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Marie Tueje's blog.

Actually, Our Limitations Are What Make Us Great

Photo: Tanuja Desai Hidier

Photo: Tanuja Desai Hidier

There is a soon-to-be released biopic on the French jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt, and it was watching this video footage of the great man himself, that got me thinking on the topic of limitations. Most articles about Reinhardt and his incredible playing style make reference to the fact that he was so accomplished despite losing the use of two fingers on his left hand. Well, yes, that's one way of looking at it, but it could also be that somehow his unsurpassed fluidity (certainly his technique) is precisely because of that same limitation. 

It's a tricky one to fathom. Of course, his disability - an extremely rare quality in guitarists - does not alone doesn't make him great, and it should also be remembered that he was arguably an extremely accomplished guitarist and musician before the accident that irreversibly damaged two of his fingers. But, the fact that is that very few people are every going to be able to play the guitar like he does, no matter hard they try to imitate him - makes his style unique, his sound unique, and our response to that sound, affecting. 

When viewed in this way, I would argue that our limitations are a part of what gives us the potential to be great. Our limitations, whatever they might be, have the power to magnify and amplify our creative identity.