Hands

A long time ago, we found ourselves living in Amherst, Massachusetts trying to write novels. On Saturday mornings in the summer, we used to frequent a small farmers’ market on the village green. We would always look for the grave old farmer who sold blueberries from the back of a pickup truck with rusted out wheel-wells. He had a long face that didn’t change much. He was extremely tall, and moved with that kind of purposeful languor tall men sometimes possess. His hands were enormous, and when you were buying his produce, the hands were all you saw. They were a workman’s hands, strong but careful, too, accustomed to picking ripe blueberries without crushing them.

Not to romanticize, but they seemed to have had a life of their own, in the way that a sculptor’s or pianist’s hands seem to have their own life. Our attraction to him was due not least of all to those extraordinary mitts. And he made it easy, for the more we saw him in the early summer months, the more we tried to speak with him, and the more he seemed to clam up. Anything beyond an exchange of pleasantries was clearly painful for him. We don’t wish to guess at the reasons: there was a modesty about him that makes it seem indecent to poke and prod for a good back-story. He was a dignified man with great blueberries and two of the best hands we’ve ever seen.

Ever since then, we’ve been looking for hands as fine.

Here are a few:

Find more on our Pinterest page.