In my hands, I see,
Father, Mother, Me.
( Trinity by Gallivanta 2015 )
Hands – my own; my inheritance.
This post, and the poem, Trinity, are dedicated to Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales , and to Marylin at Things I want to tell my mother . Both Marylin and Brenda recently urged me to have a go at writing a poem. Trinity is the result. 🙂
This post is also dedicated to the poetic muse of my blog, William Blake. ( I am sure he will be pleased to know. 😉 )
Photo-poem, based on a quote from Blake’s Auguries of Innocence.
Beautiful and very touching post, G! ❤
Thank you, Dina.
I hope we’ll be seeing more of this pure elegance. I love the powerful simplicity of your pictures, prose and poetry. Nicely done.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀
Thank you, Wendy. Next time I should try writing the words on to the images, like you do. 🙂
So beautiful and touching—and so true.
Thank you, Laila. You understand the importance of family around the table, the love that is in the solid, the giving of food, the hands that bake the bread. 🙂
Very Lovely 🙂
🙂 Happy you found it so.
Gallivanta, “Trinity” is wonderful. The beautiful simplicity is its strength. I hope you’ll write more. One of the women in my writing class just began writing poems about each of the members of her family. She’s written one a day so far in April, and it’s created an amazing momentum in her writing.
Marylin, thank you. And would you believe I wrote another poem for my next post? I don’t think I can manage one a day like the lady in your writing class. 2 in 2 days will likely be my limit for at least another 6 months. 🙂 But, yes, if you keep your hand in with writing practice, things are bound to develop a helpful rhythm/momentum.
You have a great gift – or many. Your hands and your words touch the very deapth of my heart. my thoughts are very often with my parents and with my grandparents. More in later years. I so well remember the hands of my grandmother and grandfather. Marked from hard work, never resting. Busy. No longer thin or slender – if they ever where. My mother´s hands are very much my grandmothers´. She too has been working hard, not living off the land, but no academic work.
Did I tell you I’m planning to leave my teaching behind…This autumn, I will resign, retire, leave for new things to come. Family, old parents – I’m an only child. More than one of our friends have got seriously ill or died during the last years. There’s been much thinking and …maybe I can do something good for myself, for my family and my friends. i have told my employer already. Let’s see what lies ahead.
I wish you a lovely weekend, dear friend.
Ann-Christine, that must have been a hard decision to make, but it sounds like it is the right one for you (and your family). A career is wonderful, money is great, but there is nothing more satisfying than having the time and the freedom to be with your family, and to do the things that you love. In your retirement, though, you will most likely find your hands are kept as busy as your grandmother’s and your mother’s. 🙂 To begin with, you have your lovely orchids to keep them occupied.
I hope you are right – and I believe I’m doing the right thing. As you say – there are many things for me to do. my orchids, my family, my garden (MUCH work to do there…neglected too long) and I also want to take up painting again. Photography of course…And keeping up the dear friendships made here blogging. We’ll see what happens…
I wish you a great Sunday.
Painting! That will be a wonderful avenue for your creativity. Hugs for your new path in life. 🙂
O, might be foolish dreams of mine. I don’t have the good eyes I once used to have and my hand is not as steady as 20 years ago…
You will have more wisdom and life experience to compensate. 🙂
Hands are beautiful, they tell a story. I can still remember my mom’s hands after almost 44 years. I like both Trinity and the photo poem. Would love to see more poems by you. For me writing poetry comes in waves. Right now it’s low tide and very difficult to write poetry, but I know my muse. She goes on vacation and when rested usually returns 🙂
So pleased you have memories of your mom’s hands to treasure. Maybe I will write some more poems at some stage but my poetry muse seems to need extremely long vacations. 😉
I wrote poetry on a “dare” once, and I really enjoyed myself. I haven’t tried it in a long time. I like yours a lot. Beautiful!
Thanks Kate. Hope you have another go at poetry.
My last memory of my father was holding his hand. Thank you, dear, dear friend. Vera Nazarian once wrote: “Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.”
How special that you had that time together, holding hands. For both of you, it was the ending of one journey and the beginning of another. Sometimes, hands joined together are like bridges, helping us traverse difficult terrain.
How very true – well said!
Photographers are wondering whether the first two photographs are self-portraits or whether someone else took the pictures.
Self-portraits again. 😀 I still haven’t found my Stieglitz. Whilst I search, I handle the situation with hands-off photography and a 10 sec timer.
Lovely Gallivanta 🙂 I hope you are well and enjoying a loving autumn day today as we are.
I am gathering strength each day. 🙂 But it’s not a nice autumn day; we are being blown about like anything. I picked up about 2kg of feijoas yesterday. This wind has brought another windfall today. Good thing I like feijoas!
Good 🙂 After saying that to you we too ended up with a cold, cloudy, windy day lol. We are waiting on our feijoas still, we love them 🙂
Nicer here today. I have had feijoa for breakfast and am now about to make feijoa shortcake. Keeping my hands busy. 😀
I like your fixation, and I love the accompanying photo ensemble. 🙂 Hands across the miles, Ann!
Hands across the miles, indeed. All the way to the Algarve?
Absolutely! Just finishing a coffee then we’re gone 🙂
I love your poem, Gallivanta 🙂 It’s funny how we see the features of your parents and grandparents, we seem walking puzzles made from our ancestors’ bones, body parts and soul fragments, we all have doppelgangers somewhere out there but yet we’re still our own unique creatures.
Thank you, Nath. Nath who has some of the loveliest hands I know. 🙂 Not a true doppelganger, probably, but when my sister and I have been apart for a long time, and I see her coming towards me, I always start and ask myself, “What am I doing over there?” It’s the strangest sensation. Takes a moment for my brain to sort out that it is my sister approaching and not me!
It must feel awesome 🙂 Are you twins or just strikingly similar looking?
There is a project starting to go viral with 3 people looking for their doppelgängers. Really good fun. The woman of that trio has already found several!
(Sorry for the delay, I have been offline a few days)
Nath, I don’t believe we are all that similar. And there is a 7 year age gap between us. We sound a like more than we look alike (so people tell us) which is why it’s so weird when this doppelganger situation arises. She certainly doesn’t confuse me with herself! I have just read up about the doppelganger project; most intriguing. When I was about 10, I used to be ever so pleased when some of my family said I looked like Hayley Mills. I thought she was wonderful. I doubt I really looked like her, and I certainly don’t look like her now. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/fameandfortune/11216978/Hayley-Mills-Dad-helped-me-avoid-seventies-super-tax.html
On a looooooosely related note: even the stars rarely look like their photos 😉 He.
An interesting effect worth exploring, I think, the doppelganger thing with your sis!
Speaking of family resemblances, I do sound a lot like my mum. In fact people started mistaking me for her on the phone when I was only 6 years old 🙂
Ha! Yes, I guess that is so about the stars. My goodness about your vocal likeness to your mother. I am assuming you and your mother both have youthful voices. 😉 Getting back to hands, I liked watching my mother write her letters in the days when she used a fountain pen. I also liked her signature and tried very hard to copy it. Didn’t ever get it quite right and still can’t. Our handwriting, the product of our hands and mind, seems to be almost as individual as our fingerprints.
Ha, wrong guess. We have deep, dark voices 🙂
Handwriting IS individual. Funny how we can get obsessed with the most random details that surround us. Personally I believe that it’s a very healthy and artistic obsession 🙂
oooh; deep, dark voices; I like that. 🙂
*makes horror movie snarling noises*
Sure! Do you think voice identification software could tell you apart? I am wary of voice identification but the bank keeps telling me it’s fool proof. Perhaps I should change my bank for one which knows that nothing is fool proof. 🙂
Excellent point with the bank, drove it home! 🙂
It’s not fool proof, absolutely not. It can fail if you have a flu, and I’m lacking data if it really can differ between truly spoken words and a very good recording.
Good to know I am not alone in my concerns!
mine are copie-fidèle of my late maman at the same age… just like you, my only hand “jewel” is my wedding band… 🙂
Then your maman is always with you, close at hand. 🙂 Lovely. I used to wear a lot of jewellery but I like simplicity now.
I love this beautiful and life affirming post. The photographs of hands are very moving. Our sense of touch – so lovely to use and share with others.
Indeed, Mary, so lovely to use and share. And shall we have a little music to celebrate musical hands, and to accompany the floral homages you and I have put together for William Blake. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MDChAah6cE
Thank you, Gallivanta, for suggesting this beautiful music of John Tavener. His deeply spiritual compositions make him a special favourite of mine.
I am pleased to know he is a favourite. 🙂
This is lovely.
Thank you, dear Cynthia. Can you see my hand waving to you, across the miles? 🙂
Yes, I can. You wave like Queen E., though. That’s a funny, regal wave. (big smile)
Well, I don’t want to exhaust myself. 😉 To get one wave to Canada I have to wave 10 times in NZ….long distance signal, you know, and the technology of long distance hand-waving is not yet perfected, so it’s not very efficient.
Sounds like a paltry excuse to me….
Meep! I confess, I really like playing at Queen. But I could try something even funnier if you would like. How about I try my hand at semaphore communication.
The second picture with the noise effect is excellent!
Glad you like it, Alex. 🙂
beautiful “capture” of hands in words and photos:-) my hands are how I learn about my world + relate to my world…our hands are givers:-) beautiful post:-)
🙂 And would I be right to say that you were the child who was always loved finger painting? Or playing in the sand? Or making mud pies?
lol-that is what I did for 20 years-workshops with parents at the college educating parents about how children learn best-
spot on! Yep, excuse for me to play as an adult in messy activities-LOL
LOL! I love it. Keep up the mess. 😀
So simple, but it captures all the history in your hands. I see my mother’s hands in mine, not so much my father’s, though I’m sure there’s a little of him there 🙂
There’s bound to be a little of your father there; maybe even something as tiny as the shape of a nail. Or maybe over time you will see different features coming to the fore. One must always be ready for the unfolding mystery as well as the history. 😉
Hands, for my mother, always were a class issue. When I began doing manual labor, one of her greatest worries was that my lovely, flawless hands would be “destroyed.”
In a sense, that’s exactly what happened. No more long (or even medium-long) fingernails anymore: sandpaper is the working woman’s emery board, and it does the trick! And after twenty-five years of holding a brush, my right hand has been molded into that shape. The tip of my forefinger cants off to the left at about twenty degrees. It could be mistaken for arthritis, but it isn’t. Function finally has determined form.
I think Blake would be pleased, actually. It’s interesting that you chose “Auguries of Innocence.” Those words combine perfectly with the photos, of course, but on the other hand (!), “Auguries of Experience” might have a word or two for hands, as well. Perhaps there’s a second poem waiting?
My siblings and I are the generation in our family tree with the least contact with manual labour. (Although for a time I did make a few pennies as an amanuensis. 😉 ) We were encouraged to take on higher education and academic pursuits, but I don’t think we would have been discouraged if we had wanted to paint boats or plough fields. Getting one’s hands dirty, or making them work hard, was still an honorable calling in my younger days ( and that may well be the case now.) I smiled over your function-formed hands. As a youngster I was fascinated by the writer’s callus on my mother’s middle finger. I aspired to have one! By the time I was 12, I had rather a good one established. It didn’t ever grow as large as my mother’s,and,in recent years, with lack of handwriting, it has almost faded away. 😦 As for a second poem? Perhaps. I could see some potential inspiration in this piece from Blake’s Songs of Experience.
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.
Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
For I dance,
And drink, and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death;
Then am I
A happy fly.
If I live,
Or if I die.
I have a great deal of experience with flies. 🙂
Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
Those lines by Blake remind me of Zhuang Zhou:
“Once Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a fluttering butterfly. What fun he had, doing as he pleased! He did not know he was Zhou. Suddenly he woke up and found himself to be Zhou. He did not know whether Zhou had dreamed he was a butterfly or a butterfly had dreamed he was Zhou. Between Zhou and the butterfly there must be some distinction. This is what is meant by the transformation of things.”
Speaking of which, it’s not clear whether your Camellia sasanqua dreamed it was an Argemone albiflora or vice versa:
Indeed. They both have a dreamy quality about them. 😀
I wish I fluttered like a butterfly in my dreams. Most of the time I seem to be buzzing around like a tormented fly. I had a quick search to see if WB had studied or was influenced by Eastern philosophy but couldn’t see any evidence via Google. Time for sleep now; to be a fly or a butterfly that is the question. Poor fly or butterfly who dreams they are me; that would be a nightmare for them. 😀
How wonderful…to be able to say so much such few words and the photos are complimentary to it. Love it!!! xo Johanna
Thank you, Johanna. I admire the way you ‘say’ so much in your art, with no words at all. 😉
Lovely topic. I am not very good with visual memory, and am surprised how well I recall my Mom’s and my Dad’s hands. And what love surfaces as I picture them. Thank you.
Hands are excellent memory aids. At least, I believe so. 🙂 And how lovely that your hand memories bring forth so much love. How I wish that were the experience of everyone.
I wish so too, Gallivanta. Love your way…
Love received. Thank you. 🙂
I’ve probably said to you before that I don’t know diddly about poetry but your words moved me and I love the minimalism that still captures a ton of meaning. And the photos of your hands are a perfect complement!
Yay, that makes two of us who know diddly. My daughter is always telling me (trying to educate me!) about rhyme schemes and meters, and goodness knows what, and makes me feel incredibly illiterate as far as poetry is concerned. However, I tried, and I am pleased my few words stirred your emotions. 🙂
Beauty so often comes in small things – how wonderful is your moving poem. Bravo for having a go, with such lovely results 🙂
Thank you, Leapingtracks. Some people seem to write poetry with ease. It’s always a struggle for me; not just to write poetry, but to get my head round the idea that I could even have a go at doing so.
A lovely succinct poem, expressing so much in a couple of lines. 😉
Thank you JAA. I wish all my thoughts were as focused/succinct. 😉
Just beautiful – the poem and the warm, kind hands. 🙂
Thank you, Julie. I am more than a little fixated on hands at the moment!
@”a little fixated on hands at the moment…” – what’s next?… eyes?… 🙂 I’d say you have classy and refined hands, pleasant to shake, I presume… 🙂
After listening to this, I am tempted to tackle ‘eyes’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP9WLvZhL5Y 🙂
look forward to “seeing” your eyes… 😉 ❤
😀 That will be a challenge to my selfie photography skills!
I see my father’s hands in mine, but I don’t remember my mother’s well enough to see her there. What a wonderful poem. Usually people see their family in faces, but you’re right, hands are very revealing, too. And that is awesome, the crooked little finger family, of which I am not a member. I do have a weird little toe, and so did my grandmother. LOL
My approach to the hand inheritance is very simplistic, in this post. There are so many other dimensions, such as your own, where the identity of the third party, or a long line of ancestors, is not necessarily, or easily, apparent. And then there is the issue of ‘what our hands do’. Are there gestures inherited along with the shape, or are these taught? For example someone might say, “Oh your hands are like your mother’s.” But that may mean in how you gesticulate and not in how your hands look. As for that weird little toe of yours! That reminds me that our toeprints are every bit as unique as our fingerprints. The other day I came across the footprint that was taken of my son’s foot the day he was born. He had long, thin feet, then, and he still does.
So much of who we are is there from infancy. You can see the markers of individuality from the first few days. My first son was born, wailing to the heavens, and he still rages now that he nears adolescence. My second son was born, holding up his head, breech and determined. He still does his own thing, no matter the cost. All we can do is love them. 🙂
So true. My daughter has been a night owl from day one, when she arrived in to this world at 2am.
True of my eldest, too, now that you mention it. LOL
Lovely. I think I got short changed. My mom has beautiful hands, but the only hands that I can see that I inherited are my dad’s hands.
That probably helps when you are applying a sledgehammer to your DIY shower project. 😉 Although I can see my father’s hands in mine, mine don’t have his strength. Or the strength he used to have before osteoarthritis set in. And, so far, I have escaped the osteo. It may come yet.
I hope not.
Thanks Maureen. It’s such a small poem. I doubt it would even qualify as micropoetry. Maybe it’s a nano-poem. 😉
it says all it needs to say…
Another lovely post, Gallivanta!
I really like the second picture. Excellent captured and rendered.
YC, I am glad you like that one. I hesitated about posting it but I do like the softness of the blur.
Thanks Ute. Are your hands still busy with the bathroom renovations?
They are doing the final touches like putting sealant on etc. Been to see my mum in Germany for some days so had a well deserved break. Lots of sleep … which I needed. Hope you are well and happy! 🙂
That sounds wonderful, Ute. 🙂
And a nod of appreciation today to all poets everywhere. Beautiful post, Gallivanta.
Thank you, Lavinia. Happily, for you (the singer) and me (the listener), the work of those poets has often been put to music. Isn’t it lovely that they combine so well?
Beautiful photos, Gallivanta! I always love the way hands look though, so I’m biased.
It’s a good bias to have. 🙂
Lovely images and poem, Gallivanta. I also see my mom and my dad in my hands, and myself and my husband in my children’s.
Thank you, Sylvia. Isn’t it lovely to see/to recognise our own ‘lines’ in our children’s hands? I don’t see much of me in my daughter’s face or features, but I see some of me in her hands. 🙂
Truly, you’ve created a beautiful tribute to our familial roots and to the architecture of the mind and body.
Architecture of the mind and body is a lovely expression, Sally. For some reason it puts me in mind of this gorgeous study of hands by Leonardo da Vinci. http://arthistory.about.com/od/medievalarthistory/fl/Leonardo-da-Vincis-Study-of-Hands.htm
Thanks…those hands are visually inspirational.
Lovely & so are the fotos!
You are kind and generous to say so. 🙂 Thank you.
This is so lovely Gallivanta – it’s a beautiful poem, deeply sentimental. Wonderful pairing with the images of your beautiful flowers.
Thank you, Mary. I am so enchanted with my camellias this year. I thought they would be ruined in the hailstorm last night, but they have survived and still look perfect.
So beautiful and delicate!
Thank you :).
Hi Gallivanta My mothers little fingers were small compared to her other fingers.. smaller than the normal ratio.. and they curved inwards from the top Knuckle. Mine are the same and so are my
sons.. Did the electrician arrive?
Oh my gosh….maybe we’re related. 😉 That’s exactly how my little finger is, and my father’s and my grandmother’s. I am glad to know we belong to the crooked little finger family. I have yet to meet anyone, outside the family, with that little curve inwards from the top knuckle. 😀 And no electrician, yet. Time to do some electrician chasing. Sigh.