These are my hands. They are very small hands, a forensic scientist once told me there are more lines on my hand than any others he had ever seen, I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not to be honest but unique at least. My nails are always painted in usually bright colours, part of a self-care routine I guess.
There are flaws to my hands each with their own memory attached, like the bump on my index finger from when I broke it as a teen. My left ring finger has a large indent, I’m a left-handed writer and from years of writing essays, dissertations and reports there is now a little indent for my pen to sit. There are also a few scars that have faded now.
I woke from life saving surgery 4 years ago with four cannulas, two in the back of each hand. I had always been told that in emergency surgery circumstances metal jewellery would be cut off. I remember waking up and looking immediately at my hands, the fear that my great grandmothers ring, that I use for my wedding ring had been cut off. Turns out this was too immediate, there was no time to remove jewellery just to get cannulas in and fast. The relief of seeing my wedding ring and almost ignoring all the wires and drips leading from my hands wired up to machines. I still remember the pain of those cannulas being removed and the bruises on my hands for a few weeks after, now just some little scars hardly noticeable.
I tend to talk with my hands quite a lot or hold onto things like pens when I speak. From a previous legal career and having to stand in court, I didn’t want opposition or the Judge to notice my hands trembling when I was nervous, so I would use them to talk or hold a pen, mainly as a distraction, now just as a habit.
My hands have done many things, they’ve written many essays, they’ve read many books, they cover my face when I’m scared, I pinch them when I’m anxious. My hands have handed people good news and bad news, they’ve shook many hands and collected an award, they’ve even secured gates of a prison. Although the favourite part of my hands is when they are holding the even smaller hands of my daughters.
I’m not the most creative person but I’ll always try, I hope my hands will go on to do many things at Designs in Mind. Maybe not so creatively but by helping and connecting when you need me to. You’ll see them writing on white boards, pinning things to notice boards and handing out information. I hope they will be here for you whenever you need help or support, I hope they can continue to write, shake lots more hands and embrace many more people
We first saw #ShowofHands on facebook in 2018. It instantly connected to us because we often take pictures of hands working in the studio to help tell our story.
So we asked people in the studio to tell the story of their hands, answering questions like... Why do they look the way they look? What do they say about you? Whilst at Designs in Mind what do they do and what does that mean to you? What could they go on to do?
And this blog post is one of those stories.
We will be sharing more, and maybe it will inspire you to write the story of your hands. We'd love you to share them with us.