Artists’ Hands

Photograph by: Alexandra Pelletier

I love those fingertips. Gleaming, darkened with lead from sketching, from pulling out entire cities, worlds even, from the space between your brain and the tip of your pencil.

I love those fingers that are dexterous and have a strength all their own. Not the strength to punch or to lift heavy objects, necessarily. But the strength to create and care for growing things. I know that we need hands that can use force, that will prevent robbers from getting away, hands that are tough and can break things. But I am so glad that there are hands like yours, too. Hands that know how to be soft even when they are calloused. Hands that will save a life not by their ability to shoot a gun, but through the beautiful things they create that make life worth living.

I am so glad that your strength is softness.

It takes such courage to be soft, naked, in a world where people are always packing on the layers, as though life were an endless winter. But it’s hard to be that person. And I know there was a time when you gave up. When softness hurt too much. When people nicked your skin with the thorns of the flowers you gave them. But you understood, one day, that the world being harsh is no reason for you to be, too. If the world is harsh, then it needs more softness. And if not you, who? If you do not lead by example, then who will follow?

It’s hard to remain soft. But youyou live like that, knowing you could never be any other way.

Note: This one is for all the lovely people out there who remind me time and again that softness is not weakness.

Soft, soft…

Art by: Loony

Too often when they speak of saving,
they trust in guns and violence,
fire and smoke.

But what of the saving you do
when you hold a trembling hand in yours?
When you sit and listen,
when you humble yourself
and let the soft-spoken speak?

What of the saving that is done in softness?
A kind word pressed between pages,
unhurried like the clouds,
gentle as the smell of perfume when the sun is out.

What of the lives you save by being not brave, but kind?