Thursday, 10 April 2014

In your hands

I’ve heard it said that it’s possible to tell a lot about a person by looking at their hands. When I was a boy, I was fascinated by my grandfather’s hands. They were not only huge, but the palms were calloused and stained from the wood he worked with. When he turned them over, they were tanned dark brown, veins replicating the branches of trees, nails chipped and broken like weathered shells that had dug themselves from an ancient beach.

Martin still isn't convinced that washing-up benefits his 'mitts'.

My own hands were a source of fascination for our daughter. The first contact we ever had was when she clasped her own little digits around my index finger. But even after she grew beyond losing her hand in mine, she would occasionally take hold and say quietly, perhaps reassuringly, “Daddy hands.”

Do you pay attention to people’s hands, and if so, what do you look for?

18 comments:

  1. I do look at hands -- I like hands that show signs of work -- callouses, scars etc. My own hands feature a permanently crooked little finger from a long-ago cat bite, two calloused finger tips from quilting, and a fresh burn from an oven rack. Also the swollen arthritic joints, age spots, blue veins...kinda as I remember my grandmother's hands. Funny how that happens.

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    1. Hands tell a lot about what we do, don't they? Mine have become a bit soft over the years, There was a time when they were calloused and scarred, and the tips of my fingers on the left hand were toughened on guitar strings. Tapping a keyboard doesn't produce the same effect.

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  2. I once got a class to draw round their hands and then write a poem about themselves in tiny writing - a finger for each verse. They wrote some brilliant stuff. I must do that again.

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    1. What a great idea, Fran. Guess who I'll be trying it out on?

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  3. I once wrote that "Dad's legacy to me is in my hands." http://axiesdad.blogspot.com/2012/06/fathers-day.html
    because he taught me how to use them. His were gnarled by a lifetime of work, mine not so much, but I do have some scars and calluses.

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  4. I'm not one to study hands, maybe because my own hands sure tell the story of a woman that clearly should have used gloves more often, especially when playing in the dirt. I should carry hand lotion in my pocket or purse more often, as I tend to wash my hands a lot. Really a lot!

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    1. Playing in the dirt, wearing gloves, just isn't the same as having your fingers in the soil, though, is it? The hand lotion sounds like a good idea!

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  5. My mother's hands had a masculine quality in that she had quite prominent veins. And they suited her because she was a very practical woman, able to turn her hand (geddit?) to most things. As she got older she let her hands tell her life story.

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    1. I imagine your mother's hands reflected, accurately, all the hard work she undertook over the years. Yet, no matter how worn, they were the same hands that held you.

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  6. Nice thought and post Martin. You always have such lovely ideas and it's always a pleasure to read your writing AND poetry.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. So nice to have you along.

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  7. With women, I usually look for a wedding ring. If there isn't one, I turn on the charm. (Anyone know where I can buy some more charm? I clearly don't have enough.)

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  8. I notice hands, particularly the length of the fingers for some reason

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    1. Perhaps you're one for identifying piano players, Juliet!

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  9. Since I developed Dupuytrens I have become more concious about my own hands and noticed other peoples hands more and more. I am not quite sure what my twisted little fingers say about me!

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    1. Alan, those twisted little fingers must be connected to photography in some way, surely?

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