Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


A Love Letter.

I love my hands.

Now, generally speaking, I recognize that I have a thing for hands. I have been reading palms for over half my life. Hands are one of the body parts I tend to find super hot on a dude. I love watching a guitarist's hands while they play. I dig the idea of hands (and their delightful opposable thumbs) as one of the driving factors in human history. There's a certain romance to hands - they're such a basic way humanity interacts with the world around us. (The geek in me wants to call them the Original Interface Device.)

But even above this thing I have for hands, I really dig my hands specifically.

It's not just that I think they're attractive - though to be clear: I do! I like the shape of my fingers and my fingernails and the proportions and the ratio of palm-to-fingers and the texture of my skin and even the small mole on the back of my left hand that reminds me of a beauty mark. An ex once earned himself big gold stars by stumbling into my hand-related vanity and constantly raving about my fingers (and not just in a naughty way). Sure, they're big and strong and not small and dainty the way girl hands are supposed to be....but my hands are nonetheless pleasing to my eye.

More importantly, though, I love the gifts my hands give me every day.

They give me the feeling of a string meeting fretboard, plucks and strums and the edge of a pick hitting wound bronze, the sound of pen moving across paper to jot down lyrics and chords. They let me make music in any number of ways, and that's pretty damn awesome. My hands are a big part of how I enjoy the finish of my dining table and the faux fur duvet on my bed. They give me a lover's heartbeat and take away boring white walls. They help me play games and fiddle with tech gadgetry and assemble shelving and put my books in order.

They also bring me information - whether or not it's raining, whether or not the oranges have gone bad, not to mention the more intangible kinds of information they bring me via all this typing. Which reminds me - they're also a huge part of how I make a living.

My particular hands are not without their peccadilloes. Like many guitarists, I have obnoxious tendonitis - my brand is tied mostly to my thumbs, which I have to be careful about stretching and not overusing. I worry about carpal tunnel, too, since I do make a living at a keyboard. I have crackly knuckles and weak fingernails that break all the time, and that one finger that I jammed in a door in high school that's just never been the same.

They have some scars...they've borne their share of the ramifications of me being pretty klutzy, and two non-declawed cats who I insist on playing games with leave their marks, too. And of course, there are the guitar calluses and the bump on my right middle finger that holds my pen when I write. Character, I guess, is what I think my hands have, and the older I get the more of that I expect they'll develop. I'll probably have to be more conscious of stretching and taking breaks and using lotion and parraffin dips and all the care-taking I do in a half-assed way these days.

Today, though, as I was painting a second coat of paint on the wall of my den, and my tendonitis was firing a few warning shots across my bow, I was just thinking about how much I enjoy my hands, and how grateful I am for the gifts they give me. It's a privilege to have them, and not one I should take for granted.

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