A pair of enumerations from an essay on hands.
It’s because of our independently moving, finely adjustable fingers and very mobile, opposable thumbs that we can both grip and finely manipulate: wield scalpels, plait braids, shell peas, tie knots, pluck guitar strings or play the violin, turn a key in a lock, or pick up, sharpen, and then control a pencil. It’s second nature for us to write our names, turn the page, decorate our pottery, take notes, to externalize our thoughts, sketch what we see or dream of.
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Hands are absolutely everywhere in our language (which, it has been argued, they, and not the tongue, vocal chords and lips, are responsible for creating in the first place). They have demanded their own verbs: clench, grasp, stroke, twist, squeeze, wring, clutch, flex, press, pluck, caress, and punch, to name but a few . . . The specialized movements of our hands make up our lives: knitting, tying, sewing, stirring. And the imagery of the hand peppers our speech: hand in hand, we say, on hand, hands down, on the other hand, second hand, hands on, hand in glove, hand in hand, handed on, even-handed, heavy-handed, high-handed, empty-handed, hand-me-down, hand over fist . . .
I’m sure that second “hand in hand” is there to make sure we are paying attention to Kathy Page “Hand Over Hand” in In The Flesh: Twenty Writers Explore the Body. Or some little “hand over” has gone astray in the melee of all hands on deck…
And so for day 2220