I’ve never really paid that much attention to my hands, before.

I mean, I’ve listened to whether they hurt or didn’t hurt, I’ve listened to what they tell me they can and cannot do. They were always merely the vehicle to my music, to typing my thoughts, to whatever I was working on at the time.

But I’ve never really… noticed… them before.

The other night I cut a webcam video of me working on one of my Kingdom Bardic pieces, as a way for me to better pinpoint focus areas for my practice routine. Filming yourself practicing, by the way, is an awesome avenue for seeing the things you really should be working on, because you can hit ‘playback’ and you don’t have to be concentrating on the music or your instrument, you can just concentrate on seeing areas of improvement.

Anyway.

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Hmm, think I have a little bit of a dry skin problem…

So I cut this little webcam video, and as I watched, I noticed my hands.

When I sit here and type this, they look very unassuming, as hands go. They’re slender, smooth-skinned, and have knobbly joints despite being fairly fine-boned. Small scars dot my knuckles and joints, and the palms are covered in fine lines. Different parts of the fingers are covered in calluses. You know — hands. Plain, jane, average, women hands.

Watching them on the video was entirely different. The webcam was set low — not high and focused on my face as is typical — and as such it had a spectacular view of the magic happening. My hands are… graceful. Lithe. But what surprised me the most was how unusually rugged and muscular they are when in action. I’ve never considered my hands muscular. As I mentioned above, they’re slender, and fairly fine-boned. You don’t expect such a thing to be muscular, let alone rugged. But mine are, and I suddenly find myself in awe of the form and function.

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That’s… years… of piano, saxophone, guitar, ukulele that built those muscles. Thousands of hours of finger-aerobics and — with the stringed instruments — the equivalent of weight lifting.

I had no idea. And it’s so remarkable. And I find in light of actually seeing these two simple structures in action, that I respect even more the things these humble hands of mine are capable of.

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