Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Importance of Hands

I study hands. A lot. I never knew I did this until recently. When I think of a person and imagine their face I can also see their hands. For instance, I can remember my best friend Kathy Crosby's hands from our high school days. The way they looked and the way they moved. Put a bunch of hands in a room and I can tell you who they belong to. My sister's hands. Long delicate fingers. My kids hands, Sean's calloused from playing the drums and Sarah's well manicured. And, oh yes, then there are Keith's very distinct hands:). Double jointed or is it triple jointed?!

My hands have aged and changed these past few years. They have age spots and my skin, when pinched, takes a few more seconds each year to relax back to normal. I would spend hours watching my mother's hands go about her chores, teaching me to knit or sew, so it was with sadness I held them in her last years...long fingers, nails that were kept trimmed for her, bones covered with transparent skin. My grandmother's chubby soft hands that went along with the rest of her body. Slightly curved fingers from a touch of arthritis. I was completely taken with my husbands hands when we first started dating. Just right. I watch hands when someone holds a cup of coffee. I secretly study them. Weird. My father's hands. Delicate dark hairs, on shortish fingers, hands a little shaky these days, and then there's my intake of breath when I first notice the new wedding ring. Not the beautiful simple smooth piece of gold he had worn for the last 50+ years, the one that left an indentation in his finger when he took it off, but a new, edgy, thing. Square edges. It looks like an art deco door placed on a beautiful antique center chimney cape.

I'm just sayin'.

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