Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Aging Hands

Returning home on the plane after three months away I sit in the cramped space looking at my hands. I am comfortable with my hands. They are the only part of my body that I see all the time. I have watched them age. I have watched them write, type, touch, hold, caress, hit and work. They are my view of myself. As I age so do they. Started getting liver spots, more wrinkles, less hair, less muscle tone. And I have no issue with this, I like how my hands look. I am comfortable with my hands. Unlike watching my face in the mirror, which is always a reflection, my hands are in front of me. On the other hand, I have difficulty accepting my face. My face is not my image of who I am.

Sometime I accept my face, but at other times I feel an uneasiness. I would like to know how people who have had facial reconstructive surgery deal with their new look. It feels that my face goes through a reconstruction every time I stop looking at it. There is a separation between me and my face.  A time lapse of memory. As though the person looking back at me is exactly that, looking back at me.

But with  my hands, the relationship is much more direct. I have direct contact. It is how I see myself as I function in the world. It is how I see myself interacting, how I manipulate and move objects around me. I am always looking at my hands, directing them, observing them. My hands are my physical extension that I can see.They provide a carpet that open up inviting me to the world. Whatever I am doing my hands are there as an extension that I see. And as I age this very visual part of me is also visibly changing. They have more character. I am very comfortable with my hands and how they are growing to be what I see everyday. I am happy to see my hands age and reflect what they have been through. I only wish that I can do the same with my face.

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