My hands are very small. Like, the wrap-around-your-finger kind that little kids can do. It wasn’t always this way. The proportions were normal in 1996 – a frozen and documented moment that I can prove with a cement cast of my palms. And that’s it. That’s the key. My hands are the same as they were in September of 1996 and are now, here in March of 2013, designated as Very Small.
Trace my fingers on the sidewalk in the summer and I’m only 9-years-old to the world. I could wear a Ring Pop and fool everyone.
But in 17 years a lot has happened with my Very Small hands. Shadow puppet stuff. Button stuff. Pen and paper stuff. Lots of things have been touched and broken. They’ve been covered in paint. The nails have torn holes in skin. Paper cuts. I’ve put pieces of metal around them a lot, too. They’ve learned to do things independently of me. I don’t need my eyes as much. I can close the lids or turn and look out the window and I trust what’s going on at the end of my wrists is mostly ok.
I like them a lot better than I did in 1996 when I mashed them into the cold oatmeal of fresh concrete and left behind two hard, empty puddles in the ground – a blue marble in each palm, the knowledge in my head that this same shape would make turkeys in November that year, then Christmas trees.
Right now I’m holding my hands out like tiny peach-colored fans over the keyboard, hovering there and waiting for my brain to fire some kind of synapse, some kind of sequence of letters and stuff – something they can then make – dabbed out of a plastic square – and then there it is in the world.
Here it is:
Tonight, as part of the Louisville Free Public Library ’s What’s Next Series, founder of Make Magazine, Dale Dougherty, will present on the growing culture of Make-It-Yourself. Stop by the Main branch at 7pm for heads-up about hands-on.
A Louisville native and pioneer in the tech community, Dale Dougherty is a national leader of the Make-It-Yourself movement. Acting as founder, president and CEO of Maker Media, which publishes Make Magazine, Dougherty has been actively advocating hands-on solutions and ideas for decades. For tonight’s talk, Dougherty will introduce the Make-It-Yourself ideal and explain how the growth of the initiative has worked to open the world, empower individuals with skills and, ultimately, bring people together. Heads and hands. Synergy stuff.
This is not the same thing as traced fingers on red construction paper. Crayons with names like “macaroni-and-cheese” and “wild strawberry” drawing in the feathers where the little finger nails would be. This kind of Make-It-Yourself is not illustrated as innovation in a magazine. But your hands are amazing in what they can make in the world, regardless of shape or size, and the same palm that has created a dozen holiday turkeys is more than capable of shaping the next frontier.
The Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch is located at 301 York Street.
This event is free, but tickets are required. For more information, visit the event page  or call (502) 574-1644.
Image: Courtesy of Photobucket www.photobucket.com