these hands of mine…

i love my hands. i really do.

not because of what they look like, but because of all they can do.  my creativity pours out through my hands. and i’m far better at speaking “through” my hands than i am at talking. words flow naturally from them, by pen or by keyboard, while my mouth sometimes stumbles around trying to find the right word. or it just keeps shut while my mind whirrs by too quickly to capture the words i wish to say.

my hands let me do so much, feel so much, take so much in. my idea of torture is walking through a fabric store with gloves on. my hands sense the fibre content at first touch… and cringe accordingly at anything more than 20% synthetic ;-)  my fingers run along the rim of vintage dish and immediately pick up any irregularities or fine cracks. a small length of yarn between my fingers conjures up multiple ideas for what it can become, given a little time and a few thousand stitches, give or take…

and so you’d think i’d take good care of these hands that do so much.

hands and pots

{getting ready for a bit of container gardening}

a few years ago, when i was teaching yoga regularly, i would remind my students at the start of each class to “honour the way you feel today.” meaning, if you were able to do a certain asana (yoga posture) to a certain extent last time, it doesn’t mean by default that you should be able to do the same or more today. put expectations aside. we have different stresses and demands on our bodies, and our bodies respond fluidly. the only way we can keep up with our abilities is to really learn to listen to them. if we were able to touch our toes last week, yet can’t seem to get past our ankles today, don’t push it. ease off. listen and respect what your body is telling you. a big part of yoga is to shut off your mind (that endless chatterbox know-it-all) and to focus on the moment, the feeling of what is. right now.

and yet, this is exactly what i failed to do last week.

i was in the garden, using a hand-weeding tool for a number of days in a row. my hands began to ache, but i kept pushing through. “so much to do…”

and here i am now, typing slowly and carefully because i’ve really gone and messed up my hands. because i didn’t listen to those first twinges. i have shooting pains in the same hand that was holding the weeder and cultivator. i’ve iced, rested, elevated and used a splint at night (i have a habit of curling my hands inward while asleep; i’m sure i was a cat in another life… though i’m allergic to cats in this life, so who knows about that theory).

and i’m sure typing and repetitive motions don’t help. pretty much everything i do is repetitive…cook, clean, wash, sew, knit, change diapers, drink coffee… so i’m avoiding as many of those things as i can. which really means i’m not sewing, knitting, and i wont write* here nearly as often til this thing settles down. and i have booked an appointment to have it checked…

* my husband was looking up some voice-dictation software, and they are so horrible! he sounded like  “HAL” or that dog on the movie “up” at best. “hello. you. are. my. friend.” …and i don’t like talking to my computer. if i did, i wouldn’t be here doing this :-)

but yes, i’ll be taking it easy.

because i love my hands. i really do.

hands

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13 Responses to these hands of mine…

  1. Tara Benwell says:

    What an amazing post, Ana! I love my hands too! They look so old and frail compared to the rest of me, but I think this is normal for a writer. Plus, they remind me of my mom and my grandmother–the women who helped me become who I am today. Most of the women on my mom’s side have this crooked freaky looking pinkie finger on the right side. It’s pretty cool. I hope my daughter gets it!

    Thanks for the reminder about listening to body warnings. I often forget too!

  2. Pam says:

    Great post. I love my hands too. I have learned the hard way – always listen to your body.

  3. Kirstin says:

    I’m glad you “found” me despite the typo…oops )C:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog too and I can understand the aches and pains, though mine come in my hips )C:

    I’ll be back to visit soon.

  4. iMadeItSo says:

    thanks for sharing, everyone.

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  6. Nice link within your couch post! ;-)

    I do this too! –>” (i have a habit of curling my hands inward while asleep; i’m sure i was a cat in another life… though i’m allergic to cats in this life, so who knows about that theory)” and am also allergic to cats. In fact, I do it so thoroughly that I have often cut off my circulation in this bizarre position and I wake up with hands unable to obey my commands because they are numb. Turn of the alarm? Nope. Hand falls to the side of the bed, like a drunk stumbling away from the bar. Pick up the ringing phone? Nope. Hand falls like a spider dropping from the ceiling, without the ability to articulate the joints because it feels none of the signals I send it. It is a very weird feeling…

  7. ~*~Patty says:

    ahhh you teach/taught yoga! how very nice and special that is

    I have done Kundalini yoga for about ten years now, back problems and my fav teacher moving have given me too long of a pause … I trust that your lovely hands are feeling better now … I so agree about hands … I am a very tactile person … funny about china … I always pick it up and see what’s written on the bottom eventho I am not a “brand name” person perse … just curious I guess

  8. well that really was ‘hand’ made – and people who stop by this post in isolation are so going to be wondering what that means. i too find it so much easier to express thoughts/things through my hands and in particular making stuff – it’s so much easier for me than trying to get past any ineptness with words. :D

  9. Alyssa says:

    Oh Ana. I’ve done just that – overdone it, I mean. You know, I sleep with my hands like that, too. Wonder why we do? I keep saying I want to come back as a cat.

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