Tuesday, September 13, 2011

King's Hands

I loved my Grandma Winnie's hands. They were perfect. Her hands were elegant, yet familiar with labor. As she aged, her hands gained more character. Lines and age spots appeared. Her veins became easier to see as her skin became thinner.

As a result of Grandma's hands, I love photographing them. Like someone's eyes or face, a person's -- or in the case of today's photograph, a sculpture's -- hands can tell a story. Even in this sculpture of Martin Luther King, Jr., it appears that the artist Lei Yixin must have felt similarly. Look at the amount of detail he included in King's hands. Although his hands are depicted at rest on his arm, they still illustrate strength and power. Like Grandma Winnie's hands, these sculpted hands tell a story of peace and perseverance.

I regret now not photographing Grandma more often, especially those hands I loved so much. As I've mentioned before, she hated to be photographed. In spite of her complaints, I should have listened to my gut and taken pictures of her anyway. At least now, I have my own hands to remind me of Grandma's. As I get older, I find my hands are looking more and more like hers. I wonder if they will be as memorable to others as Grandma's hands have been in my life.

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