The Chinese are really into palm reading. All my students love it. A few weeks ago I did a lesson on the future tense by pretending to be a fortune teller, and everyone wanted me to read their palm. I pointed at random lines and looked surprised or sad or excited. I told one student she would never marry, another she would work as a janitor. Some wanted to know if they would be rich, successful, find love, travel abroad, live a long life. I improvised. They laughed.
Obviously I don’t belive the lines in your hand can predict your future. Still, I love the metaphor – the idea that the hands, not the eyes, reveal the soul. It gives new meaning to shaking hands. Not just a greeting, but a merging of souls, a kind of suturing of futures.
I look at my own hand – the knuckle creases, the crosshatched lines, the veins like blue mountain ranges. Clearly some of my past is aparrent in my hand – scars from slamming my fingers in the bedroom door, claw marks from my cat, a kind of heaviness in the fingers from the bodies I’ve touched and those I have been too afraid to. But I like to think my future is there too. Will I find love? Will I be successful? Will I live with meaning and kindness? It’s all there in my hands. Remember that the next time we meet and I take your hand in mine.