Thursday, June 30, 2011

Limits and limitations

I have a friend who is likely to interrupt protests or hesitation with an accusation that one is simply defending one's limitations. Of course, he is often right. Often we do defend our limitations with passion and perseverance. We like to know who we are, even when it means we cannot win.

On the other hand. . .

Once upon a time, I faced a scholarship panel who asked "If you can do math, why do you want to take English?" And I was as impassioned as only a very young person can be in defence of not having to do something simply because I was capable of doing it. In the end, I did take one university math course (theoretical calculus) but I did eleven years of university English. I picked the language that talked about the things that were important to me.

At the seashore, there are no limits, and the water washes endlessly against the shore and draws back again. The river runs between its limits, and moves. . . to the sea.

I love English literature and it speaks to all of me. I love the fine play of logic in mathematical thinking. I choose my limits and love to move within them.

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