Thursday, November 27, 2008

People say you can see into a person’s soul by looking into his eyes, but I think you’d do just as well to look at his hands.

I started memorizing my dad’s hands when I was pretty little. I’m not sure why, but I remember doing it. I’ve always had this weird system of memory-keeping that involves taking snapshots in my mind. I’d think, “Look at the little white moons under his nails. Remember them.” “Look at the nicks and scrapes on his knuckles. Remember them.” “Look at the way he uses his fingernail to crease his dollar bill. Remember it.” "Look at the way his fingers flutter on the steering wheel. Remember it."

My dad’s hands built and comforted and fixed and cooked and turned pages and folded things and played catch and drew pictures and rattled candy before popping it into his mouth and planted and banged and whistled and spread birdseed and straightened and painted and wrote and cleaned and patted and loved. They were not perfect, but were caring and strong and capable and gentle.

And they are remembered.


Sandra Dodd said...


My favorite photos are when hands show.

laura said...

perfectly lovely!

i too can remember my dads hands. i can call them up so easily. but if i ever forget all i have to do is look at mine...they are so very much the same.

me said...

This made me happy

Ren said...

Such a wonderful way to remember your Dad and his very useful hands.

I have a fascination with hands too. Watching little people's hands or hands doing things they love. Hands tell a lot don't they? Thanks for the reminder.

gail said...

I loved this. Thanks for sharing it.

Beachbum said...

Memories. Thanks for this.