The Open Hand Meets the Closed Fist

The fist, too, was once an open hand with fingers.

~Yehuda Amichai (May 3, 1924 – September 22, 2000, Poet known as Israel’s greatest modern poet)

One Hand is Open

One hand is open.  It burns with the wonder of life.  It holds all things lightly knowing that all things are dying.

The hand reaches in.  It embraces all facets of experience from ecstasy to hopelessness knowing each is a gift from the divine.  This hand knows that these cosmic gifts flow in a direct line from the life energy that sources every behavior we have ever done and every thought we have ever had.  It caresses each moment as if it was a newborn child breathing in for the first time.    The hand is alive.

The hand is dirty.  It reaches both up to light knowing that compassion is our birthright and down into the soil to make its visions come true.  It works and plays to uncover the world’s treasures which lie just beneath the surface of all things.  The hand is grounded.

The hand helps.  It reaches out to support others as they quest to find their inner fire and fully express all that lies within.  It lives life loudly and owns the results of its actions.  It invites all those who long for light to walk together on the path toward enlightenment.

The hand lets go.

The Other Hand is a Closed Fist

The other hand is a closed fist.  It is clenched tightly around all things knowing that holding on gives relief.

The fist is unwilling to reach in.  It deftly avoids all invitations to go deeper into itself because it sees a black hole of pain inside.  It pushes life away because it is frozen in fear because it desperately wants protection from the all-pervasive treachery of the world.  Each moment is a minefield waiting to destroy the contents of the fist’s white-knuckled grasp.  It will not to be manipulated again.  This time it will defend itself to the death.  The fist is already dead.

The fist is clean.  It runs away from every discomfort.  Even the brightest energy being triggers anguish because it reminds the fist of what’s underneath its pain.  Seeing light reminds the fist that it has walked away from itself.  It longs deeply for self-acceptance and self-love but its inner sky is so dark that the trail to its heart cannot be seen.  The fist is lost.

The fist fights.  When it reaches out, it finds solitude, loneliness, and despair.  It encounters many who are repulsed by its anger.  Those it attracts also like to fight.  Fighting keeps the fist closed, bloodied, and broken.  The weary fist trudges aimlessly along whatever road it stumbles onto.

The fist holds on.

The Open Hand Meets the Closed Fist

Where are you in this story?  Which hand guides your life on this earth?  When and how does the open hand lead you?  When and how does the fist affect your choices?  Can the open hand embrace the fist?  Is it possible for the hand and the fist to live together as one?  Is there any other possibility?

My deepest desire is to be the open hand and, when I encounter the fist in myself or in the world, to touch it lightly with compassion and invite it to let go.

This article speaks to my needs. I have been having difficulty conveying respectfullnes to my female collegues. I was told yesterday by my supervisor that I needed a “palm up” attitude when communicating to them. Thank you for the clairity this article provides.
I still need to create a new and better habit of what I have just learned. It’s akward for me, but I know it will become 2nd nature soon. My wife will benefit also.