Hands

Thank you for the bits of dream analysis that some of you have offered since my post the other day. Because it has lead to some interesting conversations and personal insights, I’d like to share a bit more of the dream, flesh it out (no pun intended) a little and see what else you folks might think of it.

Something that I left out from the brief explanation I gave with the image, that I think is important, is that I came back to get my old hands. In my dream I had grown new, healthy and strong ones to replace those ones.  Finding them was like a unexpected reunion with a some loved one I hadn’t seen in years, had thought maybe I’d never see again. It wasn’t gross to find my old hands; they were starting to rot, yes, but more like the way a peice of fruit goes soft if you forgot it in your bag for a few weeks. I think it was an indicator of how long they had been left there, forgotten. I saw the gauntness of them as that they had been neglected and abused  – starved – and felt so tender for them that they had been treated to terribly. I didn’t want to leave them behind, I wanted to protect them and keep them safe even though they weren’t really useful for anything. And I felt awed by them too,  the same kind of wonder I feel for those tiny shards of perfectly blue robbins’ eggs you sometimes find on the sidewalk, or a shed snake skin, or an empty snail shell — that there is something precious about these fragile remnants of life and growth.

I also didn’t mention the setting:

I found my hands after trespassing into a condemned apartment highrise where C and I had once lived, I had gone back to pick up a few things I thought would be useful there that we had left behind. I wasn’t expecting to find my hands, but when I did I forgot about looking for anything else, I was so overcome with emotion at finding them. There were others in the apartment building too (it was a dorm is think), they were faint aquaintances that I felt no warmth towards. I felt embarrassed that they might notice my parcel and I tried to conceal my greif and joy and releif at finding my hands from them.

An interpretation that my friend T offered after having heard a more full rendition of the dream:

The high-rise represents anonymity, serial production, and all the ugly parts of modernity.
In this particular case, hands are not related to capability or aptness but to identity.
You see them more often than you see your face, after all.

mixed media collage, september 2008

In retrospect, I was a little spooked and intrigued to find the same hands appeard in this peice I made last september, just after we had just moved to toronto.  Disembodied, pale and ghostly, glowing, reaching towards…?

This collage decorates the tin I keep my drawing pencils in. Coincidence? Maybe.

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One Response

  1. so i’m reading and reading and thinking and then i’m thinking and i go to re-read and have my own little moment of “OH MY GOD!”

    that’s my hand! i was so focused on what a pretty nest it was in the picture the first time that i didn’t even see that… that’s my hand! seemed very a propros.

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