52 Photos ~ In my hands

Black and white

I don’t look at faces. I make eye contact with hands. I see their shape, their texture, their color, their size. Their wrinkles, freckles, knuckles, nails.

I’m wary of hands, but attracted to hands.

My own hands never measure up to the hands I wish I had. When I was a little girl, I tried to make my thumbs longer and more elegant by pulling on each with the other hand. This did not work.

There’s not a single long, lithe bone in my body.

I stared at my parents’ hands. They had nothing to do with mine. They did things that mine couldn’t do, and were unrelated to mine in size and shape.

My father’s hands. He spreads his square-tipped fingers as he walks, as if combing the air like water, as if preparing to grab the world by its collar.

My mother’s hands. Tapered, short fingers. As short as the cigar butts her father left in the ashtray next to his habitual end of the chesterfield. The fingers are a mark of the family.

When she was born, our daughter’s fingers seemed freakishly long. I mean, in proportion to a baby’s hand. She’s grown into them.

The other day, I held up my own hand as if to take a picture, thinking I might take a picture, deciding not to take a picture.

I saw my parents’ hands in my hands.


This photo and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You should participate, too! Read about how it works here. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.