In Praise of Left Hands

It happens this way …

It only took minor minor-surgery to make me realize how important a left hand is. (For all the lefties out there, read “right hand.”)

The image that popped up consistently this week? An anchor. For example: How do I unscrew a bottle cap without my left hand anchoring the container in place? How do I rip up solicitation mail or dead-head flowers or wash my hair or sweep the floor or cut meat without its steadying influence ? Even though I have four working fingers and the crook of an arm to help me, the ease with which my left hand has performed these activities in the past – without calling attention to itself, without expecting gratitude – is eye-opening.

left handOf course, I did some research on hands. The entire hand contains 27 bones and the fingers account for 14 of them. Since I talk with my hands, I guesstimate that half of my oral output has been stifled this week. In addition, some researcher on the Internet claims that “Each hand is dominantly controlled by the opposing brain hemisphere.” I think the opposite may be true. My right brain seems sluggish and poems are not flowing as they should. I chalk that up entirely to a limited left hand.

One thing’s certain: When the bandage is unraveled next week, I’ll pour gratitude on a limb that humbly does its job helping me get stuff done, talk, and write – all achieved without complaint.


Many of you have had much more serious surgeries than I will ever have – from hips to knees, from brains to kidneys, from colons to hearts. I can only say my minor inconvenience has made me much more empathetic to the pain and limitations you’ve experienced. And, it has also made me aware of how I take parts of my body for granted.

Just in case the Universe thinks I might need future lessons in body-gratitude, I‘m going to execute a pre-emptive strike right now: Thank you, brain, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, jaw, and all other parts of this carbon-based life form, inside and out. Keep up the good work, dear body. I’m grateful!


  1. You nailed it once again Carolyn. Let us all take a few moments out of each day to thank God for everything we do have. Skilled surgeons working with His grace and guidance to keep things running at His choice of our optimum level. Take care of the vessel He gave to you and be kind to one another!

    Liked by 1 person


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