Author: Daniel, Bert

These Hands

As I look at my hands right now they tell a story. They look wrinkled, betraying my age. I can still see a couple of scars on my left thumb where a saw bounced off as I tried to make fuel for a camp fire on Bull Island thirty two years ago. Fifteen years after that, I ripped a huge chunk of skin out of my hand while trying to move a treadmill but now I canít even find the scar. The back of my hands show a network of veins and I remember which one Dr. Shealy used to put me under for my tonsillectomy fifty years ago.

Palmists use their skill to take your money (and/or predict your future). One of the creases in your palm is supposed to represent your life line. I once imagined that I could follow that line all the way around the thumb to the other side of my hand. Palmistry may be a pseudoscience but itís fun. And it is true that your hands tell a story. Look at your own hands. Iíll bet thereís a story there:

These hands ain't the hands of a gentleman

These hands are calloused and old

These hands raised a family these hands built a home Now these hands raise to praise the Lord

These hands won the heart of my loved one

And with her they were never alone If these hands filled their task then what more could one ask

For these fingers have worked to the bone

If you count the wrist, more than a quarter of the bones in our bodies are in the hands. In a very real sense, it's our hands that make us human. We have opposable thumbs and, using these amazingly nimble hands, we have developed the brain power to make tools and reshape the world to our own making. Of course, itís not always a making weíre especially proud of:

Now don't try to judge me by what you'd like me to be For my life ain't been much success
While some people have power but still they grieve
While these hands brought me happiness

We do our best. At least we can use our hands to play our instruments! Most bluegrass fans I meet are pickers. Many are handy with tools and fond of making things, music or not. Your hands can do other things sometimes. For example, punching a few computer keys and making your room reservation for the Great 48 in Bakersfield.

Now I'm tired and I'm old and I ain't got much gold Maybe things ain't been all that I planned
God above hear my plea when it's time to judge me
Take a look at these hard working hands.

Having been to the Great 48, I can tell you. If youíve never been you should go. If you have been, you don't need me to tell you. I guarantee youíll see some hard working hands there.

Posted:  12/16/2013

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