Saturday, August 20, 2011


When folks think about someone who is deaf and blind, most people's immediate response would be to think about how much that individual is missing. They can't see, they can't hear, so what else is there?

There are hands. I have never realized how widely people's hands differ from one another until I became deafblind. One of my interpreters has large hands. He has a chunky ring on his left ring finger. It has engravings on it and I think it is beautiful. His hands move confidently, sketching the words in the air. I would know him anywhere by those hands.

My friend has small hands. They are the hands of an older woman-- hands which have seen many years. They are graceful and gentle. They flutter softly against my own, but will then suddenly become emphatic. She tells funny stories with her hands-- has given me so much encouragement with her beautiful old hands.

I talked to a man who had more hair on his hands than most men have on their faces. I felt like I was having a conversation with Bilbo Baggins because of all the hair. For years I couldn't remember his name. I continued to think of him as "Bilbo."

Her hands are long and slender. She usually does musical interpretation for me. She is the song made flesh. She brings the music to me once again through her hands.

I never knew I could learn so much about a person by their hands. Their mood, their body type, their taste in jewelry,or fancy nail polish. I met a lady once who had a ring on every finger. Talking to her was very distracting. I imagine it's the same for a hearing person with food in their mouth, only less gross!

Hands guide, they communicate and teach. They read and answer questions. When I became deafblind, it never occurred to me how hands would open my world.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Y'all,

    I learn so much from my friends who are what those of us without physical impairments, handicapped. Whatever the handicap it allows a deeper perception of life and our surviving senses.

    BrownDog's Human