Look At My Hands 002/016
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, but different.

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.