Our Hands

Painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (c. 1756)

Seeing is for us the most authentic possibility of acquiring something. If god had only made our hands to be like our eyes–so ready to grasp, so willing to relinquish all things–then we could truly acquire wealth. We do not acquire wealth by letting something remain and wilt in our hands but only by letting everything pass through their grasp as if through the festive gate of return and homecoming. Our hands ought not to be a coffin for us but a bed sheltering the twilight slumber and dreams of the things held there, out of whose depths their dearest secrets speak. Once out of our hands, however, things ought to move forward, now sturdy and strong, and we should keep nothing of them but the courageous morning melody that hovers and shimmers behind their fading steps.

For property is poverty and fear; only to have possessed something and to have let go of it means carefree ownership!