Getting a Grip

A theme on hands couldn’t have come at a better time. About a week ago, I found myself ranting to a friend about my financial needs for school. Although I was rolled up pretty bad in some anxiety, my friend calmly said to me, “You’ll make it, you’ve got one hand on the degree already.”

That statement was so odd to me. because usually people say, “keep your feet on the ground,” or “you’ve got one foot in the door.” I stared at her hesitantly and then at my hands. I happily accepted her attempt to relax the nerves of a college manic. However, the phrase stuck out in my mind and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I began wondering if all of my desires were simply in hand’s reach and were as easy as she made them seem.

Two days later and I was sitting in front of my laptop going through assignments for the week. The assignment posted for my poetry course was a free write about your hands. A free write is when you’re provided a topic and you take a specific amount of time and let your words flow freely onto the page.

The idea was to describe your hands with poetry, include memories, lines, scars, things you never noticed about them etc., so I started thinking where to start and what to include. I came up with a great first draft for the poem that I shared with the class. After some good feedback and commentary I decided to take the draft and run with it. I had so much to say about hands. I mean after all, I use them for everything and what I use mine for most is writing.

So, fast forward to a week later. I was randomly plugging things into my Google search engine and up came this theme for Loco Mag. It’s destiny, I thought. I’ve got to tell this story about my hands! I perfected the poem. Draft and revision are my least favorite things to do but it had to be done.

So, here’s my rendition of how a theme on hands helped me get a grip on life.

‘Hand in Hand’

Masculine like the father
Long like the mother
Strong and used for working
Paper writing
Speed texting
Deadline meeting
But scented with blossom flowers
Un manicured and dry
Peeling cracking cuticles from cold brisk weather
White ash forming between wrinkles
Dark brown knuckles darker than the hand
Pinkish purple-ish nails
Anemia, lack of iron
Who knows
Inch long scratch from playing attack with gizmo the orange cat
Wrapped in hugs
Wrapped around chubby legs for “giddy up horsey”
Short thick nails
Uneven nails
Barely visible thin hairs
Intentionally placed on each knuckle
Abnormally long middle finger
Flip over
Warm and slightly toasted
Tanish brown
Fist wrinkles, bike wrinkles
And all kinds of wrinkles one might get from closing a hand.
One scar, now tiny
Biking accident down a hill
What a thrill, now healed
Constant reminder
And then at the wrist a pink “strength” band

While writing the poem I wanted to speak the equivalent of my friend’s words and make a sort of ode to my hands. They have gotten me through everything because I trusted them and trusted myself. After finishing the poem I began thinking about what the advice, the assignment, and the poem all meant for me. It was like a had a new motto. What my friend was saying was take a hold on to things you want. Grab life by the horns and take on any task that is before you. Once you start something like school, a poem, or school work, the only thing left to do is turn it in or finish. The start is having one hand on it and the finish is putting those two hands on that task to work in unison. That’s the vision I want for everything. I’ve realized that since these incidents I want to be more connected to my writing. Not typing everything the way I usually do but instead taking the time to write with a pencil or pen and really using my hands. The same goes for school. I’m enrolled so I just need to show up and let my hands do the work. I’ve thanked my friend numerous times because so much has come from that small phrase and it can only continue.

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