[Cooking] brings your hands nourishment because your hands get to be hands. They get to actually do something rather than sitting around all day while you’re entertaining yourself with your ipod and… surfing the internet and all the other things that we do… our hands don’t get to do much anymore… [through cooking], your hands get to be happy, your body gets to be happy…

– Edward Espe Brown, author of the Tassajara Bread Book

They plant the potatoes and then, when months later they dig them out with their own hands, they squeal with joy… Most children today don’t have the experience of harvesting potatoes, but when they do, they are instinctively delighted. Touching soil like that moves the human heart.

– Farming to Create Heaven on Earth, by Lisa M. Hamilton

Hands, our hands… a man’s, a woman’s, mine, yours… are made to feed both body and soul. Through their trained skill, music is drawn from wood and ivory and the stretched guts and skins of animals. And when the musician feels love as well as pure maitrise, his hands will sing of it no matter what notes he follows, just as the painter will send passion or gentle innocence through the wooden stick with hairs for its tip onto paper-silk-stone-sailcloth, and the sculptor will hack or pour or mold, according to the life that flows through his fingers.

Hands can give love as well as accept it. They can communicate, and that is said to be a dangerously rare thing in this world. And if it is true, as I believe it to be, that there is a direct ratio between experience and appreciation, then it will also be true that the more one learns how to live through one’s hands, the more one lives inwardly.

– A Stew or A Story, MFK Fisher


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