It all started with the eye in the hand. I drew it a lot when I was a kid. Not like the hamsa or hamesh though, I’d draw around my own open hand then draw a picture of an eye in the middle. I don’t know why, I just liked the way it looked.
My parents, both deeply religious, were disturbed by my works of art so they burned them. Undeterred I continued to draw the symbol, usually unaware of what I was doing, you know, drawing them absentmindedly, so whichever parent caught me in the act took to slapping me on the hand with the hardest object they could find before sending me to my room in tears or beating me until I promised that I would never draw the thing again. Of course this was a promise that I could never keep, not because I didn’t want to (I mean who wants to be beaten constantly and called every name under the sun by their parents?) but because I had no control over myself as far as the image was concerned. I’d just look down and suddenly my hand was moving and before I knew it, the image had appeared. It happened on random pieces of paper; in the sand when we went on vacation; in mud on a school camping trip and, possibly the worst time, during a Sunday school class. We were supposed to be drawing the animals of Noah’s Ark but of course I produced the hand-eye thing. Mrs Patterson, also disturbed by the image but, much like my parents, had no idea why, showed it to mum and dad ‘out of concern’ (yeah right, everyone knew she was a nosey old bitch) and my parents freaked. They took me to see the priest suggesting to him that I may need a baptism of some kind. May I remind you that at no point did anyone ask me what the symbol represented or why I kept drawing it, nor did anyone research in to the sign, yet everyone involved decided that it was evil and that, since I was the kid drawing the offending image, I must have been the conduit of the devil.
Thankfully our priest was blessed with a little bit more sense. Sensing that my father’s anger and my mother’s tearful hysteria was just making the whole situation worse, he told my parents that he’d like to speak with me alone and ushered them out of the room. He asked me how I was doing, how things were at home, if anything was bothering me, you know, therapy type questions, then he moved on to ‘how long have you been drawing this symbol?’, ‘Where have you seen this symbol before?’ ‘What does it mean to you?’ Of course, being an eight year-old little boy at the time there was nothing I could really tell him as far as my drawings were concerned. I had no idea what the damn thing meant, I had never seen it before aside from when I drew it and it meant nothing to me beyond the fact that I liked the image, I thought it was cool – and who wouldn’t? It was a hand with a freakin’ eye in the centre!
Home on the other hand, well that was another story. I could talk about that all day, although common sense told me that I probably shouldn’t. Continue reading