Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Show of Hands

Back to the wedding for a moment – I’ve noticed when the serious part of a wedding ceremony begins after the bride comes down the aisle and her boka is transferred to her maid of honor or attendant, most ministers will first tell the bride and groom to join hands. I love that, the image of unity and intimacy that creates before the witnesses of it…my favorite wedding photos are almost always those that show the couples’ hands with their rings or holding the knife feigning slicing their wedding cake.

It’s been 3 days now that Darlin’s been gone after one of the longer periods of time we have gotten to spend together day in and day out and while I miss his laugh, his smile, cooking and eating together, lying next to him sleeping – what I miss most are his hands.

When I first met my Darlin’ face to face after months of online chat, email and phone calls he took my hand and held it tight as if I were a figure composed of helium balloons that had to be securely held onto or I might float away. Then and consistently ever since, when he holds my hand he’ll knead them in the most amazing massaging way, soothing and thrilling at one and the same time. I’ve often felt with him that holding hands is better/sweeter than any other physical form of intimacy. In fact, I was quite touched recently when my younger daughter shared her observations of other couples and expressed disappointment that though they professed to love one another they didn’t hold each other’s hands when they’d drive or walk together or sit side by side watching TV as Darlin’ and I always do. When she has a boyfriend, she told me, he’d BETTER hold my hand! (smiles)

A couple of years ago a favorite magazine, Mary Jane’s Journal, had a hands theme issue with some of the most beautiful photography of hands – firemen’s hands, farmers hands, mother’s and babies’ hands, children’s hands. What a treasured edition! Last year, the last time I saw my dear friend Cyndi, she gave me a piece of her artwork – a pencil sketch of a quilter’s hand stitching. What an absolute treasure! Since her death in October I’ve thought a number of times of offering it back to her family in case they’d wish to keep as much of her artwork together as possible but I can’t part with it.

In one of Michelangelo’s most astounding and famous works of art, incredible as it all is in every detail all of it could be eliminated but the point where the hands of God and man stretch out to touch and still, it would be a Masterpiece.

Doesn’t it make you smile every single time you see a photo in the stale pose of a newborn in the palm of a father’s hand?

And it’s amazing to me to witness the communication of anyone in American Sign Language…to think that even those without voice or the capacity to hear can still communicate with their hands. A favorite joke:
A tour bus driver brings his deaf tour into a bar and grill for their evening meal after a long day driving. The bus driver interprets orders for the bartender while some are gathered at the bar as others are seated for dinner, which the bartender appreciates and gives the bus driver a drink on the house. As everyone has been served the bartender comes to lean awhile and chat with the bus driver and as they chat the bartender curiously asks the driver to help him eavesdrop, so to speak, on some of the conversations of his clientele. After a time, suddenly, all the hands of the folk gathered ‘round the bar start flying rapidly and the bartender is royally confused. “What’s goin’ on?”, he asks the driver. The driver groans and replies, “We’re gonna be here a while – they’ve started singing.”

One of my favorite movie stars/celebrities is known for her voice above all else, Barbra Streisand, but I remember one of my favorite of her movies, A Star is Born, it was her beautiful hands that left the greatest impression on me. I couldn’t take my eyes off her lovely hands!

My favorite hands of all are those of the shampoo-person at any salon and last year I came to appreciate the hands of manicurists. Ahhhhhhh! What luxury! I’m sure I could be made a willing slave for a masseuse.

We can do so much good with our hands – pet an animal, gentle a horse, stroke the trembling back of a sobbing friend, wipe away a child’s tears, feed our selves and others, mend a garment, sow seeds of flowers and vegetables – the possible list is endless. And the value of anything handmade is always immeasurably greater than manufactured. You can read and study and learn about a thing/things but the real knowing comes from hands-on experience.

Today I am especially grateful for hands – mine, though not as strong as they used to be and those that touch me through strokes on a keyboard. I don’t know if this medium will allow it in comments but if you can give me a link, won’t you please show me your hands?

No comments:

Post a Comment