Monday, 4 October 2010

the hand - la main

The hand is the extremity of the arm below the wrist, the forefoot of a quadruped and the division of a bunch of bananas. Since I awoke, three hours ago, my hands have made Chung Mee green tea, wiped poo from bottoms, typed on a keyboard, spread blackberry jam on fresh baguette, clutched cereal packets, pulled up trousers, held hairbrushes, removed knots, closed zips, opened doors, pushed in keys and cupped tenderly a fist full of tiny fingers. This morning my hands have touched money, bread, cup handles, autumn leaves, canteen electronic cards, paper, books, keyboards, skin and water. I washed my hands with Neem soap, in a soft, lavish white lather. I plunged them in warm liquid to rinse off the froth. My hands come from my paternal grandmother, they are small, supple and like to gesticulate, to tell a story. In my hospital work, I often touch clients and staff, meeting people through my hands. Today, the tips of my fingers will be feeling keys all day, perhaps caress a pumpkin and flick a thousand paper pages. My twenty-six bones will be co-ordinating with my brain to make fiction, to forge a metaphor. My hands will finish the day under my duvet, clenched in fists, thumbs hidden inside my four fingers, sleeping tight. Where are your hands going today? Our bodies are the reflection of our lives.

La main by Lasuza, 1999


Susan Kruse said...

This post expresses with words exactly what I am trying to show with my Mother Love mittens. I really like that you are focussing on all the diverse doings of hands, from wiping poo to making tea. (with washing in between!)What a miracle of evolution our hands are and how beautiful. I love the lacing of fingers, the creases on palm, the nobbles of knuckles and the sling of skin between. I even love the dry, slightly crepy skin on the back of my hands and how it moves now so differently from when I was young.

lasuza said...

Yes, nice title- the doings of hands. I am fascinated by the non-verbal ways through which we encounter the world. Our hands meet sand, our noses greet the iodine scent. We smell, touch and taste and yet focus upon the visual and cerebral. Our largest organ is the skin, metres of soft matter.

Amy said...

I love this. It is making me see my day in a whole new way. I hadn't thought about what I had touched at all, only what I had seen. I love it when a piece of writing suddenly shifts your perspective like that. Thanks for sharing it.

lasuza said...

Thanks for your comment Amy. I like to imagine the journeys that the different parts of our body are making each day, seeing the world through our fingers and toes, apprehending the world through touch.
Imagine the stories that or ankles, wrists or teeth would tell, the history of the worls recounted by an earlobe.