I’ve always worked with my hands. As a child it was embroidery with a hoop and sewing my own clothing. At around nine years old my mother taught me to knit, then there was a brief macrame obsession in the 70’s where I decorated my bedroom with intricately knotted macramé pot hangers into which I hung plants of various kinds. Later, when living in LA I worked for a tailor and watched how he would transform yards of material into the most elegant suit and was taught how to assist. Hollywood’s finest came to him.

Later is was fashion design, draping was particularly appealing because you could manipulate the fabric to hang in interesting ways on the human body, and then I began designing knitwear. Jewelry design and learning to solder and manipulate metals of various kinds, then hand stitching and now textile art, improvisational stitching, and all along the way there were forays into other things such as origami, painting, collage, throwing clay onto a wheel; always there’s been something to occupy my hands.

And then this morning I saw the following on my facebook feed:

“Grandma how do you deal with pain?”

“With your hands, dear. When you do it with your mind, the pain hardens even more.”

“With your hands, grandma?”

“Yes, yes. Our hands are the antennas of our Soul. When you move them by sewing, cooking, painting, touching the earth or sinking them into the earth, they send signals to the deepest part of you and you calm down. This way she doesn’t have to send pain anymore to show it.”

Are hands really that important?”

“Yes my grandchild. Think of babies: they get to know the world thanks to their touch. When you look at the hands of older people, they tell more about their lives than any other part of the body. Everything that is made by hand, so it is said, is made with the heart because it really is like this: hands and heart are connected. Think of lovers: When their hands touch, they love each other in the most sublime way.”

“My hands grandma… how long since I used them like that!”

“Move them my love, start creating with them and everything in you will move. The pain will not go away. But it will be the best masterpiece. And it won’t hurt as much anymore, because you managed to embroider your essence.”

By: Elena Bernabe of the wall of San Arte

Our hands. A friend of mine told me that she met a man who could tell the age of anyone who came to him. She said he didn’t look at her face or her eyes or her body, he looked at her hands, held them in his and then announced her age accurately.

May your hands serve you well today.