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

~Yehuda Amichai (A Man Known as Israel’s greatest modern poet)

I invite you to open your left hand….feel what an open hand is like…in your arm and in your being…look around, what do you see?

One hand is open.

It burns with the wonder of life. It holds all things lightly knowing that all things are dying and being reborn.

The hand lets go.

The open hand reaches in. 

It embraces all facets of experience from ecstasy to despair knowing each is a gift from the divine.

It caresses each moment as if the present — the now — were a newborn child breathing in for the first time.

The hand is alive.

The open hand reaches out. 

It knows that only when everyone’s needs are met can anyone’s needs be met. Only when there is justice for all can there be justice for any.

The hand stretches to touch the stranger; to hold up those who stumble; to raise up those who have fallen; to stop those who cause harm.

The hand helps.

Now I invite you to transform your right hand into a first.  What is it like to make and hold a fist…in your arm…in your being. Look around…what do you see?

The other hand is a closed fist.

It is clenched tightly around all things knowing that grasping and clinging gives temporary relief.

The fist holds on.

The fist cannot reach in.

It deftly avoids all invitations to go deeper into itself for fear of what it might find. 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 fights

When it reaches out, it finds loneliness, misery, and chaos. Many are repulsed by its untethered anger.  Those it attracts also like to fight.

The fist battles against itself and against others becoming only more bloodied, broken and more tightly closed.

The first is exhausted. It wants peace and ease.

The fist longs to open.

Now allow the fist to transform into an open hand…What does that feel like in your arm…in your body.  Look around…What do you see? 

When do you live as the fist – protecting, posturing, tightening up, closing off, resisting with hate, preparing to go to war?

And when do you live as the open hand — connecting, caring, resting, growing, resisting with love, preparing to live in peace?

 We are blessed with the power to choose the open hand or the closed fist in every moment, in every interaction.  And we are blessed with the power to transform the closed fist into an open hand in every moment, in every interaction.  I invite you to get to know and to love the open hand and to get to know and to love the closed fist — each is part of you.  So, when it comes time for you to choose, you choose wisely knowing that…

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