Monday, August 18, 2008

A Lament

It's official. I now have Scarlett O'Hara hands. If you don't know what I'm talking about go watch or read Gone With the Wind and find the scene where Scarlett visits Rhett Butler in gaol. The Civil War is over. She's dead poor and holding on to Tara, the family cotton plantation, through hard work and by sheer strength of will alone and she wants to hit Rhett up for a loan. To fool him into thinking she has returned to good fortune, she converts a plush green velvet curtain into a dress. But Rhett is not stupid – her ragged hands give away her true plight.

So aren't writers' hands supposed to be smooth and soft and elegant – untouched by the sun or adversity? Not mine. In between working on my computer, I have been running the farm. My hands are shrivelled from the cold and marbled and scarred with bruises, scrapes and love scratches from our playful cats and from cleaning out the sheep pen. Am trotting out the soothing aloe vera tonight. Will coddle my hands; will wrap them in bandages soaked with vitamin e oil; will sleep in cotton gloves until they resemble (oh irony of ironies) my male, city-dwelling, artist and business partner's tapered hands – those of Jozef.

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