I think human beings are beautiful things, and I tend to think that the most lovely thing about people is our hands. I love hands. This love definitely stems from being a violinist and paying attention to my hands and other people’s hands - when I sat concertmaster I sometimes had to help my section figure out difficult fingering (*insert mature laughter here*) parts, and when I used to teach violin I found myself readjusting hands and moving fingers into position more often than not. My own hands are sort of odd; I apparently have good hands for violin, but for as long as the rest of my body is my fingers are rather short and thick with big joints and creepily sharp knuckles. The middle finger on my right hand has a permanent little bump of a writing callus because I can never seem to hold a pen or pencil properly, both of my pointer fingers face rather in toward their respective middle fingers, the tips of my fingers on my left hands don’t really have prints on them anymore, and my pinkies are always cold because they stick out from the rest of my fingers if I’m not thinking about it due to proper violin posture (the interval between third and fourth finger on violin is a big one, and the pinkie is the balance point for the bow hand). The word I would use to describe my own hands is “wonky” so I always pay attention to other people’s hands to see how they’re different - seeing as how I’m obsessed with hands one might think I’d have been blessed with a better pair. I miss playing in orchestra ensembles because I love watching others play stringed instruments; I can only watch my own hands for so long, and I’m never impressed by my own fingers. My private lesson teacher throughout high school was an old Italian man, and his fingers were thick and stubby and gnarled with age, but holy shit could this man ever play the violin. His hands moved so effortlessly quickly, flitting from string to string and position to position like a spider spinning a web; his trills looked like hummingbird wings beating 100 miles a minute, his vibrato ebbed and flowed as fluidly as water. He always astounded me because he walked slowly everywhere and his back was bent and it took him a little while to get up and down stairs, but his fingers never lost themselves. He was trained at Juilliard and played in many an illustrious orchestra in his prime, and I suppose his hands refused to age with the rest of his body. He would often get frustrated with me because I do vibrato wrong and because my trills are much slower than they should be, and he was constantly mystified as to why I, a young and physically capable girl, couldn’t speed up my trills to match his. During lessons, when I wasn’t reading from sheet music, I would just watch his hands, transfixed by the flair with which they moved. All hands move in this way - it’s just most noticeable when there’s something like a violin or a cello or a guitar involved. But when we type, when we text, when we braid hair or string beads or tie shoes or throw things our fingers are moving in miraculous ways. There’s just something about the amount of strength present in the skinny little phalanges called fingers, and the great deal of maneuverability offered by wrists and palms, that simply enchants me.