It’s so good to have po-friends. One of my po-friends gave me a copy of this:
In my time, I’ve done plenty of thinking about limits. I think there’s something in the American psyche that says limits are to be fought. And some limits do ask to be fought: racism, sexism, injustice, and the like.
But other limits can’t be fought. Those who have been reading for a while know that I have a chronic illness that involves, amongst other things, arthritis and fatigue. If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, “You have to fight it. You can’t let it keep you from living your life,” … . When, in fact, there’s no fighting it. It is part of my life. It’s not going away. Living well within the constraints of my condition is the only option.
But this post isn’t about me; it’s about no ephs and cays and a little boy I’ll call C. The story with no ephs and cays is that a long-ago newspaper’s printing press lacked the Ff and Kk. They went to press anyway. They worked within their limits.
Now, onto C. He’s a little guy in our neighborhood with developmental and physical delays, and severe autism. He’s swimming on the same swim team as my kids this summer (Sidebar: I call it the hippie swim team. Meets are optional. Practices are optional. It’s all about having fun.). I think this is C.’s first year on the team, and he’s just learning to swim. Nonetheless, C. raced in the 50-freestyle yesterday at our meet against the Sharks. Every stroke was slow and painful to watch. Many times I thought he wasn’t going to be able to finish the race. But he kept going, and going, and going, slow and sputtering, but on he went. By the time he made the turn after his first 25, every single person at the meet was cheering for him. Half-way through the second 25, he slowed to a snails pace, and we all sat on the edge of our seats, hoping and cheering. By the time he finally finished, I was weeping and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
The Roccay Mountain Cyclone went to press with no ephs and cays. C. swam that race even though, by most standards, he wasn’t race-ready. Both are a reminder to me that we can all work within our limits, whatever they are. In writing and in life, we can start before we’re “ready.”