‘Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.’ ― Michel de Montaigne
What would become of a fingerless pianist? His ferocious fingers – once before dangling from their palms like fleshy diamonds – would lie still and silent beside their grief-stricken owner. What would Lady Macbeth be without her blood-covered markers of murder? With no hands to embody her conscience, her shady descent into guilty insanity could never have commenced. Oh and yet, how kind Captain Hook could have been, had he only saved his hand from the crocodile of time!
They are a harpist’s greatest treasure and a thief’s greatest downfall; they may give power to the weak, speech to the deaf and sight to the blind. For Mohammad Ali, one fist can seal a legacy; for Napoleon, one hand gesture can kill…
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