Cross My Heart and Hope to Write


Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Hands and The Hearts Series

 Hands really fascinate me. In fact, they have inspired a poem series. Of all the gifts of nature, of all the wonders of the body, I find our hands to be the most incredible. No mechanical device or prosthetic has ever been able to achieve the elegance and fluidity of our hands. They really are miracles. The thumb alone is an incredible invention of evolution. The separation of one bone into two and suddenly the entire course of the mammalian species is forever altered. We are here because of our hands: Hands built the world around us, built our society, built our humanity. Don't take them for granted; appreciate them! Examine them, cherish them, and respect them for their grandeur.    

My Hands 
     Arranged loosely and unclenched on the desktop in front of me, as if cradling sand, my sullied hands, curled up fragilely in an elderly claw, reveal nails that have been bitten down far too low. These sweaty palms, turned upward nakedly to my tired eyes, glisten in the lamp-light with unease. I observe the gorges and valleys that crisscross them like dried and withered riverbeds, the tips of my fingers red and tingling, cuticles gray as if stained with chalk. They are bent in heavy angles, stiff and unresponsive.
     Turning them over, I find the other side bored with tunnels, blue veins twitching under the pink skin, the tendons tightening and snapping. My crimson knuckles turn white when I squeeze them into fists and listen as the bones within ground together. I look closely at the blotches and cicatrices that mark them, the brown discoloration on my little finger from where my tissue had mutated into beauty mark. The scars twinkle as I turned my digits in the light.
I wonder what my paws will look like in twenty years or so, overgrown with advancing hair and worn, callused, resembling a log of cheese. How many lacerations would they sustain, and how many blemishes will they gain?
     Sliding the juice drenched pad across the lacquered wood of the desk, recalling the feel of it, I try to reminisce about the many things I have touched in my young life, the many things I will have touched, and try to vindicate them. I bring the tender tips up to my cracking lips and taste their saltiness, wafting the scent of a long-forgotten lover. 
     With age, like wine, they will grow wiser, and neither arthritis nor amputation could claim the experiences for their own. These two dissimilar tools that God has so graciously bequeathed upon me, that I have used so thoughtfully to shape my being, move like spiders, monotone, across the surface. However shaky and unsteady, bearing witness to them conjures the life I have commanded, and I am not disappointed or overwhelmed, content and rather blissful, remembering the warmth of the many cheeks I have caressed. 

     But what story is written on yours? Do they reflect what you expect? Or are they sickly and covetous, cradling anger instead of pride; grimy, dry, and cold? Don't overlook how they have shaped you and the power they possess. The healing and Herculean clout, bestowed with such simple innovation, such dexterity and compassion. Melodically and mechanically inclined, able and strangely natural, vaiglorious synthetics of some alien building blocks. 
     Whatever map or recipe those faceless eyes read each time a new life is conceived, it is always revised, but places in the hands the will to change completed delicacy. We each have strength in numbers - ten - so keep them clean, and remember there is always time to finish what you started.        

I've included some new photos from The Hearts Series, photographs documenting hearts found in everyday places.
You can see the complete collection of them by going to the Facebook page. Feel free to Like it while you're there! Enjoy! 

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