People always say, "I know that like the back of my hand." It had only been in the last few days that I looked at my hands, when there was time. At L'Abri this week, I had more than my share of time, staring out into mist that hung in the Massachusetts air for days, smoking my cigarettes by the red shiny front door of the house, thankful to see my breath again in cold, to remember cold.

But again, I was looking at my palms, all the swirly curley-cues and ridges, the deep shiny lines and creases. Or how my rings set on my fingers. Before the rains came, I'd sat out on the stone wall wrapped in a tacky afgan, reading and with a cup of hot tea nursed the sun from behind the crown of naked branches above me and looked down to see my hands as old fashioned paperweights, as antique bookmarks.

My Festiva had gotten dusty while we were apart. Sliding into it and folding my hands around the wheel, my fingerprints remembered their map. I spun around town to my tidy destinations as if by autopilot, some kernel map floating around in my blood, half-blinking, nodding off, and then snapping back, like the fat styrofoam bob at the water's surface for a baited hook, calling out its catch.

It's good for us, I believe, to remove ourselves from all that we control in our individual lives and allow inconvenience. I had gone almost 2 full weeks without a computer (give or take some pleadings for rides to the local library) and as long fully without a car, and it was good for me to be reminded that I am not always in control and that I am not expected to be.

Even still, my hands knew what to do when they returned, as they do now, typing and flitting about until I am tired enough to sleep. And so this, this is how I retain contact

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