The Stories Hands Tell


This past week I’ve been thinking about my hands a little more than I usually do. It all started on a morning run last Friday. It was a familiar stretch of sidewalk, one I usually run over at least twice a week. It’s well-lit and not strewn with fall leaves like so many parts of the city are right now. There are some funky, out-of-place bricks – but I know that. I had never so much as stumbled on them. Until Friday when I fell.

I landed on my hands and knees. It was a chilly morning, so the knees were ensconced in pants. The hands, however, didn’t fare quite as well. The bottom of my palms bore the brunt of the fall and are now freckled with tiny scabs. One of them is a nice shade purple. It was timely decoration for Halloween on Saturday. (What’s your costume? Clumsy runner with road rash, yours?) I’m making light, but in all seriousness, I’m so very grateful for a strong body that can withstand taking a nosedive on the pavement without breaking.

There was that moment though, before I realized I was mostly fine, as I was kneeling on the ground, my mind racing through thousands of worst case scenarios, the loudest of which was how will I write with broken wrists. Back in September at the retreat I attended in Albuquerque, I took a creativity workshop with Kimberly Brock. She talked about hands and how they tell stories. I’ve been in a bit of a low point with my writing as of late, unsure which project to move forward with and how. Questioning a lot of things. But last Friday, my hands told a story very clearly. They belong to a writer.

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