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Hands

Posted in Burning Man, and Life

My birthday was really as fabulous as I predicted it would be. Many thanks to those who attended, sent birthday wishes, good thoughts, etc. I got a few presents and they were each really valuable to me no matter how small — you know who you are and thanks to you too.

A hand. Photo by Nicdalic.

Unsurprisingly I’ve been pretty exhausted from the weekend’s debaucheries. Been taking it slow and going easy on myself. My right hand has ached for a few days — specifically muscles around my thumb — and though I considered such amusing causes as repetitive motion strain from gripping wooden paddles — I believe it relates to bike riding as is so often the case when I have problems with my hands. I’ll pay extra attention to wearing my gloves and keeping a proper grip on the handlebars when riding.

So far it hasn’t interfered with my writing, though I haven’t had much time for that over the weekend. My muse gave me a day or two off without driving me crazy. I’ve thought a lot lately about how humans have this weird drive to push our meat bodies so hard. The hand injury inspired some of this thinking.  Some of it came of my recent reading — Tribes of Burning Man by Scribe — along with all the hand-related and artistic themes in Santa Sangre, a movie which Pet introduced me to over the weekend (currently streaming on Netflix).

We are constantly creating tools which push the reach of our hands further and further. At the same time, we have this vein in our culture that complains about this constant change, that seems afraid of all the things we do with our hands — as if inside of us somewhere is an ancient human that just crawled out of the trees and just wants to spend its time fucking and foraging without thinking so damn much. Yet for all that inner fear, we have the need to keep creating, to express our ideas even if it breaks us — if we lose our hands to repetitive motion, burn ourselves with fire, to dance till our bodies give out. We push ourselves to make something beautiful and real even if it ultimately breaks us, like a desert cactus that dies after it blooms — only we’re expressing our memes and not our genes.

I don’t know that I have a deep conclusion at the end of this train of thought, it’s just what’s on my mind now as I nurse an aching hand. I’m constantly amazed by the sacrifices my friends make in the name of creation, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of those later this month at Flipside.

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