I write this for friends whose lover reaches for them daily and who might take for granted this tiny intimacy – Amy and Chris, Farrah and Abdullah, David and Alison, Deborah and David, Nancy and John, Kanikaa and Anubhav a gift for you.
There are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people whose definition of intimacy is sexual. It’s not. Truly. Real intimacy is won through fingertips touching for the first time. It can be fleeting but in those precious seconds we are offered a union where anything and everything is possible and can be overcome. The spaces between our fingers offer us structure and function, when devoid of anothers fitting into our hand we don’t think about it. Ah, but when laced, entwined, in the simplicity of companionship or the intensity of passion, the gift of renewal, of safety, of promise, of all these and more are, quite literally, in the palm of our hand.
I recently had the opportunity to find my fingers so connected to those of a man. An exquisite, and both ordinary and extraordinary, man. If there is a single regret to have it is that in time the memory I carry in my head will fade to shades of sepia – like a daguerreotype – and then, eventually and sadly, this will only remain something of exquisite beauty existing at a cellular level held by neuron synapses and chemical impulses. It will be one of those things that as my physical being ceases to have purpose will flash before my eyes (if you believe such things happen before we enter into the pure white light) and I will remember how perfect those seconds felt. I write of this experience now, at the distance of a few days, because I fear that if I don’t something important to my life’s journey (and perhaps your own as you read this) will be lost.
There have been in the past men whose hands perspired to a point of being icky who held my hand. There have been crushing hands and wimpy hands clutching my own. There have been hands so exquisitely formed as to be a creation of chiseled of the purest marble come to life that felt inhuman and lifeless. There have been hands that sent shock-waves through my body threatening to destroy every sense of stability I possessed. There were, for nearly seven years, a pair of strong, beautifully masculine hands belonging to my former husband. This man’s hands were none of those. There was no anticipation of it even happening but when it did the nature of my hands being held, and my holding this man’s, could not have been any more perfect (to me). An extension of who I am, who he is, and who we might aspire to be together. Fleeting though it might have been suddenly the world felt ‘more’ of everything precious. There was a physical strength that the slender shape of his fingers did not give a clue to his possessing – his are capable hands, that know both hard work and the ability to express tenderness. If you already know that you love someone for the energy which they share liberally with the world, can you actually fall in love with them because of how your hand feels in theirs? The question of why now echoes in the void between my fingers. The answer hangs both on soft currents of salt air breezes and mountain air crisp with winter offering time to process and decide on a course of action (or inaction). I have no expectations. The memory of these hands is enough. More than enough.
“To take a hold of anothers hand is to break from individuality. It is to link yourself to another being, to momentarily entwine your life with anothers, to promise, for a moment, that you need not face the world alone.”
Tonight, if you have neglected this tenderness, or passion, reach for the one you love. Take their hand in yours, entwine your fingers, clutch their hand to your heart as you look into their eyes and know that sense of renewal in possibilities – the perfect intimate gesture.
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