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USA Mexico Border

Behold the hands how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate,
refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command,
mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of
variation which makes the tongue envious.
– Michel de Montaigne


Peshawar, Pakistan


Our hands often reveal what we really think but do not say.
They can show a range of feelings and emotions
from confusion and frustration

to joy, understanding, love, and compassion.

Feyzabad, Afghanistan

Among all species, our human hands are unique — not only in what they
can accomplish, 
but also in how they communicate.
Human hands can paint the Sistine Chapel, pluck a guitar,

maneuver surgical instruments, chisel a David, forge steel, and write poetry.
They can grasp, scratch, poke, punch, feel, sense, evaluate, hold and
mold the world around us.

– Joe Navarro

Lakeland, Florida

New York City, USA

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us,
we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions,or cures,
have chosen rather to share our pain and touch
our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

– Henri Nouwen


Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we have received and
let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.
– Mother Teresa

Hong Kong, China

Hands calm us, feed us, and scratch our backs.
They intimidate, bless, encourage, and stop us.
They soothe and caress.

They draw our attention to the good and the bad,
often suggesting exuberance or fear.

– Charles Flowers introduction to Elliott Erwitt’s Handbook

Mopti, Mali


Kabul, Afghanistan

To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.
– Taisen Deshimaru

Mandalay, Myanmar/Burma

Hands have saved lives and taken them just as easily.
They create the saviors of life as well as the purveyors of death.
Creating and destroying with a single move
a finger can move mountains or search the unknown heavens.
Hands live to caress and love.
Hands live to fight and die.
Forever living hands, forever exploring hands.
– Bruce Alan Humphrey

Dublin, Ireland

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Karelia, Russia

Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as 
beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.
– Rumi ( 1207 – 1273)

Uganda, Africa

Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Hold a true friend with both hands
– African Proverb

Zhengzhou, China

The hands which beckon,
embrace, soothe, and comfort us
Bid us farewell.


To pray means to open your hands before God.
– Henri Nouwen

Rome, Italy

…For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene 5
-William Shakespeare


 Hajjah, Yemen

St. Petersburg, Russia


Steve McCurry:  A Life in Pictures by
Bonnie McCurry

Available in Italian – Mondadori/Electa

Available in German – Knesebeck publishers

Available in English – Laurence King Publishers

Available in French- La Martiniere