THE LAST ODE TO HANDS AND CREATIVITY

Just another famous person once said that in order to spur our creativity we should look at things closely. For someone with both myopia and great creative anxiety, this was a source of constant frustration for me. I dropped my eyes to the ground, as if searching for a solution; but instead of directly diving into some plain surface I came across a weird fractional object: my hands.

I started looking at them in such a thorough manner that my initial shallow observations like the length of the fingers, the dryness of the knuckles, the negligent vibe of my nail polish, suddenly became too claustrophobic for my mind.  It was only then, after a long, focused and thought-provoking gaze that I started seeing beyond the limits of their physicality.      

Hands: some beings of purpose, some beings of power. Their finger multiplicity revealing a faculty for movement and experimentation, their wide palm extension revealing the spirit of the wisest commander. They hold, they release, they throw and they pick. Aren’t these the functions that any human being should learn for the sake of their own happiness?

Let’s take into account an unconventional and almost odd possibility. Hands perform all the functions required for happiness. God should also be capable to perform all of those functions enabling happiness.  Humans are meant to be an imperfect version of God. So, what if God is a hand and our imperfection consists in having two small hands instead of being a hand? If this is the case, then all of us should start taking more care of them.  Worried about looking dogmatic and religiously fanatical? Fear not, people will only think that you are taking better care of yourself. Our society loves people who take care of themselves; it shouldn’t be that hard to realise how it is constantly rewarding new forms of narcissism.

But let’s take a step back. Power should not only be rooted in natural traits but needs to stem from merit. True kings have won great battles and real world shapers have instigated real change. At this stage, we realise that change and evolution are two things that humanity might owe to hands as much as to the human brain or to great periods of oppression. We would never have evolved from the Bronze Era if some trembling hands hadn’t accidentally dropped mineral into fire. No consequent sophistication of arms and powerful states would have ever taken place. The world would definitely have been more hostile if the Greek hadn’t attempted conveying their ‘peace will’ by establishing the handshake. No consequent sophistication of diplomacy would have taken place either.  Women would have never been such a large part of the workforce during the Industrial revolution if they hadn’t possessed such nimble, delicate hands. No consequent developments in equality would have been achieved either.

It’s almost as if hands have always grabbed that thing that pushed humanity towards its next step, ultimately giving to it a reason to both exist and persist. They have moulded us to become the humans we are today by letting us harvest our grain, write with our quills and express spirituality with our paintbrushes. Today, au contraire, the new thing our hands are meant to grab are our phones. The nature of the path they are taking us on now is uncertain, and we may even rightfully question if those ends are really what we want. Hands, are you also going to deter our evolution and pull us a step back?  However, some things are more certain: in the future hands are meant to grab nothing. When our wants materialise by having our minds read and stimulated by advanced technology or with the assistance of a virtual assistant residing in a microchip in our ears, our hands will become completely futile. The downfall of hand power in the near future is inevitable.

While the thought of the decadence of hand power makes me uncomfortable, realising that most people are unable to see this decadence scares me even further. What ought to be feared the most is our increasing insensitivity conceived from our inability to, as the nameless famous man at the beginning of this article said, “look at things closely.” I refer here, to the inability to examine things under the same microscopic lens with which I looked at my hands before truly understanding its whole meaning. While our societal guidebook preaches creativity, the how factor here remains undetermined as deep contemplation is increasingly becoming taboo and to blink, scroll down and swipe is becoming our default human setting.

Creativity is a kind of flame that requires large time investments and is easily extinguished by taboos and being rushed. Imagine all of the creativity that could’ve come your way while you were gazing at the Starbucks barista preparing your morning coffee instead of scrolling down 30 pictures on your Instagram feed. Imagine all the serenity you could have attained by devoting time for watching the river flow. Imagine how free you would feel by not caring about what your 300 friends on social media did; by not being disturbed by the look of people who think that being mindful and observant of your surroundings makes you a loner. Imagine, but first don’t be afraid to imagine. Extensively, freely, creatively.   

Written by Maria Guasch

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