I’m reblogging an old post of mine. The art journal page I finished last night made me think of a post I wrote last year.
I also recently printed up this picture and placed it in my sacred space.
Have you ever thought about the value of your hands? The passing of our friend M this week from leukemia has triggered a whole host of difficult feelings in me and I pondered life.
I’ve been busily preparing a lot of wood plaques, cradle boards, and picture frames for mixed media projects, I got to thinking about what my hands have accomplished during my lifetime so far.
I had my daughter take a picture of my hands afterward, and I composed the following:
These are the hands that played with a lump of gray clay for hours when I was a lonely and unlovable 10 year old girl.
These are the hands that tried to protect myself from my older sister’s smacks, scratches and hair pulling.
These are the hands that caught lizards in the backyard with my 10 year old next door neighbor friend, Barry.
These are the hands that wrote a prolific amount of letters to my friends, thousands of letters and emails over the past 25 years to 12 different pen-pals.
These are the hands that broke apart fights between my mother and step-father.
These are the hands that I held out to my father, who, knife in hand, was getting angry with my mother and was using it to threaten her. I dared him to cut me, instead.
These are the hands that comforted my 6 year old sister when I was 18, because she cried when our parents fought.
These are the hands that journaled my impotent rage and my hopelessness…and my dreams of a better life.
These are the hands that covered my eyes when I cried from the physical and psychological wounds from not only the bullies at school, but the bullies in my own family.
These are the hands that built models – a corvette for my step-dad, and a navy battleship for myself, because my first love went off the the Navy.
These are the hands that used the hobby knife to self-harm, too, because the inner pain was so great, I fantasized about ending my life.
These are the hands that spent hours touching my first love. I marveled at the warm skin I felt under my hands, and the texture of his hairy arms. It was the first lesson I learned about the restorative power of loving touch.
These are the hands that spent many hours exploring the wonders of the lovers that followed.
These are the hands I offered my husband in marriage.
These are the hands I used in preparing laboratory tests. They cultured bacteria for identification of pathogens, processed forensic samples and medical patient samples for DNA testing – in all, many thousands of clinical tests.
These are the hands that held my daughters – day and night in the early days. As much as they ask me now.
These are the hands that stroked my daughters faces, hair and arms while they nursed.
These are the hands that touch my daughters faces now, whenever I get flooded with awe for them.
These are the hands that comfort their hurts…even though, at times…it is hard to do so, because their intense pain is often triggering my own.
These are the hands I’ve used to make toys out of wood and cloth for my daughters.
These are the hands I’ve used to do science experiments and create art with them too.
These are the hands that held people when they mourned, like my usually emotionally aloof uncle while he wept at the death of his mother (my grandmother).
These are the hands that have tried to placate my husband after one of his drinking excesses, that cleaned up the the floor and the walls after him when he didn’t quite make it to the toilet, and that put him to back to bed when he fell asleep on the bathroom floor.
These are the hands that tried to bar him from leaving so he wouldn’t drive drunk. They weren’t always successful.
These are the hands that have hit walls and tables in extreme frustration and agony with such a force that I thought I’d broken my wrists.
These are the hands that destroyed things when the rage could no longer be contained.
These are the hands that tried to reach out to receive love that wasn’t always there to be had.
These are the hands that take pictures of my world.
These are the hands that guide me along, urging me to keep finding the beauty in the world.
These are the hands that create art.
These are the hands that love to mix colors, that affixes embellishments onto pages, and helps me to focus on re-building a life after so much sorrow.
These are the hands that held my river of tears and have strived to make something beautiful out of my life.
These hands have written my stories of joy, my stories of struggle, my stories of loss and my stories of renewal.
These hands have written poetry sometimes, but never very easily.
I hope these hands create more joy than I could ever imagine is possible right now.
I hope these hands touch more people.
I hope these hands leave an even greater body of creative work in my life.
I hope these hands create an even richer, more beautiful life for myself and for my loved ones and for the world.
I hope these hands stay open to all that life has to bring me, even if some of it is not easy to handle.
I hope these hands get stronger and yet even more gentle…as I believe they have a lot more work to do before I leave this world.