LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — Seven-year-old Faith Lennox never thought much about putting a prosthetic limb where her missing left hand had once been. Not until the little girl learned she could design her own, strap it on easily and then jump on her bike and pedal away at speeds previously only imagined.
With family members occasionally shouting “Be careful” and “Watch out for that car,” Faith firmly placed her new hand’s bright blue and pink fingers on her bike’s left handlebar and took off for a seemingly endless sojourn around the Build It Workspace on Tuesday morning. Inside, just a short time before, that hand had rolled off a 3-D printer that built it overnight.
So moved by the technology and miracle of this story, I had to talk about what hands mean to me.
I grew up in an atheist home. But when I heard about God, as a young kid, I went to my Mom with questions. I wanted to know why everyone seemed so worried about God and did I have to worry about him, and where was he anyway? She said this. “When I asked my mother where God was, she took my two hands and said, here.”
I’m from New York and a chunk of me is Italian, so it’s safe to say I’m passionate, expressive, out going, and an extrovert. I use my hands when I express almost anything. Yea, ya know, I tawk with my hands. And I have to say, I’m very drawn to the power of “the hand” – as it were. To me, its a symbol of expression, protection, healing and strength. I garden, I cook, I make jewelry, I do fabulous facial treatments, I massage, I do Reiki, I write — all with my hands. Sometimes I have manicured nails but often I have bitten off my nails in a state of creative pondering or some dumb-ass worrying. I love my hands. I rely on them. I know the nurturing and sensuality of hands and their use in hard work. I believe so much credit is given to our minds. With good reason. Science, language, the origins of any business, design, government, problem solving,human psychology, all comes from the mind. But so much beauty and practical, needed work to survive is all done with the hands.
I love that the hand is used as a sign of protection. The Hamsa is my favorite.
I’m most fascinated by the artists I know, in very different genres, that specifically rely on their hands to create their art. Angel is a threading God. (Sublime Eyes in West Hollywood) He shapes eyebrows by removing one hair at a time with his crossing stance and perfect body and hand motions to remove the hair. He’s obsessed with eyes and their importance to one’s beauty and facial imprint. He can talk forever about the symmetry and shape of brows and the significance of each individual’s unique eye-framing and grooming. His work is a dance of the hands. I know rockers and painters and dancers and yoga goddesses, all using their hands differently. And I love the different forms of hand expressions and their importance to each person’s message of their work or art form. I bow down to all the lovely fingers and palms and I want you to know. I see you.