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The Hands That Make a Home

In a city that I couldn’t call home, my hands were a resident all on their own. Hands that have made both friends and enemies with the liquid that protects them, the rubber that guards them and the 20 seconds that guides them. These hands of mine have become shy and introverted, quaking and unreliable in times when I’ve needed them most. To prepare a hearty meal, to work to pay my bills and to craft the art that swims marathons in my mind.

They have become stifled in creativity yet zealous in their new duties. No e-mail has went unread, no call has went unanswered. My hands stood like two vacant little armies, waiting for orders from their sergeant in charge. They were no longer the warm creators of my art but cool operators of my commands. They had become strangers of the world’s own making. Of my own making.

Though familiar with motions of mask-wearing, nose-blowing, hand-washing and computer- clicking, they had become strangers to the co-operative motions of the most precious task of all — home-making.

Home was a place that I had no business being at over the last few years and in its absence, I had— admittedly— neglected the hands of home that fed me, that warmed me and made me.

But now, I was ‘here’ and ‘here’ was where I could set those cold and tired little soldiers free to enjoy the home-grown and hand-cooked meals that filled the void of microwave dishes. To revel in the experience of my mother’s soft fresh, folded laundry. To feast on my no-longer-captive creativity and to allow my fingers to glide along the piano keys that stirs that forgotten feeling of ‘togetherness’. Most important of all was to realise that some of the most spectacular hands that make a home aren’t even hands at all — they are paws.

As my time on my little rural island draws to a close, there is just one thing that I will leave for the big city comfortably knowing and that is that my hands— alone—don’t make a home.

Author’s Note: This was a graded photo essay as part of my masters degree.

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