My hands; they are ageing.
Poor, dear hands, never much cared for, left to mercy of wind and rain. What little respect given, when they have opened the world to me. The pleasure of touch. Brushed cotton, silk, sand through fingers. The sharp edges of danger. Sensation as warning. Hot and cold. Skin. Little A's perfect skin. Young and velveteen.
My hands spun records, alert and nimble. Have turned page after page. Scribed imagination in words. Caressed my baby's face.
My hands create and love and comfort.
Without my hands I would have no...
What have I given them in return? Nothing. Not a jot for their manual servitude. Mother said, 'moisturise your hands everyday.' I was twenty four. They were plump, ripe, so I didn't bother with creams. Not even in my thirties. Now I have a tube in the bathroom, a tube on the chest of drawers. I think the tube in my handbag is past expiry.
The creams, they smell of July over grown. Too flowery. Too condensed. I like neutral, plain. Honest vanilla for me. No wafts of jasmine please. Or lily.
Looking at them, they have lost youth's sheen. Dry mud flats. The pitted surface of fruit. Veins bumping under skin like roots breaking free. Wrinkles. Fine lines etched in wood, all markers of minutes and years. Knuckles. Flattened stumps, pummelled by stone and earth.
When Little A was birthed, and my body cancelled out, numb, it was my hands that touched the moment; retained the ability to impress, be impressed upon. My baby, my child, my girl. Her fingers on breast, the first object of love, finding existence through touch, through her hands.
Leopard spots. Gravy taints of decline. Junk mail landing on the doormat. Will I get them? When will they happen? Long, long ago, I asked a baby sitter what those things were on her hands. Leopard spots she said. Leopard spots.
My Grandmother's hands, warm and soft. Before the end, unusable, frozen, curled like talons; raking away memory, making room for sempiternity. Those hands once made food, and party dresses, and touched with such tenderness...
...Hands, I would like to shake yours.
This is the second day of the seasonal linky One Week. From Monday till Wednesday, I'll be posting a photograph(s) and a few words that diarises and distills my experience of autumn '13. Take a peep at the details here. You can join in for one, two ... or the full three days. And don't forget to add #oneweek on Twitter, and comment on each others posts...
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