I first noticed shimmering blue light around hands when I was seven — and I still see it today. If you see it, too, don’t worry — you’re not crazy. Or at least, no crazier than many of us 😉
I will never forget the awestruck expression on my friend Carrie’s face when she first felt qi moving inside another person’s body. It was 2000, and we were in our Intro to Eastern class in massage therapy school, and Carrie thought the whole energy bodywork thing was, frankly, bullshit. The first few times she worked the heels of her hands down a “meridian,” she sighed heavily and rolled her eyes, claiming all she felt was muscle, and maybe, far underneath, bone.
Our teacher didn’t care. She just told her to keep working as instructed and see what happened.
So it was funny to me, when on this particular morning, she stopped halfway down the leg portion of my Stomach meridian, and turned her widened eyes to mine. “What is that????”
She stared down at her hands.
“What are my hands DOING?”
She’d felt qi, and I could feel her feeling it, and the feedback loop between her hands and my meridians sent me wheeling back in time — totally trippy — to when I had first noticed the shimmering blue light around my hands, and wondered the same thing.
The First Time I Knew I Had Hands
I was seven, it was summer, and I was in my mother’s tiny downstairs bathroom. The door to the small, windowless room was ajar, and the late afternoon sun slanted in, striking the mirror and bouncing rainbows around the dim room.
I was washing my hands. I loved to wash my hands. The suds, the warm water, the slightly rough texture of the cream colored towel, the slippery hand lotion — wonderful. When my hands weren’t clean, they felt scratchy like the sandpaper on my father’s tool bench. When they were clean, they felt silky and warm like the inside of my dog’s ear.
I must have been looking at myself in the mirror, because I remember the expression on my face as I suddenly understood that my hands were alive.
They were living beings. They were a part of me, yes, but they also had a mind of their own. While I was watching myself in the mirror, thinking about something else (I wish I could remember what it was), my hands were moving by themselves.
They knew just what to do.
They didn’t need any help from me.
Shimmering Blue Light Around Hands
I looked down, and saw a shimmering light around my hands. I shook the water off, and blinked, and it was there still. It was blue, but also clear, somehow.
I heard words in my head: “That is their life force.”
My hands started to feel full, like they were pumping up and down. They felt tingly. And they felt … alive, as if they knew things.
I watched as they started turning under the water again. They rinsed the last of the soap off, and dried themselves. Then they reached for the lotion and started working it in.
I heard “Your hands are miracles.”
How did my hands know how to move like that? How did they get so graceful? They didn’t look like they belonged on my body. They seemed brand new, I was overwhelmed. How did I get so lucky, to have such beautiful, smart hands?
I smacked a big kiss on the back of each, passionately grateful and desperate to let them know. Then I ran to tell my mother what I had found out.
Mom was hanging laundry outside. She stood on our back porch, clipping shirts and pants to the line, and then working the pulley until new line appeared, and then reaching for clothespins and the next piece of wet laundry. Her face was serious.
I paused by the screen door and watched her hands. They were longer than mine, and paler, but just as graceful. They reached and strung and snapped and folded and flicked and tapped, all on their own, like little birds. I could tell that she was thinking about something other than laundry.
They had blue shimmers around them, too. Mom had miracle hands, too. Did she know?
I watched for a little while longer, hoping she would turn her head or notice me standing there.
Ineffable: in·ef·fa·ble, inˈefəb(ə)l/, adjective
The word ineffable means “too great to be described in words.” I didn’t know that word at seven, so I didn’t know I was having an ineffable experience. I just knew had no way of telling my mother what I had discovered.
If I said “My hands are so smart they can do everything without me,” she’d say we get good at things we practice, like tying our shoes or zipping a zipper.
If I said “Mom, my hands have life force,” she’d think I was playing Star Wars.
I wanted her to share with me, to understand what was happening. I looked at her face again, and she was far away. I could see that strange shimmer around her body, like the one I’d seen around my hands. It looked sharp.
I decided that silence was best.
I went to my room and lay down on my bed, cradling my hands to my heart. They were precious, like the fresh, warm eggs we gathered at Joanne’s house in Vermont, carefully eased out from under sleepy chickens so they never missed them, never woke.
My mouth watered as the sweet air moved in and out of my chest. A deep sigh happened, and I had another realization.
My whole body was alive – not only my hands.
The body – it no longer felt like it was my body — relaxed so much that I felt only waves of pleasure. It was like sixty cats were kneading me while their purring knocked my insides loose.
My breath slowed so much that it almost stopped completely. I just lay there, unworried. The breath would come when my body demanded it, I realized. My lungs were alive, too, and they could do it all without me.
Everything could be done without me.
All I had to do was lie on this bed and be glad to be me — this lucky, lovely, miraculous girl who knew she had hands.
Decades later, back in my Manhattan classroom with Carrie’s hands on my Stomach meridian, I found myself in that same state of what I now realize is Samadhi — a state of pure, concentrated, spiritual awareness that occurs without a loss of the sense of oneself. In school, we called it a “stillpoint,” the cranio-sacral therapy term for the same experience.
But those classes were years away, and this was our first experience of the phenomenon in class. Carrie started to move her hands again, continuing down the meridian, little snorts of surprise escaping as she worked.
“It’s alive, there’s something in there,” she muttered a couple of times, shaking her bangs out of her face, furrowing her brow as she tried to keep her rising excitement contained, focused.
When she finished her third trip down the meridian, she sat back on her heels as we had been instructed to do, and folded her compact body into a comforting, warm presence next to my blissed out sprawl. When I could open my eyes, I turned my head to look at her.
She sat, hands in her lap, face perfectly composed in her natural resting expression of skeptical frown. But when our eyes met, the frown turned to a smirk, and then a big grin, and we giggled, then laughed, and then, just a little, cried.