85 – Hands *

Special thanks to Fraggle for providing the photos. Fraggle is in the UK and I encourage readers to visit her photography blog Fraggle: Rocking a camera across the universe. Please tell her I sent you and feel free to comment on her images here. All images are copyrighted by Fraggle and Fragglerocking Photo Blog.

On a personal note, life has gotten in the way of me visiting others the past two weeks. Thank you for your loyalty and patience. My apologies because I like to reciprocate. Maybe this is a sign I need a blog break. Hmmmmm …..

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on the feet.

Some of the people I pass are holding something in their hands: a phone, shoes, jacket, bottle, or a bag. However, most are not, so their arms are casually swinging to and fro to help their body maintain balance.

I pass fishermen using their hands to hold poles, bait hooks, unhook fish, or cast a line. Others are sitting in a chair holding a can, book, or electronic reader – but all are aware of their collection of hooks at sea.

I think about a hand with a palm, heel, and digits called fingers and a thumb that connect to the lower arm by a collaborative effort of eight wrist bones. A human hand is composed of five hand bones and 14 bones in the digits.

I think about the things we do with hands – grip, grasp, grab, handle, manipulate, fix, tie, push, pull, pick, point, carry, bury, peel, wash, play, eat, and hold. We squish and squash, tickle and scratch, slap and clap, pat and pet, lift and place, rub and wring, mold and shape, write and type, and more.

I want to add fiddle and faddle, plus snap, crackle, and pop, but not all of these descriptors fit. Yes, I am guilty of gesturing with my hands as I talk but, hands are also a connection point between two ballroom dancers serving as a silent line of communication.

Hands lead the way for providing special gifts from the painter, sculptor, knitter, woodworkers, sower, tailor, seamstress, and candlemaker. The same is true for bakers, chefs, musicians, farmers, and more.

I admire the potter who transforms clay from the ground into an artistic piece for others to enjoy. Then there are the gardeners – those who use their hands to work the soil to provide the beauty of flowers and the bounties of fresh food and ingredients.

I think about how plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and mechanics use their gifts to provide services, yet all of us have hands for helping others in some way. Cheers to the many volunteers who use their hands for helping others in whatever way they can.

I think about clasping hands for gathering water to drink or refresh a face – to receive a special piece of bread – to accentuate a voice to be heard – or gently folded together.

Hands signify a strong work ethic and a yearning to learn. I think about the millions of immigrants who moved to another land seeking a new life – and their hands led the way.

As the tips of our fingers are sensitive areas for the sense of touch, I find it interesting how those same fingers serve as a sense of sight for the blind, while the entire hand can speak a language for the hearing impaired.

The hands are home to only a few muscles, so they easily get cold – and keeping fingers warm is more difficult. Yes, I prefer mittens over gloves on the coldest days at home.

Hands for grasping at straws, holding on to wants, and reaching for wants, goals, or even something unattainable. Hands for passing a baton, handing on a silver platter, but by show of hands, who would eat out of someone’s dishpan hands?

From the hands of lovers holding to fighters shaking hands before they start swinging, hands have many ways of defining who we are. Hands show emotions by waving, clenching them into a fist to shake, punch, pound on a table, or use fingers to deliver a message.

Hands define who we are because one can have blood on their hands, hand over the reins, or fit like a hand and glove. Sometimes we want to cash in a hand but, someone can catch our hands in the cookie jar. We clench our hands into a fist or rule with an iron hand and maybe with a velvet glove.

While we have hot hands, hands full, free, tied, heavy, and even jazzy, hands can also hand in, handoff, hand down, hand out, hand over, hands up, but can be hands-on. While I don’t claim to have the upper hand, the person who dealt Wild Bill Hickok the Dead Man’s Hand is buried near my Ohio home.

Seeing the sea birds reminds me to think about the animals of the sea and land because they are other organisms with adapted hands of longer fingers or longer palms. Yes, adaptations for special reasons – some even as pinches, paws, flippers, fins, or wings – let alone adaptive feet serving as hands

If you think about it, there is a lot to say about hands – plus hands have much to say about us. While you may be thinking there is more to say about fingers, you are correct because they will have their own walk. Let us not forget this important thought: Hands – touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you. I continue to enjoy walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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103 thoughts on “85 – Hands *”

  1. I sometimes use my hands in my work at the nursing home to massage restless arms or legs, soothe an aching back, or just hold an anxious hand to calm someone…and sometimes I take a resident’s hand or hands in mine to help them walk a bit.

    Yes, our hands are something amazing, and where would we be without them.

    Years ago, I had to take care of a 2-year-old boy who had lost his right hand in a farm accident…the only thing going for him at that time was the fact that he was very young and would adapt. I know of artists with no (usable) hands who can make use of their feet to paint. Prosthetic hands are very functional these days, and some have even had hand transplants!

    I like to think our Creator gave us our hands to praise Him with…and he has given us the intelligence to use them that way…and the brain cells to invent hand alternatives if need be.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just yesterday while waiting for my mom’s doctor’s appointment to end, I saw a man with both arms and legs that were prostheses!! He got around amazingly well and it was so good to see. Then there’s Joni Eareckson Tada a quadriplegica (http://www.joniearecksontadastory.com/) who paints holding the brush in her mouth. Absolutely amazing. Also agreeing wholeheartedly about the Creator giving us hands, brains, and everything else for that matter. ❤

      janet

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Merril,
      Good morning. If the lower-humidity air hasn’t arrived, it should soon! Hands definitely weren’t the first thing I thought of at the beach … not even the 85th …. probably closer to the 200th. But, I’m happy that I did because it worked well and let to a draft about fingers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the feel of sand whispering through my hands or water cascading over my knuckles. It’s a visceral, tactile thing and yet I can close my eyes and experience the world just with a touch of my hand. Thank you for evoking that imagery Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Although a few other areas may be sensitive to touch than the hands, our fingers are the prime area engaging with touching the outside world. Love the way you described touching sand and water. For me, you took me back to the very fine sand of the area I visit. Thanks for the power of imagery.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Life gets busy sometimes. I had to cut back to two posts a week rather than three, and I might keep it that way. I’m finding I say everything I need to say in two posts. As for hands…so much to say about them. I’m reminded of the scene where Romeo and Juliet meet…”For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch. And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.” Of course, Romeo does not want to kiss Juliet’s hand. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie,
      What a wonderful quote for Romeo and Juliet. Now I’m wondering if this is the first time anyone has ever quote Shakespeare here. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and your understanding about my blogging dilemma. I feel like I’m barely able to keep up with comments here, let alone visiting others. For me and my sense of blogging, both are important. Maybe this is a sign that a blogging break is necessary. After all, blogging breaks are good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know exactly what you mean. And, yes, sometimes breaks are necessary. It is quite a chore to keep up with comments and to visit other blogs. I have a smart phone, and often read blogs and comment when I have a spare fifteen minutes. Also, I’m sorry to say, in bed at night. However, as an indie fiction writer, the blogging world has been an invaluable asset. Because of my blogging friends, my books are read all around the world. Plus, what a wonderful community. Anyway…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You have opened up my world to two new bloggers this week Frank. Thank you.

    An interesting post that reminds me the first thing I noticed about my husband (over 40 years ago) was his hands. They have turned out to be kind, gentle, hard-working hands all of these years. An excellent, thought-provoking post. I will continue to mull over your paragraph “…hands define who we are…” The song “Hands” made my eyes leak.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica,
      Thanks for sharing a bit of your fondness of hands. I’ve heard others they that one of the early things the notice in new people is their hands.. Love your thoughts about your husband’s hands. Happy to introduce you to new bloggers. The collaborating photographers are wonderful, plus there are many good people in the comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Frank,

    You might remember I wrote a post about hands a while back – jeez… this prompted me to go back and see when I did and it was in November 2019! Never mind 😉

    So, anyway 😉 Beautiful pictures from Fraggle to go with a post that speaks to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      Cheers to Fraggle’s pictures. She gave me choices, and I wanted to maximize the concept to hands – and to me, mission accomplished. I remember your hands post. If my memory recall is correct, I’m thinking 15 November 2019 or thereabouts. It was about your fondness of hands, including those of your father. Wish I would have thought of it when gathering the links for this post. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, they are wonderful and you chose well.
        Do ya now? I checked, it was the 8th, so close enough. And nah… it was too old to be linked 😉 That is sweet, though.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Frankly 😉 You are better than I.. I thought it was in 2020 that I wrote it!
            Hanging in. Got my second vaxx yesterday so raring to go. Anywhere. After the two-week window for the vax to set in proper-like…

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh bummer! I’m hoping I can cross the border 😉 soon…
                My friend wanted me to book France to join her and share a room for April 2022. I said I already cancelled that twice. If ever I feel I can go, I can last-minute it, unless she gets someone to join her by then.

                Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! I don’t know how you found this particular video but it is the perfect fit for your piece. Also, it made me cry. I will watch the video again today. Anything that can move me to tears deserves to be watched more than once.
    Hands are amazing! I have always studied hands and taken pictures of them. You can tell so much about a person from their hands. I especially love photos of worn, scarred and knotty hands. There is a story in every wrinkle, crease and scar. The eyes may be the windows to the soul but the hands open the door to your spirit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle,
      Thanks for letting me know that the video moved you. To be honest, I almost didn’t use it – but given the positive responses, I’m glad I did. I also appreciate your comment about hands. I wish I would have thought of “There is a story in every wrinkle, crease, and scar.” … So simple, yet so well stated. Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “The eyes may be the windows to the soul but the hands open the door to your spirit.” Right on, SilkPurse!
    BTW: I’m thinking of taking a lengthy blog break, too…must be something floating around the blogosphere!
    😎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura,
      Glad you appreciated Michelle’s (SilkPurse) wonderful comment about hands. 🙂 One of my mantras: Blog breaks are good. Yep – I believe it and practice it. In my previous blogging life, I even wrote a post about blog breaks that identified different levels/kinds of them. During the pandemic, blogging was a way we filled our time – but with summer and life opening up, now we feel the tension. Stepping away to breath is a good thing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ludwig,
      Thank you for the kind words. Interestingly, I don’t see myself as a writer – but simply as a person who enjoys writing. Glad I was about to get you thinking about hands. Oh my – the image in the link is fabulous! Thank you!!! … and I invite others to see it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hands certainly come in handy, don’t they? 🙂 I really enjoyed the photos, Fraggle. Living in the Midwest as long as I did, I learned to love mittens although when I used to ski, I had warm gloves. My favorite sort of hands and those so greatly needed every day are helping hands. We can all have and use those. 🙂

    If you need a break, Frank, go for it. I’m finally working on my photos for our next collaboration but greatly enjoyed my break back in Illinois (well, sort of a blogging break.)

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet,
      Glad you enjoyed this walk and Fraggle’s photos. Helping hands are very important – both from the receiving and providing perspective. Each of us have ample opportunities to assist others!

      A blog break is coming sooner than I expected. I’m in a streak of being “time poor” so I’m having problems keeping up with comments here, let alone visiting. For example, I’m replying to your Tuesday comment on Saturday. As you know, that’s not me! Thanks for the encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m right there with you, Frank, on the mittens vs. gloves debate. I’ve never found gloves to be warm the way mittens are! I know what you mean about the need for a wee break, too. Things get so busy sometimes that we all need time to rest and catch up. If you decide to pause, enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Debbie,
      Hooray for another mitten lover. The key is knowing when to use them because each has a place! A blog break is eminent for me because I’m having difficulty keeping up here, let alone visiting and commenting elsewhere. I purposefully didn’t post today to catch up – but don’t be surprised if I announce something on the next post.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I find the stories in hands particularly grabbing . The diversity of the photos perhaps tells you why!

    There are plain hands and elegant hands, worn hands and happy hands. I find all hands have a unique shape and their own lines and prints of happiness, and am also drawn to hands with long nails . . . As for covering the hands, I enjoy the elegance of my great-grandmother’s black gloves, but also love wearing the mittens my grandmother knits. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hands are by far the best indication of age too. Something I have often reflected on.

    Old Man Hands


    And what of people born with no hands, like the Thalidomide cases when that drug was used?
    I would love to hear their thoughts on life with no hands.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kim,
      On behalf of Fraggle, both of us are glad you enjoyed this walk. Although hands have a way of identifying who we are, but I can see how the college assignment would be difficult I find it interesting how some are related to age – that see, older hands on a younger body or younger hands on. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hands – what a deeply creative topic to write on. A direct source of expression and creation itself, more so for a writer, I feel such gratitude for this art available at my fingertips. So much is obvious yet what a gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m a fidgeter with my hands, Frank! Best for me to hold my two dogs by their leashes on our walks and put my stuff in a unfashionable fanny pack so I can be somewhat unfettered, but have the phone at the ready for that special photo op! Hands are what makes us human in the animal kingdom. You might be of the right age to remember an old school film about an armless woman named Bonnie Consolo ( Day in the Life of…), born without arms. She never felt handicapped because she never knew the difference. Very inspiring! Anyhoo, nice to have real internet again. Take a break, it’s all good. Blogging drops off in the summertime anyway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri,
      I too have a degree of fidgeting hands – and you had me chuckling at your description of your dog walks. Bonnie Consolo is a great inspiration. Isn’t it interesting how some with handicaps make life work because that’s all they know! Meanwhile, I know a blog break is on my near horizon. After all, I’m still responding to comments on a post that has been up almost a week. If that’s not a sign, what is?!!!! Anyway, “blog breaks are good” is a personal mantra. Thanks for the encouragement. Meanwhile, I hope I can finish these comments before my announcement post on Tuesday.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. In teaching my preschoolers, my hands connect to them in so many ways. From a touch, to a hug, to helping pump that swing, to guiding using a pencil, my hands are the love and learning they need.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. It’s obvious you’re time poor, Frank, because you haven’t responded to many of the comments. I’ve chosen to step back from the blog, but you can see it’s not a very big step backwards because I have to peep every couple of days in case I’ve missed something precious. I would hate to have missed this 🙂 🙂 Simply commenting gives me the choice to engage or not, whereas a blog post always needs responses. Go your own way, hon! That’s best. Can I just add something that many would find strange? In all my years of following Rafa Nadal, the part of his anatomy that I love best is his hands. The skills they own are phenomenal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      Your comment touched me enough that I bypassed many others to respond. “Time poor” – what a great description. So good, that I will have to remember it to hopefully use myself. You and I are similar in many ways, especially in our approach to responding to others at our end and in visiting/supporting others on their side. I haven’t been out enough to even realize you had stepped away a it. 😦 … Crazy! Thank you for your kind words and support. I simply can’t say thanks enough. I want to get through June, but I sense a blog break on the way. After all, blog breaks are good. One of the things I will want to do is to return to visiting and supporting, but without hosting. Also, how interesting that you focus on Nadal’s hands – and yes – he has phenomenal skills and obviously the King of Clay.

      Like

  16. Wonderful video……and photos. This post REALLY made me think about hands – I’ve used mine for holding a paint brush, soothing my Mom’s anxiety in the nursing home, writing a first draft of my novel, fashioning bread, and I never really THOUGHT about how truly necessary hands are. True people get along without them – amazing really. Now that I’m older I see more age in my hands than I do in my face…..I wrote a poem many years ago called “I’ve Got My Mother’s Hands” and I really DO. When I look at my hands I get flashes of the past but it’s not uncomfortable it’s a reminder of all the adventures I’ve had in my many years. Thanks for that – I sometimes need a reminder that I am a very lucky woman.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Hands are so much of human actions. So much – and maybe even so much so that we don’t realize it. The fact that this walk stimulated your thoughts about them is a good thing – and you shared wonderful examples. Oh the journey a person’s hands have encountered. Thanks for your reflection!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Adore the video, Frank!
    Might I add that you are quite handy at reflecting.
    Thank you for another thoughtful post.
    Fraggle is fab! I’ve been to her photo before. Her work is excellent. I followed your link to her blog. It said BLOG (lol) and I was the first to like it. I know there is more, as I’ve been there before. Somehow I found it funny.
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ally,
      Glad you enjoyed the combination of my words and Fraggle’s images. The mind has a way of wandering to find interesting topics. Unfortunately, I can’t recall how I started thinking about hands, but I do know that a walk about fingers came from that! …. well …. or was it the other way around? Either way is a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Rachel,
      Thanks for sharing something personal that I didn’t know. If this post delivered a positive message to you, I am personally thrilled! All is well – just “time poor” – I don’t think I’ve ever been this behind in responding. I hope you see my next post (Tuesday).

      Like

  18. Hands are pretty darn useful! The pandemic has made think about hands a lot — all the surfaces we touch, the way we unconsciously touch our faces, mouth and hair, and all the interperson hand interactions. We defintiely take them for granted!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is wonderful, from the inspiring thoughts on the purpose of our hands, to fraggle’s extraordinary images! I’m going to copy the one of aging hands with my hands, daughters and granddaughters! I love that one. C

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Such an interesting topic, and Fraggle’s photos of hands are the perfect highlight! I think of how much I have always loved both the hands of the very aged, and a baby’s hands. To me, both are just as sweet. 🙂

    Like

  21. Hi Frank – this was truly one of my favorite beach walk reflections post from your series – and Fraggle’s photos were part of the beauty here!
    the ending video was amazing and your closing thoughts were such a nice lead in: Hands – touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you.

    and also love this image earlier int he post:
    clasping hands for gathering water to drink or refresh a face – to receive a special piece of bread – to accentuate a voice to be heard – or gently folded together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette,
      Thank you for the kind words about the walk and Fraggle’s wonderful photos. I wanted to work it Neil Diamond’s words from Sweet Caroline, but the closing turned out to be the best place. 🙂 Interesting that you mentioned the part about clasping hands because I recall that was one of the last additions when I was drafting this walk! Somehow, it worked! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sure did work and enjoyed the photos first and then went back in for the reading and photo opportunity again.
        hope your July is off to a great start and be back again soon my beach-walking friend

        Liked by 1 person

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