Thursday, September 04, 2008

These Hands of Ours

My friend Jessica has started a wonderful project, a blog called These Hands of Ours. She's collecting photos of women's hands doing things that are important to them, along with descriptions of the images.

Here's the e-mail she sent out, which is also the sidebar of the blog:
I started a project for my 45th birthday. I'm gathering the hands of inspiring women - photos, self-portraits, snap shots. Women who have inspired me over many years, and the women who inspire them.

Thinking about the things I love about myself, I see a reflection of many women. And I'm creating a portrait - a photo montage of that - including text people send and any links to their own inspiration, websites or blogs.

It's through the women in my life that I am appreciating all the things I've done with those hands, the places they have traveled, the people they have hugged.

I wonder if we can create a huge quilt of inspired hands?

Pass it forward.

Love, Jessica
September 4th, 2008
Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Above is the photo I sent Jessica (many thanks to Gary for taking it!), and here's the text:
I use my hands for lots of things -- writing, patting my cats, fetching blankets and water and toys for patients at the hospital where I volunteer -- but I rarely delight in my hands as much as when I'm knitting. I learned to knit last fall, and I've knit every day since then. I started with a prayer shawl for a friend whose husband was dying, and since then, I've made many shawls and scarves, and two balaclavas, although I have yet to tackle anything with sleeves.

Knitting reminds me that beautiful things are created stitch by stitch, one small loop at a time. It teaches me patience and perspective. It is both creation and recreation, inspiration and healing. I'm a lay preacher at my church, and last Christmas I preached about knitting as incarnation, as embodiment, the making visible of the holy. Knitting participates in the beautiful Jewish concept of "tikkun olam," the repair of the world; and when my hands use needles and yarn to make something warm and useful, so do I.
So there you have it. If you like this idea, please send Jessica a photo of your hands, with accompanying text. The e-mail address is thesehandsofours(at)yahoo(dot(com).

And let your female friends know! Pass the word!

Oh, and speaking of women (and men!) doing invaluable things with their hands, the latest edition of Change of Shift, the nursing blog carnival, is up and ready for your reading pleasure! Watching nurses in the ER makes me infinitely grateful for our hands and everything they do.


  1. Anonymous10:09 PM

    Great photo, Susan! And what a wonderful idea your friend is working on. Thanks for passing it along.
    Love, Cheri

  2. What a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing this.

    Your hands look very nice in that picture. Creatively productive! And very nicely decorated with jewels and precious metals. :)


  3. Anonymous5:15 AM

    Hi Susan,
    This is a marvelous concept. I'll ask Emma to photograph mine too -- I have to decide if the hands will hold needlework or pen or dog-leash! I will also pass the message on to several friends of mine who will be intrigued with the project. What a cool idea. I could even get my daughters to contribute -- your friend could probably use some teenage perspective. Cheers, Gwenn


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