Tuesday, October 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

On the other hand …

MarionFranckW

By
From page A13 | June 02, 2013 |

My hands are a little sore this morning, something around the thumbs. But I’ve learned to talk back to them. “Stop it!,” I say and then I keep moving.

My relationship with my hands has changed dramatically in the last five years, a result of taking up the guitar. I pay attention to them in a way I never did before.

I can tell you, for example, that the highest knuckle of my ring finger on my left hand doesn’t bend as much as my other knuckles, which handicaps me when attempting a common chord like C. I’ve become angry at that finger hundreds of times.

It also has a tendency to bunch up with the fingers on either side of it, most commonly the pinkie. Where’s its independent spirit? Why won’t it break up with the other fingers? At age 66, isn’t it mature enough to separate?

Complaints like this, however, become trivial when I read that several famous guitar players were missing fingers, among them Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead who lost most of his right-hand middle finger in a childhood woodcutting accident.

His handicap is not the only kind. I am impressed by anyone with short or chubby fingers who plays the guitar well.

I don’t aspire to superior performance, but I would like to keep playing a long time. This pain in my thumbs is mild arthritis. Might it get worse?

————

I avoid dwelling on this by thinking about other aspects of hands, mine and those of other people. Here’s a sample of where my mind travels.

Recently I asked myself, “Would I recognize my own hands in a lineup?”

If someone photographed 12 hands of people similar in age and coloring to me, would I recognize my own? I think not, but perhaps a woman who is more into jewelry than I am could recognize her hands, even stripped of adornment.

How about other body parts?

Which ones do I know well enough to identify in an anonymous crowd? My feet? My belly button? My nose? What about small parts, like my eyelashes? What about things I never see head on, like my ears?

What if, instead of a lineup, I watched moving shadows? Could I pick out my own gait? My own paddle strokes? My own dance moves?

I could probably perform better identifying other people. I recognize the guitar-playing positions of my teacher and my music buddies. I recognize the way friends walk and the way they dance.

This came to mind recently when I saw a TV interview of the young man who managed to escape the Boston marathon bombers after they hijacked his car. During the interview, he chose to appear in shadow with his voice altered.

Do we have speech patterns that make us recognizable to each other, even if our voices have been mechanically changed? Can we be identified by the way we toss our heads? How about language, the words we use and the frequency with which we use them?

Did friends recognize this young Asian man despite his disguise? Did something give him away, perhaps a certain hand gesture?

————

It’s amazing to watch a baby learn to take control of his or her hands, as I’ve done recently with my young grandsons. First they learn to open their fists, then to swipe, then to pick things up and eventually to wave and point. Parents and grandparents make a big deal about these accomplishments.

But once a child masters basic hand control, how long and how much does he continue to improve? People who play instruments or sports constantly hone their motor skills. Do they also care more about touch? Do they develop a lifelong awareness of their hands?

For the rest of us, learning about hands shuts off at some age, until our hands speak up when they get arthritis or when their owner compels them to take up the guitar.

Perhaps we all have some body parts that we’re aware of and think about because they’re key in our sport, our work, our health or our romantic relationships, surrounded by a majority of other body parts to which we never give a second thought.

What we bring to consciousness about our bodies differs from person to person, an aspect of human individuality of which we are mostly unaware.

Do some of us think about breathing more? Swallowing? Kneeling? I’ve thought about all of these at least briefly, while experimenting with meditation, while taking bad tasting medicine, while visiting a Catholic church. I obsessed about my feet for years, wanting to suppress my duck gait in front of other people.

Do these concerns change over time?

I think so. Today I ask my hands, new friends, to stay fit as long as possible.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at marionf2@gmail.com

Comments

comments

.

News

Winters homicide case enters jury-selection phase

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
So much more than a cute baby store

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suspected arson fires worry neighbors, firefighters

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fill the Boot for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Existing home sales rise in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Democrats love seeing minimum wage on the ballot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Apply now for community mediation training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Paws for Thought: Pets for Vets: matches made in heaven

By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Tokyo Kill’ author will visit bookstore

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Sierra Club gathers for morning walks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
DPNS has play group, preschool openings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Yolo Knitters Guild plans fall meetings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Local farm products found at hospital market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Tax tips offered for sole proprietors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
First-time home buyers get free advice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Psychiatric clinic hosts open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Beer dinner set on Co-op patio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Walkin’ the Dawg through the park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
 
Essay contest winners will be honored Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Volunteers sought to make veggie bags

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Library hosts after-hours teen movie nights

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Forum eyes impacts of raising the local minimum wage

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
NAMI-Yolo family support group meets Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

To save the birds, look to the fish

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Birding field trip planned Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

Ready to go, whatever happens

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where there’s a will …

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Archer, Nolan are my picks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
She’s innovative, passionate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

An accidental fan becomes a baseball devotee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
U.N. steps up to lead Ebola response

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

John Cole cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

 
These three are the best

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Sunder has bold vision

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

UCD’s Wegener is the engine that drives the train

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Villegas wonderstrike powers Devils

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS golfers take the title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Devil defense regresses in football loss

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

Sports briefs: Top-end tennis talent helps DHS girls grab a win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Junior Blue Devils: Regular slate ends with 2 Davis teams playoff bound

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

After running the gridiron gauntlet, can UCD regroup?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

 
Stories on Stage Davis presents tales by Lescroart, Montieth

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Peggy Belenis Swisher

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7