Thursday, June 19, 2014

Messages from Hands

 Iris Johansen wrote in a recent novel, “There was something magical about hands.  They built cities...and created works of art; they could be brutal and gentle...they could bring pain or pleasure.”

Last summer, when a tree was cut down near Hutch's on the beach,
a local woodcrafter, with skilful hands and tools carved  from the tree stump
mermaids...turning an eyesore into an exquisite sculpture.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to understand us,  share our  pain and touch our wounds with a warm tender hand.”  (Quote by Henri Nouen)

Policemen use hands to direct traffic.
Family members  use hands for household and outdoor chores.
Baseball managers, coaches and catchers relay plays to be made.
Hands often indicate a person's vocation...whether labourer or executive
A woman’s hands often are graceful…even deemed to be beautiful.
Hands may be those cards dealt to individuals in a game.
Good friends and lovers often hold hands.

Watching people talk, is intriguing…their body language speaks loudly!
They should use their heads to…“think before they speak” (which few seldom do).
Their eyes add expression to the message being conveyed.
The words spoken and voice tone from their mouths are a “give-away”.
The complete expressions of smile, frown or anger depict their inner emotions.
Often a shrug of the shoulder(s) carries much emphasis on attitude.
Arms and hands display various gestures…varying from gentleness to anger.
(As a test, in conversation with someone, place hands behind your back.)

There are 5 digits on each hand.  The four fingers can be folded over the palm which allows the grasping of objects.  Each finger, starting with the one closest to the thumb, has a colloquial name to distinguish it from the others:  the forefinger (also referred to as the pointer finger or index finger)...the middle finger (or long finger)...the ring finger...the little finger (also small finger or baby finger).  Each of these 5 digits, used separately or with another, signify a message which can be interpreted as a positive or negative action.

Common Visible Gestures by the Hand

A-ok or Okay:  Connect the thumb and forefinger in a circle and holding the other fingers straight.
Admonishment:  Fist is made except for the forefinger which pumps up and down, pointing quite aggressively with lecturing message stating, “Listen to me” or “Pay attention to what I'm saying.”
Applause:  Clapping both hands together acknowledging  a good performance.
Beckoning Sign:  The index finger sticks out from the closed fist and with palm facing the gesturer and the finger moving repeatedly in a hook shape.
Blah-blah:  Keep the fingers straight together...while the thumb points downward.  The fingers and thumb then snap together repeatedly to suggest a mouth talking..

Crossed Fingers:  This gesture is used to superstitiously wish good luck.
Cuckoo Sign:  Make a circular motion with the index finger at the ear or side of the head signifying that the person has a “loose screw”.
The Finger:  An extended middle finger with the back of the hand toward the recipient is an obscene hand gesture used much in western culture.
Finger Gun:  The person uses the hand to mimic a gun.
Fist:  Tightly closed,  it is a threatening motion that implies “hitting”.

Handshake:  A greeting ritual in which 2 people grasp each other's hand.
High Five:  A celebratory ritual ~  2 people simultaneously raise one hand, slapping hands together.
Hitchhiking:  Sticking one thumb upward,  requesting a ride in a vehicle.
Knocking on wood:  A superstitious gesture to ensure that a good thing will continue to occur.
Money Sign:  The thumb rubs repeatedly over the tips of the index and middle fingers.

Pointing:  The index finger indicates an item or person to see.
Poking:  Also tapping or jabbing a person with an extended finger may be used to call attention.
Ring Finger: Showing the hand advertises a special ring...promise or engagement or wedding band.
Sign Language:  Uses normal communication and body language to convey meanings as opposed to sound patterns for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Telephone:  The thumb and little finger are outstretched (other fingers against the palm of hand); thumb is placed on the ear and little finger at the mouth.
Wave:  The hand is raised and moves left to right as a greeting...or sign of departure.

Quotes from Recognized Authors

I have learned that you should not go through Life
with a catcher's mitt on both hands...
you need to be able to throw something back.
(Maya Angelou)
Of Life's two chief prizes...Beauty and Truth,
I found the first was a loving heart
and the second, a labourer's hand.
(Khalil Gibran)

A man is not paid for having a head and hands and feet,
but for using them.
(Elbert Hubbard ~ American Editor)

Merle Baird-Kerr...compiled April 7, 2014
Comments welcome...send to:


  1. MEG Writes: "Very Good! Hands are very important tools. Who knew there was so much we could do with them...or how much you left out about hands? LOL !!!"

  2. Yes, Meg, I erroneously missed Hand Crafts, Writing and Typing Skills. I am so pleased that you noticed Thank you for your observation and insight to these significant life skills...both for enjoyment and for necessity.

  3. EDDA Writes: "As a person who has dedicated my efforts to handwriting, your blog on Hands is indeed very profound and I thank you for it. The grasp of the hand is the first motor control function developed by human beings.Think of the heart connection made when an infant's hand grasps your finger."

    On a separate blog, Edda, a hand-writing specialist, gives me permission to post information about the necessity of Cursive Writing...which I shall publish in the near future. Thank you Edda for your keen insight.

  4. Edda, I was most pleased to read your comments; it will be my privilege to post in the near future, your further information about the significance of Cursive Writing in this day of ongoing technology.

  5. DILU Writes (sent by Mom and Dad): "I never realized HANDS had so many uses. I guess we take it for granted, but those people who do not have hands and cannot do much, must feel lost at times. Thanks Merle...this is an eye-opener for me! We hope you are feeling better after eye surgery...Love, Dilu and Aba.

  6. Knowledge often brings realization to the forefront. What amazed me were the varied interpretations conveyed by hands! Erroneously, I missed the many handcrafts, writing and typing which for us, is common daily practice.
    Graciously, I thank you for your reading and comments.

  7. MY SON Writes: "When you have lots of older siblings, you wear 'hand-me-downs'. If you are good at many things, you are 'handy'. But if you walk lots of places, you are not 'footy'. But some people like to 'foot' the bill. If somebody wants to tell you something interesting, then you are all 'ears'. But if that same person shows you something interesting, then you would not be all 'eyes'."

  8. I love your witty comments. The use of "hands" is so numerous, that I missed a few...but thanks to observant readers, other uses are revealed. "Hand-me-downs" a clever recall to me were the clothes my sister & I received from cousins, then from 2 aunts. Mother sewed any new clothes and the first ones I bought NEW were when I began my teaching career!

  9. Famous Quote of William Shakespeare...

    "Now join your hands...and with your hands... your hearts"
    this was on our Wedding Invitation. Loved this entry Merle...
    very entertaining !

    Sherrie & Alan xx

  10. A beautiful quote from the Master of Words and from you both for recognizing the significance of these words on your special event.
    May it be forever...lasting advice!