virtually dissecting a frog and meeting in 6-foot gaps. In celebrating with mini parades. Baking a loaf of bread. Starting a garden. In looking up a local food producer. And in connecting. In writing or painting or singing. In telemedicine and appointment-only everything.

Limitation breeds creativity. Phil Brookman said that. What has limitation bred before you?

I have been fortunate to escape Covid-19 to date, to survive coronavirus unemployment, to gain employment, and to enjoy coaching my kids through distance learning.

My time is more restricted than it’s been in years. Limitation. And I am more prolific than maybe ever. There’s something about constrictions that compels expansion. That drives you to the corners of the day, the 15 minutes here and 5 minutes there, to be and become. To create. To push back against limitation. And love it.

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