Many artists claim hands are the hardest body parts to draw. Hands can make more shapes, shadows and forms than any other body part due to the vast amount of muscles and bones. The folds and the wrinkles, the texture of the nails and the elasticity of the skin make hands fascinatingly difficult to artists and most unnoticed by the seven billion people on Earth who depend on them every day.
Before I was born, hands told my story.
The biography of hands forms the background of our lives.
I bet my mother grabbed my father’s hands as she excitedly told him she was pregnant with their third daughter. I’m sure my father’s hands shivered from anticipation and the cold October in Maine as he walked my mother across the field to the military base hospital. Then, as soon as the doctor announced that I was a healthy girl, my mom, dad and two older sisters carefully wrapped my little hand around their fingers.
Guiding hands lead you safely and proudly.
Then, as I grew, my mom and her friends held my tiny, toddler hands as they guided me through the Fort Worth Zoo, Disney World, and Mount Rushmore. My father held my childish hand as we bowed our head to thank God for our food. My parents gently slid my nervous hand out of theirs as they pointed towards the gymnasium full of little girls in gymnastic leotards just like me.
A few years later, they once again slid my nervous hand out of theirs and pointed me towards the third grade classroom at the local Christian school full of attentive little students. Through the years at that school, my parents high-fived my hands at awards ceremonies, clapped theirs at my sporting events, and wiped their tears at my musical theatre performances. Finally, my parents and teachers shook my hands in congratulations as I walked across the stage wearing a bright blue robe.
Hands learn and grow.
I intertwined my pinkie finger with my childhood best friend’s as we promised to not lose touch in college. I let go of my mother’s hand as I walked into my freshman dorm without her. I waved through Skype as I chatted with nieces and nephews. I used my fingers to text old high school crushes as I giggled with my roommates. My hands took accurate notes for my dozens of newspaper articles.
I shook hands with student leaders as I was elected into my favorite organization on campus. I learned how to form the Indian dance hand gestures as I performed for Diwali Night with other international students. My sweaty hands held a shaky microphone as I delivered my presidential speech in front of 1,500 people. My hands patted my best friends’ backs when I came home for weekend visits. My hands firmly grasped the my university diplomas I had worked so hard to earn as I carefully walked across the stage, promising myself not to trip.
Steady hands make traveling easy.
A few months later, my fingers quickly zipped up my suitcase as I packed up to head to Beijing to study Chinese for a year. My fingers quickly learned how to manipulate chopsticks in order to get food into my mouth. My hands diligently practiced writing Chinese characters until I confidently memorized more than 2,000. My fingers eagerly snapped pictures of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Cambodian Angkor Wat, the Taiwanese mountains and the Singaporean skyscrapers. My hands held my head as I sat in my lonely dorm room and lost my Christian faith and my childhood identity.
My hands hold my future.
Now, my fingers on a keyboard provide me money to live. Holding hands with my nieces and nephews provide me with hope for the future. Fingering chords on my guitar and strumming with my hand provides me entertainment. Flipping through pages of textbooks provides me knowledge. Holding hands with my boyfriend provides me with a love and a comfort that I’ve never known before. Now, my hands hold my future.