hands

February 2019 (Vol. XXXII, No. 2)

Dear Friends ~ In meditative arts retreats that involve knitting or felting or other hand crafts, we often begin with a reflection on the gift of our hands, followed by a hand washing and massage ritual that each one gives to another. The human hand is a complex and wondrous feat of engineering design, combining the strength and power of a rock climber with the intricate dexterity of a pianist or watchmaker. The densest cluster of nerve endings in the entire body grace our fingertips, allowing us to feel the whisper touch of a butterfly, read Braille, or take the pulse of another's beating heart. Hands work clay, knead dough, transfer healing energy, clench, open, caress, beckon, communicate, wipe away tears, hold and let go. Hands help define us as human. They are the instruments of touch that connect us with one another.

In my hand

winter rain
the warmth of your hand
in my hand

~ Jeannie Martin

Our hands before our eyes

All the powers of the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.

~ Swami Vivekenanda

Of my hands

Of my hands I give to you, O Lord
Of my hands I give to you.
I give to you as you gave to me
Of my hands I give to you.

~ from hymn by Ray Repp

I have held many things in my hands

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.
~ Martin Luther

In our palms

Just as a pebble thrown into the water creates ripples, so our thoughts create similar effects in our palms.
~ Michael Scotts

Good human work

Good human work honors God's work. Good work uses no thing without respect, both for what it is in itself and for its origin. It uses neither tool nor material that it does not respect and that it does not love. It honors nature as a great mystery and power, as an indispensable teacher, and as the inescapable judge of all work of human hands.
~ Wendell Berry in THE ART OF THE COMMONPLACE

The hands will solve a mystery

Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.
~ Carl Jung
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