I haven’t told you yet about my hands.
When I was in middle school and high school, people frequently told me I had “piano hands”. Long slim fingers, oval-shaped nails â€” I guess those things make piano hands. The same people also assumed I played piano, which I did a little if you count “FÃ¼r Elise”, “Moonlight Sonata”, and “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel.
My hands have been so useful. Writing, chopping onions, riding horses, soothing fevered brows, folding towels, driving cars. For all of these things, my hands were there, helping.
In my 30’s I became a knitter. Knitting was the thing to do among moms at the Waldorf schools my children attended when they were little, long before it became a trend among Brooklyn hipsters. I knitted sheep, horses, and dolls for my children, plus many scarves and hats. My piano fingers were nimble and quick.
I do not remember when my hands changed.
It was like, one minute they were regular hands â€” piano hands â€” and the next minute they had become gnarled and painful things stuck on the ends of my arms. I no longer wear rings because I cannot fit them over my arthritic now-huge knuckles. It hurts to make a fist. It hurts to not make a fist. These are not my hands. I wonder what will happen when I can no longer use them.