143 – Fingers

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 my feet.

The day is cloudy, the wind is brisk, and the temperature is cool. At least it is warm enough that I’m not wearing gloves. After thinking about hands, my draft indicates hands and fingers should be separate topics – so fingers it is.

Fingers – those five bony, flexible extensions at the end of our hands known as digits, but referred to as thumbs, index, middle, ring, pinkie, pointer, little, and baby. We identify fingers by numbering them one to five from the outside while standing with our arms at our side and our palms facing forward. This means the thumb is the first digit … and yes, my inner science teacher is invading this walk.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Do we have five fingers or four fingers and a thumb? After all, the thumb is a digit but is it a finger? You decide the answer.

Each digit lines up with a corresponding hand bone. Each has three bones, except for the thumb having only two.

Fingers are those bony extensions without muscles around them, which is a reason why they easily get cold. The muscles moving fingers are in the forearm. This is why I prefer wearing mittens on very-cold days at home – but gloves are fine here when necessary.

Fingers for handling, manipulating, counting, pointing, gripping, and caressing while possessing a sensitive sense of touch. Fingers are responsible for transforming thoughts from the brain through nerves to muscles so the fingers move to create words on paper by typing or writing.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

Musicians use fingers to press and release the values of brass instruments. Fingers open and close the holes of woodwinds. Fingers pick, strum, stroke, and change the length of strings. Fingers hold drumsticks, guide a trombone slide, and artfully manipulate the keys of a keyboard. Fingers for holding an artist’s brush and a writer’s pencil.

Fingers that athletes use to handle a ball or control a grip. Fingers we all use for handling eating utensils, then even lick after holding something tasty. Everyone knows the Colonel’s chicken is finger-linkin’ good.

Fingers with a pattern of swirls, ridges, and whorls for personal identity we know as a fingerprint. These patterns that DNA determines are unique, durable, detailed, consistent, and difficult to change.

Fingers find a pulse, give a massage, scratch an itch, run through hair, or caress a loving face. We even cross our fingers for luck.

We use the tip of our fingers to detect touch. Think about how much we rely on touch in daily life. I think about how touch is a way we can differentiate with closed eyes – how touch is a way of communicating words to the blind – how fingers communicate to the deaf – how touch communicates emotion to a loved one.

I think about how we humans protect ourselves and use a finger to point blame – but forget three fingers point back at the accuser. Unfortunately, there are times when we count something with our fingers on one hand, but we shouldn’t confuse this with a five-finger discount.

I think about the jellyfish’s tentacles extending from its body with tips sensitive to touch, yet our fingers are much more capable of moving colors as we fingerpaint.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

We can have itchy fingers, sticky fingers, butterfingers, snap our fingers, be all fingers and thumbs or just all thumbs – or give the finger – but beware if someone asks to pull their finger.

As my walk ends, I stand looking at the sea and wonder about the fingers in its world. I see a few dolphins passing by. Although their fingers are not like ours, human and dolphin bone structures are closer than many people realize.

It has been interesting thinking about fingers. As humans, we are all fingers on the same hand. We may not look alike, but we are all needed. Nonetheless, I’m glad to be here thinking as I walk on the beach because walking on the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Special thanks to Laurie at Notes from the Hinterland for introducing Yasmin Williams to me, the musical artist featured in the video.

See what other bloggers have posted about Fingers

Next Post: Shapes – Friday 15th June @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

69 thoughts on “143 – Fingers”

  1. Fingers…the useful tools that distinguish us from so many other creatures…because we have those opposable thumbs…
    I laughed when I read about the Five Finger Discount…we used that term when I was a teen working in a store…for the shoplifters! Funny hting is, I was just talking about that with a resident at my work the other day:)

    One, Two, Three Four…those are the numbers of the fingers on my violin…used in various places on the fingerboard…though on a cello, there is also a thumb position.( Index finger being one, pointer beong two, etc)

    When my son was learning piano at the tender age of 5, he used those as references too…Peter Pointer, etc.On a piano, the thumb is one.

    I love seeing pictures of infants tiny fingers holding on to a huge one of their mother or father. Or a chubby toddler’s fingers clutching a few dandelions to give away to someone they love.

    And I hate the fact that my own fingers no longer can move as well as they once did…no more violin playing, and sometimes its hard to do my day to day tasks…arthritis is such a bane…though I manage most of the time.

    I ran an industrial stapler machine over my left thumbnail once…yikes. I couldn’t do anything for a while with my left hand, and its amazing how much you need the non dominate complete set of digits to do most anything!

    I am glad God gave me the fingers that are attached to my hands!

    PS: I left some replies to your comments at Teaser Tell all…that was a 3 am brain malfunction on my part…Oops. LOL!!
    My Bad, and please forgive me of my slip up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      We can say so much about fingers, so thanks for sharing a small bit of your digital experiences. 😉 What top-level musicians do with their fingers fascinating me! … and they are so controlled! Glad Five Finger Discount made you chuckle. After all, I haven’t heard that term in a long time, but I recalled from my youth. Meanwhile, thinking about a machine damaging fingers makes me cringe!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We finger fabric and emotions – point fingers to assign place, make accusations, and to single out an individual… We steeple fingers when thinking and that’s just what this post did, it made me think!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m very aware of an ache in my right index finger this morning. It gets a lot of use, typing and such. I was just thinking how distressing that must be for a musician when I opened up that hypnotic video. Amazing to have that dexterity and musicality.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m very grateful for my fingers and thumb.. all that weeding turning of earth the grip of a pen the cluck of a mouse the tap on the keys.
    Excellent post and thoughts Frank.
    Have a high five day. 🙌

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have to admit this subject made me think of a poem I wrote years ago titled “My Mother’s Hands”……about how I used to admire her graceful hands when she was young and how they changed through the years and became arthritic and stiff and covered with age spots…….AND that mine looked just like hers now that I’m older. I always wanted pretty hands with long fingernails and smooth skin but was not blessed thusly! Hands do so much work through the years – they are our most used “tools”. They show signs of use and abuse yet they can still be graceful and expressive. Fun subject Frank……


    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for the gentle reminders about how precious, useful and vital our fingers are! I ruptured the tendon in my right hand middle finger years ago and it still bothers me at times, if the handle of an eating utensil has too thin an edge, or when trying to write with a pencil or pen for more than a minute or two. A gift not to be taken for granted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monica,
      Fingers as one of our tools is a great descriptor because they do so much! Glad you enjoyed the video. I must admit that I wasn’t sure about the closing video – but once I saw this one, I knew it was it …. and I can thank Laurir for introducing me to the artist.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I would think fingers definitely fall into the take-it-for-granted category…until they go awry. Mine have served me well all these years, and while they aren’t as robust as they used to be, they still allow me to do everything I need and want to do…and for that I am extra-grateful!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a lovely walk this morning! Sadly, I fear too many of us aren’t sufficiently grateful for the blessing of fingers and thumbs.Seeing ads for hospitals like St. Jude — with kids having to use their toes to pick up things — makes me feel awfully blessed to have the use of my fingers. Gee, how would I ever play the flute without them? Thanks for pointing out another thing I can be thankful for today, Frank!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Debbie,
      Knowing that you enjoy your musical instrument, cheers to all the musical fingers out there in the world. I can remember one of my high school math teachers with deformed fingers. But wow … a good teacher and a smart man! Yet, not everyone is as lucky as him. Thanks for the kind words and for walking along!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I used to love my hands but now have bumps on the knuckles (thanks, Mom and Grandmaman – seems I’ve inherited this feature). Said bumps do not cause me too much grief thus far, thankfully.
    You might remember my post on hands way back when. Of course, fingers are a the most important part of a nice hand.
    Have a wonderful Thursday, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I used my middle finger to roll the scroll wheel around the page. I used a finger or two to click in this box, and I’m using too few fingers to type this message. Still, I like these 10 little piggies.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I always find it interesting to where your thoughts go on the various topics you choose, Frank. Informants sometimes help to police by fingering fellow bad guys. 🙂 And you can use fingers to make those shadow critters, which is always fun. Happy Thursday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet,
      Oh the fun of shadow fingers …. and fingering the bad guy is a good one! Just think – I could have written much more about fingers! In terms of topics, I’ve learned just about anything is applicable. Some are difficult – others easy – even surprisingly so in either way … therefore the list of possible topics is long! (Yes, I keep one.) 😉 Thanks for walking along and sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You definitely have some interesting topics come to mind on your beach walks, Frank. I have friends, and likely you do, too, with pain in their fingers from arthritis or other conditions and when those digits hurt, life becomes less manageable. Without the dexterity that comes with physical strength in the fingers ordinary activities are difficult. I’m a pianist, and I do exercises on the piano to keep my fingers strong and flexible. I can whistle through my fingers, too. LOL! You are right! Our fingers are important to us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Thanks for sharing. Arthritis surely changes a person’s life. As a whole, I’ve been lucky – but I also realize some of the struggles my wife encounters. Cheers to your finger exercises working! Regarding topics, actually anything is availability. I actually keep a list of ideas while being open to new ones that come to my mind out of nowhere!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am in iso atm but will compose my post in the next day. I am supercharged to write again now after not feeling it the past week, (probs due to being ill).
        As for fingers, I think I’ll now write a story about those!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. When you think about how we tend to take our fingers for granted, this post helps to put it all in perspective so Imma give you a . . . wait for it . . . hand!

    Nicknames come to mind when I read this post because let’s face it, I came of age in a mafia stronghold neighborhood in which John Gotti was our idol. So I thought about Tommy “Three Finger Brown” Lucchese. Tommy was nicknamed as such after being booked. A cop noticed his right hand only possessed three fingers so he named him after the the pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown. Two all-timers as far as nicknames go.

    And I have to ask. Was this post underwritten by the great Rollie Fingers?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marc,
      Getting a hand for a fingers post is special. Thank you. Love the baseball references – especially Mordecai. Sure wonder what Chris Berman would have done with him. Oh … Mordecai Three Fingers in the cookie jar Brown …. Meanwhile, Rollie was a great closer!


  14. We understand so much truth through our ability to touch, to feel. Those teeny tiny receptors at the end of our digits open and close the world to us. You do not need to be without sight to see through your fingers. We understand, we accept and we process through the ability to feel in our hands. It’s a pretty powerful sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I stumbled upon Yasmine’s body of work during hubby’s and my self-initiated 2020 isolation days (in our state there was no official ‘lock down’ period). Good to see her here! As for the fingers…fingers, wrists and elbows are all so interconnected. And nuanced.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura,
      Oh wow … Thanks for letting me know that you discovered Yasmine during the isolation. See … some good came from it! 😉 Multiple comments mentioned fingers related to musical instruments … and I know you can related to that! Nuanced is a great term for the wrist-hand-fingers combination. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. A fine subject this week Frank – she said while using her fingers to enter a response 😊. We don’t often think of many of the integral human parts that help us to function – perhaps because they are so well implemented and connected. Like most of our features it all just works, doesn’t it?! Thanks for the food for thought, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina,
      Glad you enjoyed this stroll … and thanks for walking along. I like your idea of body parts just work … and (I think) so much so that we take them for granted. You got me thinking about the way photographer’s fingers interact with the camera to capture the right moment – the right nuance. 🙂


  17. Yasmin’s music is smooth !
    And went so well with fingers as a topic because of what she can do with those strings – wow
    And love the bits of humor (ie pull the finger or 5 finger discount)

    Liked by 1 person

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