In Praise of Hands

Okay, let’s hear an applause for our hands!!!

Today as I punch out these words on the keyboard, my fingers are covered in black paint I couldn’t get off yesterday from applying rust preventive paint to my rig.  It occurred to me that only a few days before, I was stripping bark off of aspen saplings.  Two days ago I was enmeshed in creating jewelry as gifts.  And even today my fingers are walking over the keys of my computer.  How talented my hands are!!!

Without them what would I accomplish?  It is helpful that the human species has learned to create tools for our hands to use (and I’ll bet they used their hands to do so…)  Just think about it.  What do your hands do?

This morning I thought about that…I’ve washed how many dishes?  Prepared how many meals over my lifetime?  I’ve folded the laundry, dug, planted and weeded the garden.  Made clothes for my family and myself, created quilts, hammered nails for a deck, painted the walls.  I’ve done architectural drawings, written letters, term papers and lists, and drawn pictures and paintings.

I’ve changed diapers, bathed and dressed children.  My hands have lovingly stroked my children, caressed a lover, touched a friend just where it hurt.

With my hands I have touched the textures of the world – pine needles, grass, velvet, sand paper, mud, the rush of a mountain stream, rocks, feathers, leaves, scales of a fish.  I’ve taken photos that record my experiences (with a ‘right-handed’ camera, by the way!) My hands have petted animals, played musical instruments, and applied lotion to my body.

What would I do without my hands?  My hands are small, like a child’s hands.  When I was young and required ‘discipline’ from a spanking, my mother would inquire how I could cover so much territory on my back side with such little hands!!!

Thank you hands!  I love you!

3 thoughts on “In Praise of Hands”

  1. Your post today brought back some pleasant memories for me. When I went to college, many moons ago, I had to take a speech class. The topic of my first speech was Hands. I got an A on that speech and the professor remarked that no one had ever done a speech about hands. 🙂

    Where would we be without them, indeed!

  2. Yes, indeed! I have done all those things, too, Su and I am so grateful for my hands! Interestingly, at birth my left hand was joined between the fingers like a mitten. Later I had a couple of surgeries to separate them, but they are still shorter and have off joints, unlike the “perfect” ones on the sister hand. I have not found anything I cannot do except reach an octave on the piano or type the “correct” keys per finger on the keyboard here.
    No problems knitting, crocheting, beading, or all the other fun things I do!

  3. Hi SU…..
    This is a great piece! I have marveled many times at all the things that can be done with our hands. Those who do not have hands for one reason or another, also accomplish a great deal that people with hands have no need to learn….unless the hands are gone or no longer useful.

    Most of the time my hands are painful enough to be noticeable. However when totally involved with playing my music or anything else that captures my focused energy, I do not feel any pain.

    Not long ago I saw a musician on YouTube who had no arms….He was playing his piano with his feet! The music he played was classical, which is far more complicated than I want to attempt to learn with my two hands.

    Thank you for the very nice look at “Hands”…… good job!

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