Somebody asked me why I take pictures of hands. I think there are a lot of reasons. They do so many interesting things, and in what they do they show a lot about their person. They can be graceful or strong, active or still, and they can capture the essence or the soul of a person. They’re beautiful. They’re candid. Most of the hand photos I take are not posed (except for my own, because I’m not quick enough to catch myself unawares with the camera). It’s less invasive to snap a person’s hands than a person’s face. Most people get self-conscious when you aim a camera at their face, only a few seem so anxious about having their hands photographed. Those are some of the reasons. Also, it’s just plain fun.
In my year-end review of photos, I’ve collected my favorite hands, one more round to come. The garden is under snow; morning rounds aren’t happening. Maybe a midday trip out to fill the bird feeders and sit in the sun for a few minutes by the iced-over pond, take a walk through the woods with the dogs. Mostly I’m inside, feeding the fire in the wood stove, working on the computer, playing piano, cleaning the house. It’s an interior time of the year for me, a hibernation of sorts. This morning when I drove to the grocery store I realized I hadn’t been off the mesa for a whole week, and it felt positively bold to drive down the hill toward town.
Tonight I gather with friends, many of whose hands are here, hands that have helped me through the past year, will carry me through the coming year. For all these hands and more I am grateful every day.