Our hands are an extension of who we are. They define our species as human beings, and they define us as individuals. Our hands allow us to do what we have chosen to do, and for some of us, are the only way we can communicate. From dawn to dusk and all over again, they carry us through life from kitchen to keyboard and culture to craft. Through them we become who we are to the rest of the world, whether by painting our lips or writing a letter; whether by waving to a friend or holding another's.
We decorate our hands with polish, rings, bracelets and tattoos, our personalities and our stories silently speaking through them. Their scars, imperfections, cuts and smudges are reminders of moments past, and how our experiences have shaped us. An injured hand becomes a martyr to its cause, elevated from obscurity to temporary prestige. A scar becomes a conversation piece; a lasting reminder of a specific moment in time. A palm line becomes a fortune, its cracks, breaks and feathers read as omens of the future. A ring becomes a symbol of commitment; its hand exalted from obscurity into limelight.
As a designer, I have relied on my hands for everything. From sketch to pattern to product, I could never do what I do and do what I love without them. My joints are knobby, my palms are calloused, and my nails are brittle and rarely polished. Band-aids have become a requisite accessory, and the side of my left hand is permanently smudged with ink. I wear far too much jewelry and most of it garners more injuries than second glances, but my hands would feel naked and quiet without it. They're the force behind why I get up every day, if I've gotten to sleep at all- and they will never, ever be pretty, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Too often we take these incredible gifts for granted, their small bones and intricate mechanics driving a set of tools far more powerful and precise than we realize. We use them and abuse them until the moment they're injured or crowned, without stopping to appreciate what they really are. We fail to notice them in their element, fluttering with life as they translate thoughts to written words, notes to beautiful music, feelings to tangible energy and ultimately dreams to life. Let them be what they are, and let them tell your story. Your power lies in your hands, in more ways than you can imagine.
Your hands are beautiful.