Look at your hand. Five moving fingers connected to a palm — bones, hundreds of nerves, tens of muscles, tendons, tissues, and skin, unite this sensible strength.
Hands are capable of both creation and destruction. They function with moving subtlety, dancing in the rhythm of softness and force. They allow us to relate and engage with the outside world through touch. Hands are organic structures of great complexity, allowing for haptic cognition, which are neural processes occurring outside the brain. They also help us to understand space and time.
Hands are able to see, hear and sense. Since we are born, we need to touch the world and do so mainly with our hands. They transpire the nurturing touch that sustains us.
Our hands are much more than material participants, for they are metaphysical matter weavers. Hands are directly connected to the heart and hold divine immanence in motion.
Now imagine that your hand is not just your hand. It is a cosmic map and an ancient manifestation of integrated understanding — a sacred agent of and for life.
All over the world, there are archeological remains of paleolithic hand-prints. With their narrow modern mind, western archeologists mistake them with individual signatures, projecting their own individualistic views of the world onto those ancient prints. These sacred hand-prints are community-maps, land-maps, wisdom-maps, and story-maps of early dwellers. These hand-prints were made in reverence and ceremony, leaving a symbolic legacy of original knowledge, pearls of wisdom embedded in the living landscape in deep connection with its topography, cyclical seasons, plant and animal totems.
These ancient hands are not just able to build tools; they are also talismans of profound reverence for the enveloping sentient world, a living cosmos embedded in the dimensions of each finger. They also are guardian-hands, caring and nurturing for each other, seeding, caressing, and holding. These hands also replicate and create rhythms, pulses, and ancient melodies. They can sing.
Hands store information. In oral cultures, wisdom is stored in the landscape and the body. Hands, with all their complexity and functionality, can have a lot of layers of information stored. Just by pressing a specific palm area or a finger, we can remember and relate to it.
Hands heal. In pain, we all instinctively put our hands in the vulnerable place, delicately or firmly.
We also interweave fingers with one another, being part of each-others reality, in love and infinite presence.
Our hands incorporate us in the cosmos, bringing flux to consciousness. They are and weave life together with the world’s complex living systems.
Hands work with legacy and lineage, co-creating the deep future. With their five fingers, they are witness to the pluriverse and its dynamic diversity. Their touch is sacred.
What do you hold in your hand?
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[Disclaimer: all these words and weaved concepts are birthed through my lived, biased, and always limited perception of things, not supposing to bring any absolute truth.]
By Sofia Batalha
Mammal, author, woman-mother, question weaver and dismantling global-colonial-technological-capitalism one day at a time. Awkward prose-poet with no grammatical knowledge. Pilgrim through inner and outer landscapes, remembering ancient earth practices, in radical presence, active listening, ecopsychology, art, ecstasy, and writing. Author of seven books, editor of the free online magazine, Wind and Water, Re-member the Bones Podcast, and Beyond the Sea Conversations — all in Portuguese.
More information: sofiabatalha.com