A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

So That Our Hands Would Meet - Jorge Luís Borges
Monday, November 21, 2016




 In past blogs I have written at length how as a portrait photographer I have this fascination with human hands. I know that a pair of hands is usually as big as a person’s face. I know that Sherlock Holmes could tell a lot by simply looking at hands.

In my years of taking photographs of modern and ballet dancers I know how crucial hands are in any photograph. They must look graceful and never in a grip of tension. My wife Rosemary from the very beginning of looking at my photographs, years ago, would ask me what I thought was a trivial question when I showed her what I thought was a very good portrait, “What is she doing with that little finger?”

I would go as far as to say that many of my portraits have passing grades because the hands look just fine.

The photograph above, which I took some years ago, part of a series of pictures I took of Kimberley Klaas, shows my interest in hands.

Many poets have written about hands. In fact I may have a couple of blogs that feature photographs of hands with a two different poems by Emily Dickinson. But after looking at this image a favourite poem by Jorge Luís Borges (both in English and in Spanish below) came to mind:

The Causes
by Jorge Luís Borges

The sunsets and generations.
The days and none was the first.
The coolness of water in Adam's
throat. Orderly Paradise.
The eye deciphering the dark.
The love of wolves at dawn.
The word. The hexameter. The mirror.
The Tower of Babel and pride.
The moon that Chaldeans gazed at.
The innumerable sands of the Ganges.
Chuang-Tzu and the butterfly that dreams him.
The golden apples on the islands.
The steps in the wandering labyrinth.
Penelope's infinite tapestry.
The Stoics' circular time.
The coin in the dead man's mouth.
The weight of the sword on the scale.
Each drop of water in the clepsydra.
The eagles, the auspicious days, the legions.
Caesar on the morning of Pharsalia.
The shadow of the crosses over the earth.
The chess and algebra of the Persian.
The footprints of long migrations.
The conquest of kingdoms by the sword.
The relentless compass. The open sea.
The clock's echo in memory.
The king beheaded by the ax.
The incalculable dust which was armies.
The nightingale's voice in Denmark.
The calligrapher's meticulous line.
The face of the suicidal one in the mirror.
The gambler's card. Greedy gold.
The shapes of a cloud in the desert.
Every arabesque in the kaleidoscope.
Each regret and each tear.
All those things were necessary
so that our hands would meet.

Las causas - Jorge Luís Borges

Los ponientes y las generaciones.
Los días y ninguno fue el primero.
La frescura del agua en la garganta
de Adán. El ordenado Paraíso.
El ojo descifrando la tiniebla.
El amor de los lobos en el alba.
La palabra. El hexámetro. El espejo.
La Torre de Babel y la soberbia.
La luna que miraban los caldeos.
Las arenas innúmeras del Ganges.
Chuang-Tzu y la mariposa que lo sueña.
Las manzanas de oro de las islas.
Los pasos del errante laberinto.
El infinito lienzo de Penélope.
El tiempo circular de los estoicos.
La moneda en la boca del que ha muerto.
El peso de la espada en la balanza.
Cada gota de agua en la clepsidra.
Las águilas, los fastos, las legiones.
César en la mañana de Farsalia.
La sombra de las cruces en la tierra.
El ajedrez y el álgebra del persa.
Los rastros de las largas migraciones.
La conquista de reinos por la espada.
La brújula incesante. El mar abierto.
El eco del reloj en la memoria.
El rey ajusticiado por el hacha.
El polvo incalculable que fue ejércitos.
La voz del ruiseñor en Dinamarca.
La escrupulosa línea del calígrafo.
El rostro del suicida en el espejo.
El naipe del tahúr. El oro ávido.
Las formas de la nube en el desierto.
Cada arabesco del calidoscopio.
Cada remordimiento y cada lágrima.
Se precisaron todas esas cosas
para que nuestras manos se encontraran.



     

Previous Posts
Not at an Arm's Length

Arrival - No Zap-Gun Science Fiction

Potato & Leek Soup - Not

Manrique - Detective Steven Prenzl & His Pepper Sp...

Mistresse Mary, be you ficke?

That Elusive Signature Photograph

Filling in the Blanks With Very Good Help

Borges In Vegas & Fishnets

Sean Rossiter - A Constant Ache in my Heart

A knot No Power can untie



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1/31/16 - 2/7/16

2/7/16 - 2/14/16

2/14/16 - 2/21/16

2/21/16 - 2/28/16

2/28/16 - 3/6/16

3/6/16 - 3/13/16

3/13/16 - 3/20/16

3/20/16 - 3/27/16

3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16