Some of the oldest cave art known to man features prints of hands, which is to say that even before humans knew what these hands were capable of, they were imprinting them onto walls to mark their presence. Come to think of it, centuries later, aren't we doing the same thing? Marking our presence with signatures on our creation, our names on everything we consider valuable, anything that screams out, "I was here?" Just the way you put your hands on me, and years later, I still feel like I'm yours?
"Scattered on the walls are stencils, human hands outlined against a background of red paint. Though faded, they are stark and evocative, a thrilling message from the distant past... hands are lined up in two horizontal tracks, all with fingers pointing to the left. Elsewhere there are hands with slender, pointed digits possibly created by overlapping one stencil with another; with painted palm lines; and with fingers that are bent or missing."
— Jo Marchant, A Journey to the Oldest Cave Paintings in the World, Smithsonian Magazine
— Anette Hermann
It's that day. Hands really take on a special meaning on Valentine's Day, don't they? You might have the most fulfilling glass of wine in one hand but all that seems to matter is whether or not the other one has someone else's hand in it. But all that truly matters is that your hands are strong enough to hold you up. So knock back that wine, wrap those arms around yourself, and give yourself a big self hug. Happy Valentine's Day.
— Ilenia Tesoro
— Susan Sontag
— Elisa Moro, You are made by all the hands that touched you
“You know the reason The Beatles made it so big?...'I Wanna Hold Your Hand.' First single. Fucking brilliant. Perhaps the most fucking brilliant song ever written. Because they nailed it. That's what everyone wants. Not 24/7 hot wet sex. Not a marriage that lasts a hundred years. Not a Porsche...or a million-dollar crib. No. They wanna hold your hand. They have such a feeling that they can't hide. Every single successful song of the past fifty years can be traced back to 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand.' And every single successful love story has those unbearable and unbearably exciting moments of hand-holding.”
― David Levithan, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
— Atonement (2007)
“Some people read palms to tell your future, but I read hands to tell your past. Each scar makes a story worth telling. Each callused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory.”
― Sarah Kay
— @sarashakeel, Collage art based on Michelangelo's Creation of Adam
I'd told you I was going to commit your face to memory, map it with my palms, take notes in such intricate detail that I'd know it better than the back of my hand.
My palms are leaking your memories now. I can't seem to look at my own hands without being forced into the time you taught me how to hold yours without the fear of being trapped in them. But now I am.
Azra Khamissa, preserving the art of adorning your hands with henna
The Black Canvas, handcrafted leather products made in Bombay. (10/10 would recommend buying!)
This newsletter was curated by Snigdha Bansal. You can find her on her Instagram.
As always, you can find more art & poetry on our website ~ unographymag.com