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    Fierce and Fragile

    person s hands

    I am, in turn, fierce and fragile.

    My left hand is smooth. On my right, the skin is rougher, from hard work. Because of this, I wear my jumbled pile of black rubber and sterling silver bracelets on my left arm, so they do not get in the way when I Do Things. I make it up to my right arm by the permanent adornment of a black skeleton key tattoo.

    Smooth or rough, my hands are strong. I use them to grasp and pull and lift, and then I work with the most sensitive part of my fingers – the tips – and shape and draw wool into yarn with great control and skill. I am capable of extremes.

    “What about this thing that you gave
    What if it weren’t quite perfect
    What if there was something bad about it?
    Wouldn’t you still love it just the same?
    Wouldn’t you still care about it?”

    Victoria Williams, Lights

    When I am “up” I am often deliriously happy, in love with the world. No color escapes my sight, no touch from my lover taken for granted. I revel in the cool breezes, the look and feel of my clothing, the way my body moves. I am never more alive than in those moments.

    When depression creeps in – sneaky, unnoticed until I am full in the throes – I feel heavy, pained. I notice the same things, but the delight I get from them is muffled, no matter how I try to break free from the web of grey that wraps around me. I am still the same girl, but I am covered in a shroud of melancholy.

    And writing that, I feel melodramatic… but it’s true, as much of a truth as my two hands which are part of the same body yet so different. Knowing this, accepting this – it helps. Each hand has its own strengths and weaknesses, its own adornments and looks. That is the way that it is. I can’t reject that. I don’t have to wallow in the weaknesses of my left hand to appreciate that it looks less aged, less haggard. And I don’t have to feel bad about my right hand looking rougher, marked by time; I recognize that it has worked hard and created many beautiful things. Together, they work to write this blog entry and share my words.

    I love them both, because they are mine.