handsI’ve always had a bit of an unnatural, unspoken of obsession with hands. I like hands. They are fascinating, beautiful, able and even those that are absorbed with arthritis or similar still hold some kind of weird appeal.

I like big hands. I like small hands.

I find great pleasure in remembering and watching people’s hands, they’re easy to take for granted.

I like the woman’s hands that scanned my shopping the other day. I like that there was a sign that said “Cannot lift more than #kg’s” and yet she was still there.

The word ‘hand’ has a several positive meanings, take these for example:

noun: ability

noun: a round of applause to signify approval

And what is said about hands:

“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”– Sir Isaac Newton

“The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.”
-Jacob Bronowski

I like that humans (if my sketchy memory of Biology and evolution theories hold) are the only beings with a fully opposable/prehensible thumb.

If I had to lose one of my five senses – touch would probably be the last to go.

I bite my nails, I have shocking circulation and relatively regular RSI, but I like my hands. I like that I can do.

I like that I can type fast. I like that I can hold things. I like that I can touch things and feel soft and hard and sharp and smooth.

I like that hands often indicate, ‘to help’. I like that hands can comfort.

I like that my friend Kerryn once pointed to me towards a verse in Isaiah that brings a familiar gesture to an often incomprehensible God.

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles…” (42:6)

I like holding hands.

There is some kind of paradox about hands. So safe – but not.

Open them if you need to.
Hold them if you haven’t.
Lend them regardless.

Marvel and live dangerously.


  1. said:

    I like this post very much. They are my hands and feet in the photo! That is not why I like this post, but it is a good photo.

    November 30, 2006

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