I would not say that I was an overly inquisitive child. I was not out searching for adventures everyday. I was happiest in front of the television. Although there was one incident where at the age of 18 months, I decided to make a great escape from the Graham household. I failed, as before my parents even noticed my absence a neighbour returned Little Channah Boo and my parents placed me back in front of the television and continued to prepare for Shabbat. However, I nevertheless would always seem to be able to get myself into scrapes, normal for any child; my brother managed to cut his head open in the same place 3 times… we called it his centre of gravity.
The centre of gravity in humans varies and depends on the age and sex of the human in questions, but it is fair to say that it is usual around the middle to pelvic area of the person… not the head (in the case of my brother) and certainly not in the index finger (as in the case of Little Miss Graham). My index finger is my centre of gravity. No matter what scrapes I have got into in my time it is the Index finger that has pointed the way as it were, to an extent that my nail refuses to grow straight or past a certain length on my right hand… I am right handed by the way.
As a girl my favourite scrape was to trap my finger in doors, draws, and cupboards… only my right index finger. I became so used to trapping this finger that there were times when I was at school, away from the sympathetic shoulder of my mother that I would simply stick the finger in my mouth and comfort myself. Today I did the same thing… I was taking a rice cracker out from my draw under my desk, and as I closed the draw behind me, I forgot that I had left behind my finger. After the initial silent pain, I automatically pushed the finger in my mouth.
This got me thinking; thinking about all the times I had done the same thing as a girl, thinking about all the events that had led to me trapping it in the first place, thinking about all the reasons that it was just this finger that I seemed to subconsciously have it in for, and thinking about what was the hidden meaning behind it all… well when you study English Lit for the best part of your life, you tend to analyse the meaning behind the most irrelevant things.
The Index finger is an interesting thing to study. If you were placing your hands into the phrase, “putting you best foot forward”, your index finger would be you “best foot”. It is the finger that leads you, be it as you use it to point in the direction you are going, to indicate to others what is holding your interest… basically it leads you. As a child it is key to your development. Children will generally use their index finger to point at items that gain their interest… this is before they can speak and say “Look at that massive spot on your face!” It is a sign of inquisition and discovery.
When shooting, it is the thumb which holds the gun steady and the index finger which pulls the trigger… I don’t write by hand anymore, I type, and I notice that when I type, my index finger still does most of the work. Seamus Heaney wrote the above quote as his own way of expressing the power that is in his hands when he writes, he has the power to hurt the people who read him and the people who he writes about. As I write I discover more about myself, more about the things that I put to one side that come pouring out onto my desktop as type… So is that the relation between my finger and this blog? I don’t know, the thought came into my head and I had to write it down. I think I am starting to sound like Yoda, “All the power in the world is right here.” No matter where you point, there it is… and just look where HRH is putting it!!