Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Hands of a Healer

This post is part of ThinkKit by SmallBox.

January 3, 2016 prompt: "Get Analog. No screen, no technology-let's think about real work experiences. What did you do with your hands this year?”

The Hands of a Healer

In Nuring School over 25 years ago, I learned healing comes to man in four dimensions: physical, spiritual, social, and mental.

I am a Registered Nurse by trade. Although I no longer practice at bedside, as a Case Manager on a Cardiac Ward, I use technology for most of my monitoring, researching, and documenting tasks. However, even in a predominately administrative role I still have occasion to soothe a fevered brow, tuck a blanket, or lay a reassuring hand on my patients.

On the spiritual plane I fold my hands in prayer and raise them in praise and worship, which in turn heal my spirit...okay, I'm a non-charismatic Southern Baptist so those pictures of hands are mostly figurative.

Socially, I used my hands this past year for planting and cultivating a garden (before I killed it--eh, so it isn't  all healing). I've held leashes for a local pet adoption group--because I am a Foster Failure, as evidenced by my rescuing a sweet little kitten, having a family lined up for him, and being unable to give him up. That might be changing now that he is turning into a vicious dog and human biting demon. (Dogs may not bite the hand that feeds it but Moggy sure does!)

My own mental healing comes in the form of art for which I have no aptitude: in addition to blogging and posting pithy stories on FaceBook (tabu and uncountable in this tech-barren post), I paint by numbers (or at least how the instructors tell me) at several of the BYOB painting studios that have popped up in recent years.  My bottle of choice is DDP (Diet Dr Pepper)--I'm a Baptist remember. I've also unsuccessfully tried my hand at other forms of  art at my neighborhood pottery painting studio.  I say unsuccessfully; however, that’s not entirely true.  The end results are not professional, by any stretch of the imagination, but the time spent painting or working with clay is soothing.

Apropos to this particular post, my favorite work of my hands last year was a clay bowl I made for my Mother.  The traced hands of Mama, my Sister, her Son and Daughter, and the GrandKidos--all live 850 miles away from me--became patterns for clay.  As I cut out the pairs of hands, I stamped the first initial of that persons name into the wet clay palms.  I attached the wrists to form a circle with the fingers fanning outwardly. For stability, I formed a round disc to act as the inside bottom of the bowl.  Before I placed the disc inside, I hand-wrote, “You are my sunshine,” on it and added my thumbprints, which I formed into a heart. Then I curled the fingers upward to form the sides of the bowl. Finally, I painted the bowl in Mamas favorite fall colors to resemble a subdued sunflower.

It is flawed and unrefined, but it is also my favorite work of my hands...and it kept me sane during a difficult time in my life.

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