One of my first projects in graduate school found me making “prints” of my hands. I made detailed linocuts of my fingerprint pattern, digital maps of my hands as well as an installation of handmade paper hands that hung from the ceiling. (This last one was one of my first experiments with “print” or shall I say the multiple as installation–which still fascinates me.)
But the hand.
I love my hands. I could not do my work without them. I try very very hard to take care of them, protect them, respect them and express my gratitude for them. They have certainly gotten in the way of sharp and heavy equipment, but thankfully, nothing too, too awful.
Since that project in grad school 10 years ago, I often find myself returning to some words one of my cousin’s wrote in response to a call for thoughts about the hands that I put out to my email list. This is what she shared:
As for the hands…on my own hands (as well as at the corners of my eyes) there are several prominent lines formed by the cyclic pattern of trying to learn the main lessons of my life–the themes I was born with that I keep coming back to over and over. It’s as if I can’t learn the whole thing in one sitting. I learn some and walk away to assimilate. Once this is accomplished and further along the path I find myself before the same lesson, student to the next bit of information I can handle. And I walk away again to make it part of me. They are definitely life themes, and as I look back over my days I see the spiral of coming back deeper each time. It’s a pretty spiritual event for me…God definitely is an educator.
These words sat strongly with me then, and again now, especially as I watch those lines get a little deeper and more abundant.
The text Let it Breathe, parallels what I often say to myself, Let it Go…wishing that to you today.