2.01.2010

On the other hand, you have different fingers.


That line came from Steven Wright.  Since we ended Friday with him, I thought we may as well begin Monday in the same spot. 

I was reading over the weekend about a medical study of people who are both-handed (as opposed to right or left), which the article described as "people who do some tasks better with one hand and some tasks better with the other."

The study had no nice conclusions to draw.

I expected them to at least congratulate such persons for their flexibility, dexterity, adventurousness, rebellious nature, or all around creativity in their approach to life, but instead they concluded that people who are both-handed are nothing but a bunch of wired-wrong problems waiting to happen. 

I only cared about this because, while I write and eat with my left hand and ONLY my left hand, I cut, sew, iron clothes, hit a softball (when I actually manage to hit it at all) and crochet with my right hand.

I have no idea why this is the case -- it seems to me that I probably learned to do my right-handed things from people who didn't know how to teach them left-handed.  Our scissors and ironing board were set up for righties, as were Aunt Lillie's sewing and crochet instruction.  (As for the hitting a softball thing, perhaps I would have had more success with it if I had tried it with the other hand . . . now I just pretty much avoid it altogether, which has solved the problem nicely.)

At first I felt a little hurt by the study, then I had a brief moment of indignation in which I decided that the researchers were all just jealous . . .



then I had a flash in which I decided I COULD USE IT TO EXPLAIN A LOT.

"The hand is the cutting edge of the mind."
Jacob Bronowski




If that's true, then maybe my hands' confusion is the reason I can't seem to ever make things look like they looked when I imagined them.

Lost in the confused translation of my hands, so to speak.

Case in point: I've been working on a piece for most of January which can now only be described as "when bad things happen to good pieces."  Because I saved the character's mouth for last, and now it is all wrong.  I've said it here before -- I don't have much control over the facial expressions.

But it's an unfortunate moment when your character at last opens its mouth and positively refuses to read its assigned line!

Oh well -- now I guess I'll try to let her tell ME what she wants to say.

But after putting in SO many hours . . . . 
 
it's a little like suffering all the way through January just to find yourself in February.


Oh.


4 comments:

VO said...

My left hand is developmentally challenged. Oh, it can do a few things but basically it's my right that does the bulk of the work. When I eat dinner and read at the table (for which I used to get into big trouble for...but now that I am my own adult self I rule it's perfectly fine to read while eating) I use my left hand to hold the book AND turn the pages while my right is busy feeding my body. In essence I'm feeding myself physically and mentally with both hands!

When I had elbow surgery on my right arm a few years ago my left hand was called to do the duties the right normally did. For 8 wks or so.

I shall be as delicate as I can here: just try going to the bathroom and realizing your other hand cannot seem to perform in the same efficient manner as the dominant hand.

That said, there are times my dominant hand cannot translate what my brain sees and what I want in my art. Then again, sometimes it's what I needed all along I just didn't know it at the time.

Darlene said...

Like you, I'm a lefty, but I do a lot of stuff with my right hand, like ironing, shooting a gun, and cutting with scissors. The last is probably because there was no such thing as left-handed scissors when I was growing up back in the dark ages of left-handed intolerance.

More than one person has informed me that I use the "wrong hand." I always tell them I'm using the RIGHT hand! Wired wrong indeed.

I can also read upside down and backwards, which is a skill that has come in handy several times, especially when people were trying to tell me that a document said something other than what was printed on the paper. They were always quite surprised when I corrected them. Being wired wrong does have its advantages...

Amelia and Justin said...

My left hand is pretty non-functional. In fact, the left side of my body doesn't do much except help me keep my balance. When I broke my right foot I hadn't ever realized how much I depended on that foot until I couldn't use it anymore.

Justin, on the other hand (haha!), is pretty dexterous with both hands. He started out left-handed but had a teacher who made him do things right-handed. But, to this day there are certain things (like throwing a frisbee) he can only do with his left hand. And, I like the way he is wired ;o)

susan m hinckley said...

Well now I'll be interested to see if you two get any lefties in your family.

None of my kids are lefties, but Linds is almost completely ambidextrous She also does drawings using her feet and even her mouth to hold the pencil, but that's another story . . .In fact, her whole senior show consisted of self-portraits she'd drawn using other body parts, and every one of them was amazing!

Chelsea can play the piano with her feet, on a side note. That came in handy when she wanted to play the flute at the same time.

But even though they're all technically right handed, their wiring is far from "regulation," and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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