The Work of Your Hands
Have you ever paid attention to the work of your hands? An intricate combination of bones, nerves, tendons and muscles, these tools give us the ability to grasp and influence our environment like no other species. Designed for both heavy lifting and precise manipulation, we often overlook the work of our hands until we lose the ability to use them.
Early ancestors used their hands to hunt, build, weave and harvest everything they needed for survival. They planted seeds, gathered ingredients, prepared meals at home and crafted their clothing and furniture by hand. Today we leave much of this work to specialists and use our hands for communicating needs via keypads and dials. But the repetitive nature of handiwork contains a seed of mindfulness that is lacking in modern lives. Turning the page of a book or newspaper feels different than the sensation of a handheld electronic reader. The measured pace and undivided attention required for gardening, sewing, building and painting lends a meditative calmness to these activities that might be worth preserving.
In Feng Shui, the area of a building linked to Knowledge lies in the northeast sector of a building and is also associated with the hands. It relates to education, self-awareness and spirituality. When that sector is compromised, underutilized or missing, members of the family or employees of a company often lack the ability to absorb and retain new information and expand their horizons. A balanced Knowledge area will help to produce inquisitive children and employees who can grasp ideas and think beyond the scope of their job descriptions.
As autumn approaches and the season for gathering the harvest is upon us, be mindful of not only what you learn and teach but the work you do with your hands. In her poem “To Be of Use” Marge Piercy writes, “The pitcher longs for water to carry and a person for work that is real.”
Wishing you expansive ideas, a vision of the future and work that is real.
Diane Gallin, CFSC