Friday, November 2, 2007

These Hands Are Holy

That's what my cielo told me as she rubbed arnica gel into my wrists and thumbs. I'm hurting more this week, in rings around my wrists where the cuffs cut in, and up both thumbs. Especially on the right side, the one that seems to be hurt more, with the numbness in that thumb.

I had a paper due this week and so was typing like crazy. By now, I've written a lot of papers for school. But my hands have never hurt from typing. Usually my back gives out if I'm working hard. But never my hands. Not from typing, not from playing piano. So this is strange to me.

Is there any irony in the fact that the paper I was writing was about how white women are both privileged and oppressed by colonialism? And how I struggle with that? Hmm. (Hey Iris, can you guess what class?). Or that the day after turning in that paper, I was in court for my arraignment, hands throbbing?

(Everything went fine, by the way. The city attorney will try to add a charge to my case at my trial, which will be in January. They've been doing that to a lot of people. I think it's just to intimidate us. Won't work.)

The pain reminds me of being in jail, and how sore my wrists were. How I wished that I had some arnica, or ibuprofen, or just someone to be kind to me, to hold my hands with gentleness. The pain reminds me that even when I decided to try to sleep, I couldn't, really, because my hands hurt and I couldn't find a way to be comfortable. The pain reminds me of the loneliness in the middle of the night.

The pain reminds me of how many have suffered from columbus' legacy. If this is the price I have to pay to say "yes" to life and love and human decency and dignity and justice, and "no to empire and hatred and death and violence, then so be it.

So, now I'm working on my sermon for Sunday, so my hands won't get much of a rest. The texts are Habakkuk and Zacchaeus (Luke). Ever notice that Zacchaeus says no to empire, too?

Write the vision, God tells Habakkuk, for there is still a vision. There is still a vision.


P.S. A friend from school works with a physical therapist, and got me an appointment with her next week to check out my hands. For free. I'm so thankful.