Monday, March 2, 2009

Lay Your Hands on Me

While waiting to have blood drawn today, I couldn't help but notice an older gentleman sharing the waiting room with me. I was looking at his thin delicate skin and feeling sorry in advance about whatever pricking and poking they were going to impose upon him. He was quite old. He was mostly (but not completely) bald - and even his head was wrinkled. My eyes were, for some reason, drawn to his hands. I was immediately struck by how lovely they were. They were quite deeply wrinkled and covered with age spots. Two things we're taught to fear and fend off as long as possible. Looking at him, I wondered why. He was beautiful. Perhaps that's just my personal aesthetic, but I don't know. He looked beautiful to me. His hands looked particularly beautiful. I found myself wondering what he'd done for a living - how he'd used those hands as a younger man - if they had stories. I was pretty sure they did. I had to force myself to look away - I'd stared too long and was in danger of appearing rude.

I turned my attention to my own hands. I complain about them being wrinkly, and they are - certainly more wrinkly than they were when I was in my 20's - but no where near the glorious wrinkles that that man was sporting. I wondered if he loved them or hated them or was completely indifferent to them. I hoped he loved them. Indifferent seems like a more likely answer, though. I don't love my hands. Even before my skin started showing the ravages of time, I didn't like how short my fingers are. Now they're short and wrinkled. Blech.

When my turn came, after all of this thinking about hands, I pretty naturally focused my attention on the hands of the woman who would be drawing my blood. They looked a lot like mine. But they didn't bother me on her. Hmmmm. So apparently middle-aged hands don't bother me as long as they're attached to someone else. I hope I get over this silliness by the time I have gorgeously deep wrinkles like my companion in the waiting room.

This same reasoning transfers to gray hair for me, too. I think women with gray hair are really beautiful. Women with white hair are downright enviable. And men with gray or white hair? Child, please. Yet graying hair? Not quite as charming. Which is why, I suppose, so many people attempt to cover it up. I bet if we went to bed one day with dark hair and woke up the next with gray it wouldn't freak us out nearly as much as watching the little grays slowly, one by one begin to take over. Because we can hide a couple. And we can hide a few. And then we MUST! The alternative becomes unbearable.

But hands. We were talking about hands. Weird. It's so unlike me to go off on a tangent...

Tom has beautiful hands. Long graceful fingers. He was born to be a musician. When both girls were born, it was immediately apparent that they had inherited his lovely hands. Liv's fingers - at age 11 - are already longer than mine.

My hands aren't so lovely to behold, but they are deft and true. I think maybe I ought to give them a little more respect.

*The title for this post was originally going to be "Hands Down" or "Raise Your Hand if You're Sure" or something like that, but when Tom informed me that today was Jon Bon Jovi's birthday, nothing but "Lay Your Hands on Me" made any sense.

**This is post #99! How shall we celebrate 100? Oh the pressure! Forget I said anything - I think I'll let it come and go like any other. Or maybe I won't. We'll see if inspiration strikes. But if you think of a swell way to commemorate it, I am indeed open to suggestions...


Swine said...

Got to hand it to you... this is lovely. But just in case my hands ever start talking, they're totally lying. Totally. I never made them do that.

Shannon Baskind said...

I like your hands, if for no other reason than they happen to be attached to one of my favorite people.