My grandma, she used to take my little chubby hand in hers and hold them there for a good eternity. I had no concept of time back then. Feeling too shy to take my hands back, I would sit with her for however long and just feel her hands, hoping to understand the world through them. Her hands were covered in flour, slender and bony. The skin was slightly speckled with a tan color. Her fingertips were rough compared to the loose, wrinkled skin that clung to bones. “My mom had no fingerprints” my dad still likes to proudly declare. Tools to a gifted and hard working soul, her hands spent decades painting the tiny petals of flowers and the swooping surface of vases. They attempted to teach me to paint, but my untrained hands were too restless and impatient. Her hands cooked wholesome meals 3 times a day, fearless of splattering oil and the sharp butcher knife. They attempted to teach me to cook as well, but my untrained hands shriveled at the steam of a boiling pot and would not come within a foot of the stove. Her hands, as worn as they were, tried learning piano to inspire me to practice. My lazy hands fumbled around carelessly each day, keeping track of the 60 minutes until they could be occupied entirely by pressing the channel button on the remote control.
Her hands played marbles with me, combed my hair and snapped in a bow each morning, put night cream on my nose, mended my shirts, flipped pages while pointing at each line so I could follow along. Her hands sketched often in her sketchbook, and taped my doodles alongside her own. Her hands reached in her purse for candy and pushed me in a shopping cart.
I can’t remember the last time I held her hands, but it was at least 5 years ago. I wonder if they are smaller, if there are more specks on them, if they are cold right now. I’d give anything to hold them, to hold and kiss the hands that are associated with some of my fondest memories.
Meanwhile, I’m looking down at my own, which type so swiftly. Fingers that can braid hair, maneuver a car, text quickly,and somewhat still press keys on the piano. Besides not being able to put nail polish on smoothly, these hands never limit me. But what do they do all day? What am I using them for? I tried documenting my day in the perspective of my hands and it went something like this: putting on make up. taking some physics notes. twirling my hair. scrolling through instagram and pushing the “<3” button on one direction pictures. un-“<3”ing them when I realized people can see what i like. twirling my hair. twirling my hair. putting chapstick on. twirling my hair.
For hands at their prime time, they are pretty idle and vain, and sitting here thinking about Grandma’s hands places an urgency in my heart to flip through the Bible more, to demonstrate love and grace, to be instruments for Christ and not wasted on myself. I want to begin each day by asking God, “What do You want these hands to do? Where do You want them to go? Who do You want them to touch?”
Frances Havergal puts it well, “Take my hands and let them move, at the impulse of Thy love.”
Kelly Pratt and sandwich documentation
Christopher Boffoli and some serious food playing
Photographer Loves Math, Graphs Her Images
Here are some of the pictures the photographer named Nikki Graziano have captured. Graziano, is a math and photography student at Rochester Institute of Technology, she overlays graphs and their corresponding equations onto her carefully composed photos.
“I wanted to create something that could communicate how awesome math is, to everyone,” she says.
Graziano doesn’t go out looking for a specific function but lets one find her instead. Once she’s got an image she likes, Graziano whips up the numbers and tweaks the function until the graph it describes aligns perfectly with the photograph. See more of her Found Functions series at Nikkigraziano.com.
lecture to myself: hind sight is always 20/20
jessica, it’s imperative that you learn to read directions carefully and clearly. READ. use your eyes and brain. be smart.
jessica, don’t ever just shoot for the bare minimum. Minimums shouldn’t be options. Always be spectacular and try your very best.
jessica, be compassionate. see things from other people’s eyes. try to understand people around you.
jessica, be generous with your time and blessings
jessica, always look people in the eye and make them feel like they are the only person in the world to you
jessica, turn your head and check before changing lanes.
jessica, be confident. don’t hesitate
jessica, stay away from sugar. do your exercises. drink water.
just take me out of Houston
Reacquainting myself with the musical cartographer, Sufjan Stevens. Listen once and you are compelled to recline and let your thoughts fly. Meanwhile, your ears are treated to simple yet eloquent lyrics set to multi-layered melodies churned from the heart. A brassy trumpet complimented by cheerful bells. Familiar banjo plucking meets the delicate cymbals. Smooth drum beats resonate and give vibe to the spontaneous notes from the choir, all completely honey syrup-ed. Sufjan’s own calming but encompassing voice is like colored cellophane which wraps the whole piece together. If music had a taste, this one is a pure piece of Nostalgic Sweet in the form of a symphony ready to melt in your soul.(10 plays)
Phrontifugic Minutes of Life Part 18: Cloak of Invisibility- Ya got one too?
Today the world served me a huge plate of soggy humility.
If I ever thought I had the whole “cool” deal going on for me, it all vanished within the past couple of hours and now I’m feeling more like the awkward-unforgettable-fourth grader with the over-sized flared jeans my grandpa bought from a neighbor’s garage sale. Yep, college managed to excavate that loser in me.
It happened like this: I’m walking out of a final I just bombed and it’s pouring coyotes and ostriches outside so I stop in the nearby building and decide to use the restroom. The stall door doesn’t completely lock, but in an empty restroom with 10 stalls, what are the chances that someone would try to open mine? Plopping down, I begin to take my piss while studying the terrazzo below, all at the same time thinking about the test. Everything is interrupted when the stall door flies open and I look up to see two girls are staring at me. One girl spills out some choice explicits and then slams the door while laughing. My bladder is more embarrassed than anything, and I just sit there for awhile before I can finish my business. At the sink, the girl doesn’t acknowledge me, much less apologize, but continues to talk to her friend about some guy that’s interested in her. If I didn’t feel like a loser already, I really felt like one as I was standing next to her washing my hands- completely invisible- that’s gotta be the worst feeling. Sticking around for the rain to stop wasn’t worth the wait and possibility for more awkward happenings, so though unarmed, I head out for a 15 minute rainy walk back home. Half of me is muttering: No one can see you. Your mood is already drenched anyway, just keep walking. Yeah, hum that Adele song, it was written for moments like this. Then every couple of minutes my other half interrupts: Now come on, Jess! You can find something to smile about. Remember how much you love puddle reflections? Be happy! I finally make it to the crosswalk on the edge of campus, shirt and hair completely soaked. Thinking positively, I smile at the girl already there. Then 5 more people show up, all with umbrellas. Together, we stand there waiting for the same light, and I can’t help from feeling invisible again as none of them offer to share their umbrella. Can’t they see I’m soaked? It’s like they know I’m some sort of freak who fails her final and doesn’t lock the restroom stall while taking a piss. I look up and who do I see but the only possible person who would actually know this. Seriously. Her friend was gone and she was standing right next to me, eyes straight ahead. This has got to be a joke.
The next hour was spent in a fresh t shirt while sitting in the dining room eating spaghetti and letting sauce smear all over my face. “Reasons why my life sucks right now” I wrote on a napkin. 1. I’m eating a microwave meal of spaghetti. 2. it’s raining. 3. i don’t want to study for my other final. 4. a girl opened the stall door on me while i was peeing today.
Then I decided that the next appropriate loser move would be to blog about everything later in the night.
Yeah, so everyone has permission to laugh about my pathetic story…and I may or may not be joining you when summer comes in a few days. But hear me out, please please pleeeasee always share your umbrella with and acknowledge those around you. It drives me nuts how humans can be in such close proximity to each other but refrain from any interaction. Throw out some smiles for strangers! Talk to the person you ride the elevator with! Look at people in the eyes! Be kind!
With a cardboard box firmly secured in the back seat and old drafting paper laid out, the family of soon to be six set out to retrieve two baby goats.
Hunter and Forest were happily waiting for us in the pen… until the chain was unleashed and a hand grabbed them. Then fright struck and the crowd went wild. Tongues sticking out like little party blowers, they shrieked incessantly and I began doubting their survival in the city. Plus, our house has enough wonk as it is. But right when I picked one up and held him close like a baby, love awakened.
Three hours later we are all settled at home. The two are sporting their new collars and peacefully munching on clovers. They had their episode of running loose, darting through the fence, hiding under the car, and causing a ruckus, but such always is the case with a new pet. You cuties, all smiles and bleats.