24 March, 2011

There Are More Hands Than Heads, Usually

About a week ago in Missing Extremities, I offered some thoughts about my relationship with my left arm and hand and some thoughts about whether my left hand exists for me given that I have no muscular control over it or sensation from it. I first began to write about these issues just over a year ago, and shortly after sharing thoughts very similar to Missing Extremities I created this visual image.


Close friends with whom I shared it last year admitted to being somewhat taken aback but understood at some level because they know me well. It is stark, and if my words weren't quite evocative enough, well ... this sort of slaps you. Those readers who have similar challenges will understand immediately, but it's likely to be more difficult for others.

This is a journey, and the image was just a stop along the way. Although my feelings about the hand are little changed from then, the utter lack of ambiguity of the image is not typically a quality I project, internally or externally - although ... I have been known to howl at the moon on occasion. I have, in fact, spent the last few years learning to be more comfortable with ambiguity in my life (see The Year of Living Ambiguously). It's a good place to be.

Patience, on the other hand (tsk), has always been a strong suit for me. Whatever it is that I am currently trying to understand about my relationship with my neglected left is going to take some further effort. I find that writing helps crystalize my thinking, and that I am sharing these thoughts in this forum suggests I may finally be ready to come to grips with it (oh, the puns). It's time.