Long Fingers and Missing Nails
March 7, 2017, 1:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was born with very long fingers.

“Piano playing fingers!” my father would exclaim to me. He said his grandmother had the same fingers;

the great-grandmother that I am named after;

the great-grandmother I never met but everyone always tells me I am so much like;

the great-grandmother that I share a birthday with (which was discovered only after the name had already been given).

Piano playing fingers.

My parents sure did try with that one. I think I lasted a year in piano lessons. Tried the flute, the clarinet, the guitar. Literally, any instrument that would take advantage of the fingers that hindered my fine motor skills for too long as a child. I still struggle with buttons.

What do you do when you are given things you can do nothing with? My name, these fingers, my emotions–they don’t do what they are supposed to do. I should be a great pianist, I should be better at math, I should be tall and artistic, I should have better control over emotions but it appears I was born with too much of them, as well.

We are all born to do things. We are all born with the capability to do great things if we are brave enough.

We are given tools when we are born and people will EXPECT things from you based on those tools. The only baby that should have ever been born with expectations is Jesus. The rest of us make ourselves like little lumps of clay. We can reinvent ourselves as may times as we want, just spray the clay with water and start from scratch.

Start from scratch.

I like to think that if my great-grandmother had been around when I was born she would have told me to forget about trying the piano. She never even played. She was an artist. An amazon. A matriarch.

She took her long fingers and wrapped them around the world and pulled it into her, like gravity. She used her tools in a greater way than could have been imagined. She became more than just piano playing fingers; she used those fingers to hold a paint brush, to raise my grandfather and his brother, to be a grandmother to my outrageous father, aunt, uncle. To be the name that falls between my first and last.

I am saying, don’t feel pigeon-holed, friends. If you are short, try out for basketball . If you are pale, wear a bikini to the beach. If you have a speech impediment, audition for a play.

People will not judge you. People will not point and say that you cannot do it. This isn’t Rudolph and there are no reindeer games. This is life and people will admire you. They will admire you for being brave and different and DEFYING ODDS.

Start from scratch.

Look at those fingers, imagine what you can do with them. Think about how you can use your fingers to make a better world for you to live in. Don’t pick up a hammer, miss the nail, and then put the hammer down. Keep trying or find a different project. It’s as simple as that–try harder or move on. Don’t spend your life missing nails, reaching for keys or piano strings.

Use those long fingers as a weapon. Use them to sit down at a laptop each night. Use them to pour yourself onto blank pages on the screen in front of them.

I chose to use my piano playing fingers to write a novel. I am done missing nails.


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