What I Can Do With 9 Fingers: a List

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I am not much of a list writer, actually. But here goes.

  • Write a blog. Pointer fingers are overrated when you are hunting and pecking, chicken-style, anyway.
  • Wash half of my hands. As in, one hand. Ever seen a kid show you that trick where they clap with one hand? Like that, but soapier.
  • Stand uselessly watching Quail the Second deseed 3 whole pomegranates on my behalf, lest the blood of its body mingle with the blood of mine and thus defile the entire meal.
  • Cook winter squash pancakes. Never mind how I got the squash cooked. Pretend it was all me.
  • Play the majority of modern praise music songs on the piano. This should disturb you, especially if you sing them on purpose. Aim higher, man. Learn some 10-fingered, 2-lunged songs that require both your mind and your heart to pay attention at the same time.
  • Read. A lot.
  • Slip my feet into fuzzy Birkenstocks and thank God I live in an era where shoes don’t have to have laces.
  • Practice hands-free yoga, which apparently is a thing even before I got to it (isn’t that funny? How many things we “discover” and it feels exciting and brand new, only to find that everyone around you has been doing it for decades? Imagine my sheepishness when I showed up to Vacation Bible School over a year ago, early, having “discovered” this weird thing called a carpool lane…).
  • Brown butter. See above note about the squash pancakes, and let your imagination run wild.
  • Shampoo at least a patch of my hair. In the end, a hat still seemed wisest, lest the Quail catch a glimpse of me and have a nervous reaction that cannot be undone.
  • Completely flop at trying to understand the chemistry problems in my teenage daughters’ math, even after the Beloved sat for an hour with us at the table and worked problems and, bless his heart, tried to put it into story board form in the hopes of a bell ringing in my brain. Have we talked about chemistry before? Maybe not. My chief problem with the study of science as a whole, and possibly chemistry in particular, is that I simply do not have enough faith. I am not a credulous enough person to be a scientist, and yet I could probably get on board more easily if they would just admit that the whole shebang is a myth! I love fables! I can play inside a pretend world, I do it all the time, but scientists are so stubbornly insistent that they deal in facts that it takes all the fun out of it, and as a result, not only can I not understand what they are doing or what I am supposed to do, but I am burdened by the irritation of being lied to and feeling foolish at the same time. I hate being lied to. If I had to describe chemistry in a nutshell: This is true absolutely all of the time except for when it isn’t, which is often. At least poets know when they are speaking nonsense…
  • Close doors. Open doors. Rinse and repeat until I feel mildly useful again.
  • Watch the leaves dance around in the wind. There might be a whole post about this soon, it is fast becoming my favorite pastime, especially when the light is filtering through the branches. It is as if God shined a spotlight on the change He wrought.
  • Plan the gratin I shall make for Thanksgiving to crush my sister in the annual cooking competition — this year, the Gratin Off. Now, can I actually cook a gratin with 9 fingers? I don’t actually know. Truthfully, I’ve never cooked one with 10 fingers either, so maybe I am none the worse for wear.

But the most important item on my list does not fit on my list, because it is something I cannot do without a pointer finger: Point. That’s right, today I am calling out the spirit of accusation that lurks in all of us, especially when things are going a little sideways. The following is a list of things I do not get to do with 9 fingers:

  • Be cranky and blame a sore finger.
  • Be lazy and blame “keeping the bandage dry”.
  • Start any sentence with, “I’m sorry, but I am just so tired/stressed/sick/insert-your-excuse”.
  • Withhold praise and thanksgiving because God is the One who gave me my trials.

This list is shorter, but I would argue it packs a harder punch to my soul today and I am taking my pointerless life as a prod to give thanks in all things and lift up all the digits I have left, to the glory of God. And I am pretty sure you too can practice this spiritual discipline even sans gory encounters with a tin can. I recommend going that route.

2 Responses

  1. Ellen
    | Reply

    Also, with 9 fingers (or even fewer) you can ORDER TO BUY any gratin concoction to be delivered to your door. Just sayin’.
    P.S. What is yoga?

    • barb
      | Reply

      Yoga is the code word for the complex system of justifications that I used in ordering butter yellow wide leg corduroy pants and simultaneously the reason they didn’t fit. It is a word I currently have complex feelings about. Also, not the kind of gratin I want. The kind of gratin I want is sister thwomping, and such a confection is, alas, not sold in stores.

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