I used to be displeased with my hands and more than a little wistful. I wished for hands of beauty and grace, hands that would do what I wanted. Sometime in the late 1990s, I caught the knitting bug, connecting deeply to the mystical aspect of the craft. The part where you knit a spell made of a piece of string looped over itself again and again, time and most of all love. At the end, you hold a piece of clothing for someone special and know that the magic of thousands of stitches filled with love will help keep them a little safer in this world. You can’t create something like that without the feelings spilling over to the hands that made it happen. Being able to knit magic makes you grateful for the hands and the skill that do it. You can’t be displeased, because after all, you’re very pleased with the pair of socks you’ve just completed, or the blanket for your brand-new goddaughter. And you cannot be wistful because right there in front of you is tangible proof that your hands can create magic and what more do you want? I can no longer knit, but have found other ways to create. With my words, I weave stories from deep within, connecting to ideas and a larger whole. With my camera, I capture moments of joy and beauty and truth. My hands also draw pictures for my niece and nephew to colour, make phone calls to faraway friends, hold the hand of the man I love and bring a purring cat to a state of bliss. None of them care how I do it, they care only about the love. And I’ve realized at long last that the magic doesn’t come from your ability to use tools like knitting needles, crayons, cameras or computers. The magic of beauty, strength and grace comes from within and is channeled through your hands.
Lene is 49 and lives in Toronto, Canada. She has lived with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for 45 years. Lene is a writer and photographer. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, solving the world’s problems and nurturing her obsession with water. She shares her home with a cat and too many books.