Sunday, September 12, 2010

All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are Rituals of the Goddess

You know those things that you're convinced that, if you ever said them out loud, people would really consider you crazy? (Come on, yes you do.)

I adore hands. I do. They're the first thing that I notice about a person and I'm a huge sucker for hands with character. (If you had sex in the sixties, you know what I mean. Sweet Mother.) The sight of a wrist just below the rolled cuffs of a chambray shirt. Bracelets. Rings. Hands are what I look at first in a portrait or photograph and I can get weepy with joy at the sight of old hands with swollen joints knitting, petting a cat, holding a grandchild, wielding a wand. Babies' hands with dimples at each finger. The hands of a friend pouring wine, handing me pickles and cheese, massaging my shoulders. My own hands at work, typing legal prose, hour after hour, knitting a warm sweater for someone I love, pouring libations onto my altar rock, pulling weeds out of my garden, raised in a dance of benediction for my landbase. A moot court judge once told me that I used my hands too much. He was wrong. I love hands.

Yes, I agree, anyone who would say such things, out-loud, must be a batshit crazy old woman. Guilty, as charged.

Right now, my hands reek of pesto. I can smell them even all the way from the keyboard to my nose, can smell the garlic, basil, olive oil, Parmesan, slight vanilla of pine nuts. And, as much as I love hands, I really, really love scented hands, even my own. I love the way that hands smell after rinsing sage oil through hair, after massaging sore muscles with eucalyptus oil, after rubbing a baby's freshly-bathed body with lavender oil to induce sleep. I love the way that my own hands smell earthy after weeding for hours. I love the way that my own hands smell like apples and curry when I make acorn squash soup. I love the way that my sun-spotted hands, the hands of a priestess, smell when I've waved incense over the body of a sister Witch about to go into surgery. I love the way that my hands smell of lemons and lavender when I make the lavender-lemon-aide-martinis that have marked this Summer for me. And, just now, I love the way that my hands smell of pesto, the harvest of my herb bed, in-gathered on this almost-cool, rainy, early Autumn day, captured and frozen in ice-cube-tray-sized portions to be enjoyed all Winter.

In the frozen days of January, when the ground is hard and the air smells only of minerals and cold, and in the dark, grey days of February, when I am longing for the taste of green, the scent of anything growing, the sight of a sprout, I will thaw the pesto, serve it on steaming pasta, and remember how sacred my hands smelled, redolent of this harvest.

May it be so for you.

Picture found here


Wild Runner said...

I dated a guy right after college who had the best hands. He was a slim, lanky guy with big hands, and they were very rough from his eczema. He was really self-conscious about his dry, rough skin, but I thought the touch of them was so sensual.

Emme Toaye said...

As a child I accidentally pierced the life line on my palm at about the halfway point playing with a knife trying to get something unstuck. It left a deep scar and I always thought I would die at the halfway point of my life. My hands and I are not the best of friends, yes they do lots for me but they haven't a care in the world as to how they look. My husband always wants to hold them so I suppose they aren't as bad as I perceive them to be.

RetroKali said...

what a beautiful post! I fully agree!

Teacats said...

Beautiful posting! I love hands -- and do you know what my DH noticed FIRST when he visited Atlanta -- the beautiful hands and nails of the Southern ladies! LOL! Right now -- my hands smell of onions -- chopped and ready to be made into a fast and easy onion soup for dinner! My poor basil -- barely hanging on with the humid heat hereabouts -- would hardly dress a salad -- let alone a pesto with any gusto! LOL!

On MSN Delish -- there was a recipe posted for parsely pesto -- that may have to suffice for now!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Hecate said...


I have a ton of parsley and it will last into the Fall. I should try parsley pesto!

Thalia said...

You think people will think you crazy for that? Wow, I guess I'll keep my mouth firmly shut, then.