Honouring our hands

I’m washing my hands
as if I never saw them
Dear hands, I love you!

Covid-19 made me look differently at my hands. Don’t we often just rush through the days, taking our hands for granted, not caring much about them? While I’m worried my fingers are not long and slender enough to showcase rings, I forget that they hold my coffee cup for me every morning, 365 days a year. Year after year. 

This was not the first time I had such an “awakening” moment about my hands. It also happened when I did the jeweller training, spending many hours behind the workbench, watching closely how my hands struggled to hold new tools, making new movements and understanding new grips.

All crafts, whether that is in metal, wood, clay, textile or something else, have the same learning process: our brains have a vision of what we want to do and our hands have to execute it. It takes a while to have all that come together.

Hands are loyal friends. They keep a muscle memory, so if you know how to crochet with yarn, your hands will know how to crochet with metal wire. There is more resistance, but the hands know what they are expected to do.

Those of us who have hands that serve us, let’s not forget to honour them and be grateful for what they do for us. And what they may still learn to do, in the future!

If you could choose one more thing that your hands could learn, what would that be?

I have always liked the idea of mixing hard metals with soft techniques. This year, my theme for the A to Z challenge is “Metal meets textile”. From A to Z, I talk about work with metal wire, textile techniques like crochet and knitting, show some pieces I’ve been working on, share some thoughts on metal, textile and jewellery. I hope that you’ll find something of interest to you!

22 thoughts on “Honouring our hands

  1. Another thought-provoking post. Muscle memory, yes, it’s so interesting. I had a dance/performance teacher who said, “The Mind is a Muscle.” Here’s a book about her with that tile.

    Hands and brains! And bodies! All so important! 🙂

    What would my hands learn? Maybe some skill that would help calm me – not necessarily a craft – for example, they used to fall into place during meditation and that helped keep me centered. But I haven’t done that in a long time. So relearning that could be good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the link! I have never been even close to the dance world, but I do understand it’s something of a different universe (that’s how it feels for me as non-dancer, and then I mean it in a positive way).
      To be still… I didn’t think of that option! I think being still (hands, body, mind…) can be much more difficult and demanding than ‘doing’ things. Now, that’s thought-provoking, thanks for the reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s right, we have the hand that we have, and can better appreciate what they can do, than being frustrated about what they can’t. A lot of people would like to be able to play the piano, and you and your hands know how to do that! 🙂


  2. I would like to master hand bookbinding. After reading Claudia McGill’s comment, I want to return to learning to play the recorder. Truthfully, I want to learn to make everything, and to play all musical instruments. I doubt this will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, bookbinding, yes! That’s really to get back to our roots, especially now as we’re more and more on digital! To be able to make your own physical book!
      I have to confess I had to look up “recorder” (I know it as “block flute”) and the top search hit was this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d6uVjIEkMY. I hope these 15 mins can inspire!
      The recorder was the obligatory instrument to learn when I was in school. Even if you knew what instrument you wanted to learn, there was no way around that first year of learning the recorder.
      I had a phase when I wanted to learn the saxophone, but I never started. I’m still a bit curious what it’s like to play it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post. I really have been paying attention to my hands this past year as well. In my own effort to honor them, I created a hand-shaped zine which I filled with all kinds of interesting facts about hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, what a great idea, to gather facts about hands and make something creative of it. Can I catch a glimpse of your hand-zine somewhere on your blog, perhaps? If not, you have already planted a tiny seed, so thank you for that!


  4. I love what you said here. Hands are a marvel we take for granted all right. What would I like my hands to learn? I would like to take piano lessons again and I wonder if my hands would remember anything of what we learned 50+ years ago?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Before the pandemic I was considering buying a keyboard. I am not thinking about it again. I think it might be easier now to find lessons online, they did not exist that much before hand, and I could not find a good spot for instruction around me here. Hmmm…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Internet is a treasure box to find inspiration. Our daughter’s keyboard is now placed in our living area, and I made some attempts to fresh up the piano playing, but then it faded again…


          • I’m going to look into things again. I played the piano, and also the flute, when I was young. I like the piano now because I think that way I can be all the parts in the song, not needing a group, as I would prefer with the flute.


    • Those all sound like great plans for your hands! I hope you’ll get the chance to take up the challenges, sometime. Me, I was always lousy at throwing balls far away, it was a complete mystery for me how that works….
      Thanks for popping by!


      • That’s just the start! One at a time. When I tried to pitch in high school, I threw my hardest strike right down the middle of the plate for my coach. “Nice changeup,” he said, spitting. “Now let’s see your fastball.”

        Problem was, that WAS my fastball!

        Liked by 1 person

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