3 September 2005
Aren’t human hands amazing? Although I risk repeating myself, I have to try again to make you understand, how special you are in the universe. The universe is 13,14 billions years old and realize, understand, grock, that it has taken 14 billion years for the universe to make the hands you have. Hands: the most incredible tool in the universe and you have them. Just think, with our hands we can: pick up a needle; catch a hardball; change a baby diaper; play the most beautiful music on a piano or other musical instrument; use all sorts of tools; make tools; feel the texture and temperature of any surface; grip something with the lightest of touch or grip it tight and hard; make them into fists to jar the face of another human being; scratch ourselves or others with our fingernails; make a cup of both hands to scoop up water from a stream to drink; dribble a basketball; eat food with them; pickup up the nastiest stuff or get them covered in grease, wash them and then use then for any other purpose, handle a chisel and hammer and make the most beautiful stone or wood carving, use a paint brush and paint a masterpiece; hold a pencil and write out Shakespeare or calculate how to fly a tin can to the moon and back; kill another person or animal via a variety of mechanisms to include pulling the trigger of a gun, strangulation, etc; control the movements of a 2000 pound horse, steer a 4000 pound car; turn a knob ever so slowly and precisely to control some device; using our fingers, push down in some sequence on a keyboard to hammer out words and sentences to communicate silently; press our palms together to indicate prayer and caress and convey affection.
Hands: we shake hands when we meet another person or persons and when a couple starts dating, holding hands is often the first physical contact made.
Ever look at your hands? Really look at them? The palm and the reverse? One night, after taken the hallucinogenic LSD, I spent hours and hours looking at my hands or rather into them, layer after layer, down and down and back through time and space.
Interesting that I hardly ever see fat hands. All bone and muscle and amazing how each finger can move and we do not have to think about moving them. On the surface now, I have all these wrinkles where the fingers attach to the hand and blood vessels and veins are clearly visible. On the palm side, there are all sorts of creases or lines which I am told can be “read” to provide information on whether or not I will be rich or live a long life or whatever. I wonder what all the scars I have on my hands mean other than I was clumsy in some use of them and now have the scars to prove it. Actually, it is interesting that men will sometimes get into this scar show and tell session and each one can tell you exactly when, where and how he got a particular hand scar. Perhaps with aging, the hands tell more than a face or our bodies about the lives we have lived.
For a long time, I had these spots, marks, on my hands right in the middle of the non-palm side, which I thought nothing up until I read or heard about stigmata. The spot, marks are not there anymore. Wonder why there once and why not there now?
In movies, someone looking at another person’s hands would always say something like “you work in an office” or “you work with your hands” as the palms of the hands can be rough and hard or smooth, depending on how you use them day in and day out. My hands are someplace in-between smooth and soft and hard and rough.
Do our hands have there own brains or memories? I have been playing guitar for a number of years and when I first started to play, I had to consciously think and look where to place my fingers on the strings and guitar frets but then after a while, suddenly, all the knowledge of finger placement seemed to have been downloaded into my hands as I no longer had to think where to place each finger, they just knew. Is it possible that our hands have memories?
Probably another chicken or the egg type question but did our hands come first and then our enlarged brains or did our enlarged brains come first and then our hands? I suspect our hands came first and that lead to the enlargement of our brains. In the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” there is a scene where in our distant past, one of our ape relatives comes across a pile of bones on the ground and picking up a rib bone begins to play with it, stirring up other bones on the ground and just swinging the rib bone around in the air. Then, as he holds it, it is almost as if his hand begins talking to him, telling him the texture, hardness, of the bone is so much harder than his fist, his hand and then the ape gets this look on his face, like an idea is forming and he swings the rib bone and mashes some of the other bones laying on the ground. A tool! An extension of his hand! The ape has made the first tool and his hand is what set it all in motion.
Hands: the most incredible tools in the universe and it has only taken 14 billion years to make them and you have them!