I’ve been dreaming of hands lately – a single hand emerging from a pile of debris, or appearing around a corner – and it’s got me thinking about them. Why hands?
I made a list of all the ways we use hand in our language: a hand up, helping hand, healing hands, lending a hand, backhanded, hand shakes, hand-y.
We gesture with our hands, greet with our hands, signal others, perpetrate violence, offer help. Hands actually are involved in most of our daily activities.
So what it is about hands that they have chosen to show up in my dream time? If something is trying to get my attention, why not a face, or head, or foot?
Admittedly, there is something intriguing about hands. I always remember my Uncle Stan by his hands: huge, they were, and he’d take me in them and throw me high in the sky and set me atop his shoulders and I’d squeal with delight as we’d have to duck under doorways and I could touch the ceiling.
I have boyish hands, small with sausage fingers, not the long, feminine hands of my mother’s which were always immersed in pastry dough, or canning, or dishing washing liquid.
My father’s were large and strong, not meaty, but sinewy, and quick. He liked to brag about how they were a lethal weapon, and if he was feeling particularly mean (i.e., drunk), he would grab me and twist me like a pretzel in those vice-grips, torturing me until I complied with his wishes. I hated him then. I hated myself more.
Hands appearing unexpectedly is horror-like, reminds me of the movie Carrie, where the girl, possessed by evil is finally killed and buried – or so the audience is led to believe – and then just at the end, as the camera pans to her grave, a hand emerges, and the effect is haunting.
Makes me wonder if something in me that I’ve buried or oppressed is trying to emerge, and if so, what?
Have to hand it to you this time, dream time – got me stumped on this one.