MARCH 2, 2012 10:36AM

I Have Large Hands

Rate: 18 Flag

I have large hands, long fingers. A therapist commented on it once, while I told him a sad story. Resting a palm to my face while I explained something deep, dark and painful, I was startled when the man said, “I’m sorry, I missed that. Your hands are so big…it just surprised me. You covered your whole face with one hand.” Backtracking in embarrassment, he tried to recall what we’d been talking about.


It’s okay, though. I’m not shy about them. I was born with a heap of work to do and a strong body to bear it. Also, I have large feet and wide shoulders. No matter how thin I get, I still have broad shoulders that prohibit me from wearing a “small” shirt. Draping around my middle, my tops always fit snug along my shoulder blades and clavicles.


Thinking about strange things like large hands and broad shoulders lately, I may be in a sort of mid-life re-evaluation. I’m not quite middle-aged yet, but circumstances make me feel older than my years;  I’ve felt like putting my life in order for the long haul, so maybe I can get things right.


I’m not focused on the thoughts and troubles of a spouse anymore, and so I’m discovering a long forgotten country in myself. This experience reminds me of a woman I met in a drawing class at Portland Community College when I was twenty. She was in her fifties and told the class her youngest child had just left for college. Taking the course for self-improvement, she became the best student. I asked her why she decided on drawing and she replied, “After all these years, I’m just wondering what’s left inside.”


When I became a mother, I expected to end up like the middle-aged woman in drawing class. Contemplative and at peace I thought I’d be when my quiet life became quieter as my nest emptied. But the strangest thing happened before I got there…my nest emptied part-time and too early. My ex takes the children to his apartment most weekends, and I have piles of time on these big hands to be still and think about what’s left inside.


Blessed I am with the best friends I could have hoped for, and it seems I am more social now than I’ve been since high school. I love it. But there’s all this time at night that I used to use for my partner. Without another, I think, feel, and plan.


I worry about my hands getting arthritis, and becoming gnarled like a tree branch. They are pretty, but I can see the wear in the knuckles and scars on fingertips. Demanding I am on everything, especially my body, and it bravely keeps up with the relentlessness of this mind; especially these hands.


Maybe I’ll get a manicure this weekend.


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hands, thinking, quiet, solitude, mid-life

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I am sure your hands are beautiful. My knuckles started to show the wear of arthritis 20 years ago and one of them is gnarled and deforms my finger. The pain was so bad I could not hold a pen in my hands. I met a native american man who told me to wear copper bracelets. I did and never take them off even while bathing, no more pain and non of the other knuckles became gnarled. It took 2 weeks for the green color to go away but after that they stay shiny and no more green. The thing that really freaks me out is the old freckles on the backs of my hands are now called liver spots. Yuck.
rated with love
Google Seinfeld for the large hands episode. At least you'll know you're not alone.
Big hands, big heart. I am not sure if that is a saying, but it sure applies in your case. PS: Get a new therapist. R
I shall venture that your interior exploration will be fascinating and exquisitely rewarding. I say this only from what you've show us in your writing.
best line, next to the whole big hands thing,
is: "After all these years, I’m just wondering what’s left inside.”

i have abnormally feminine kinda hands & wrists for a boy.
amazing how long i fretted about that in my youth.
observing the big boy's arms & hands.
amazing anything is left inside after our acculturation to
the cult of the body....

plenty here though!
You’re delightful, talented and beautiful.
I have large hands too:)
RomanticPoetess- I'm taking your advice about the bracelets. My grandmother did that and she swore by it...I'd forgotten. Thank you.

Con Chapman- I'll look it up.

Gerald- thank you. I did.

Nick- Thank you.

Chicken- thank you.

Sir James- I bet you have very nice hands. And your comment about this body-image obsessed culture is right's partly why I wrote about hands.

M.C.S.- thank you. I am in good company then.
Well you beat me to the punch, Maureen. I won't even hesitate to say that a manicure sounds like the right and gratifying answer. R
Wow. That was excellent. I love how you weaved the story about your hands and the woman from years ago into your personal journey.
I've noticed that all of the Amish here in Lancaster Co., have unusually large hands. I'm trying to figure out whether its because they work so much with their hands, or whether the first Amish mother had big hands and they've been inbreeding ever since. I really enjoyed your story.
Large creative hands I'm sure, Maureen. Now you can think (and plan) about what colour for your manicure. Good post!
This gave me something to think about. We don't really think much about hands, do we? I think I'll get a manicure too.
I have a friend who always shows me her large hands. They seem to be a burden for her that she needs to explain away. Mine are small and gnarled like my father's. But it what we do with those hands that define us. Good post. I enjoyed reading it.
So many art projects involve hands. I hear if you can see your hands in a dream that is the beginning of being able to control your dreams. I like how you are becoming more and more aware of who YOU are. I have farmer hands and wear big rings. Maybe it is time to find a big ring that speaks to you of freedom. Great writing. Thank you.
You may have large hands, but you also have big wings and are ready to fly. Nice post.
Large hands, long fingers. . . all part of an artist and her creative tools, Maureen. That includes your fine mind and big heart too.