I don’t know when it began exactly, but whenever I try to concentrate on a careful task, my hands tremble. It’s only slight, but enough to throw a wrench into the idea of eating cereal or becoming an artist. All the things I wanted to accomplish necessitated a steady hand—painting, drawing, or even photography. Defeated, I settled upon writing for a while, thinking that that was the only thing my hands were capable of. I couldn’t create good art; I couldn’t be good art.
invited me to her art studio
one morning to paint with her. It wasn’t
until I sat there, paintbrush pushed aside
in frustration, that I hesitantly came to
terms with my own hands. Christine—an
incredibly accomplished artist, as well
as my best friend’s mother—stood at my
shoulder and challenged me. She said,
“look at my hands;” they weren’t perfect
either. I looked up to see the unsteady
lines of her flowers and lettering that
hung on the walls of her studio. At the
tips of these faltering fingers laid endless
possibility for beauty. Thousands of people love and buy her work; her difference
does not stop her.
Though eating cereal can still be a challenge, taking control of the uncontrollable has allowed me to hold my precious
differences dear. And just as Christine
did, my differences allow me to recognize
the beauty in the differences of others.
20th St and Colorado
Last Saturday, I sat in a coffee shop
on the corner of Colorado and 20th,
watching and listening to the people that
passed by. Each and every one of them
had tremors of their own, these almost
indistinguishable differences, the wavy
notches of a chin or the small inlets of a
nose. These tremors were not mistakes,
they were pieces. Pieces of a person that
no one else had, pieces that made up the
whole, pieces that made them whole.
Hollywood Blvd and
N Vermont Ave
Sunday, April 1st, and still my hands
shake. But everyone else’s do too, in
their own way. I’ve learned through this
struggle of mine how important it is to
recognize the beauty in other people’s
tremors, too, to see their differences as
admirable and to encourage them to use
those differences to create and do beautiful, wonderful things.
A tremor does not make a person an
error; their difference is not a fault they
have to fix, their difference is them, and
their difference is lovely.
Look at my hands. They are like yours,
San Vicente Blvd
Somewhere on San Vicente, I drew the
faces of these strangers without picking
up my pen, letting the ink run together.
My trembling hands were no different
than another’s curving ear lobes; our differences were the same, our ink bleeding
on the same page.