Friday, June 15, 2012

Hands

Do you ever look at your hands and marvel at all they do for you?  All the wonderful skills you practice because you've trained your hands to respond, seemingly automatically, to do a task?

The picture is a famous one called Drawing  Hands by the artist Escher, it captures some of the wonder and magic of our hands.  I've just read an article illustrated by stencils of hands on a cave wall dated back to 40,000 years ago, possibly done by Neanderthals -- yes, those supposedly crude, barely intelligent human-like creatures that populated Europe before the supposedly superior homo sapiens arrived from points south.  Actually the anthropologists aren't sure whether the cave hands were Neanderthal or homo sapiens because they aren't sure when  homo sapiens supposedly killed off the Neanderthals in Europe.

Whichever those hands belonged to, they were people with something in common with me, and  probably with you: they realized that hands are marvelous.  Hands help make things that animals cannot make, including art on cave walls.  I stare at my hands quite often.  They're very ordinary hands, they show their age with ropey veins and liver spots, they look a bit gnarled, my finger nails are not things of beauty.  But, my gosh, they're typing right now.  They know where the letters are, they can play the piano, they can open child-proof bottle caps and sew buttons or fancy beads on a shirt, and so on and on and on.  Seems to me if Neanderthals had the sensitivity to understand the magic of hands, they couldn't have been all that stupid.  We now know the Neanderthal genes got mixed with the homo sapiens genes -- which may make the Romeo and Juliet story one of the oldest in the world -- so quite possibly most of us have a little Neanderthal in us.

5 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- David Abram in his book, Becoming Animal, discusses the co evolution of the human, " human body . . . an open unfinished entity utterly entwined with soils, waters, and winds that move through it -- a wild creature whose life is contingent upon the multiple other lives that surround it, and the shifting flows that surge through it." These words based on Spinoza's thoughts puts light on the oneness of all of nature. With that thought in mind -- we just might have a few genes of Neanderthal moving through us. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Perhaps some of us still experience oneness with nature, in fact, worldwide, maybe even the majority. But in our society many barely recognize anything that's not digital. Even they may have some Neanderthal...

zippiknits said...

When you realize, take in, the implications of no matter being created since the Big Bang, you understand how atoms of existing matter are shared over and over again by myriad beings. A very beautiful and thoughtful post.

June Calender said...

zippi, thanks for your compliment. I think I get the idea of atoms being shared over and over, I'm not sure I can comprehend that it all came from one Big Bang -- physics isn't my strength.

June Calender said...
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