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My Right Hand

This is my right hand.

This is the hand that does most of the work. This is the hand that holds the blade and wiggles it through the cardstock on every piece I make. This is the hand that brings down the arm of the paper trimmer, that pulls the fresh sheet of paper from the drawer, that lines up the ruler with the edge, that drags the adhesive dispenser across the surface, that writes the note, that presses the sticker on the package, that takes over more than its half of the keyboard when I type, that runs a stiff fingertip along a fold, that aligns this piece with that, that hits "enter" and pauses while I reread, that grabs, shuffles, pinches, smooths, and stretches. This is the hand that I pull away from my work to rest, to let dangle at my side until the feeling returns, the pain subsides, and the cramp eases.

It's a little hand, with little dimply knuckles, a tiny scab here and there, hangnails, my mother's ring that never sits right, clipped nails, and a freckle or two. It also shows the wear of my work. On a knuckle on my pinky, there's a yellowy callous from where my hand has slid across thousands (millions?) of sheets of paper over that last three years.

And on my middle finger, a larger, but not as hardened callous between the top two knuckles, from the pressure of the blade against it day after day and day.

These are my "battle scars," my decoration from hours of odd and repetitive use, and my body's way of adapting to what I do for a living. Small, inconspicuous, but there, hardening, and thickening over time. They remind me of the choices I've made to get me here, and the time I've committed to this work. On my disheveled right hand, I wear them like badges of honor.

I'd give my left arm to be ambidextrous. (let that one sink in a bit...)


Thoroughly entertaining bit of writing that I can relate to entirely!


13 years 5 months ago

But, if you allowed your left hand to perform the same as your right, would you still be able to do your hobbies just as well?
Then again, is it a case of your left hand not knowing what your right hand is doing? LOL

You made me smile reading this. As a potter, I know all about hands that wear the appearance of our passion. Only we can look at these hands and appreciate them as our indentured servants. We trained them to create beautiful works of art. We abuse them daily but we oh so need them. My cracked, dried, hands of a 32 year old woman look like they belong to a much wiser older woman. I love these hands. Thanks for sharing your story in this blog. Your paper cutting is beautiful and so are your hard working hands. =)