HEY, HAVE YOU EVER felt your fingerprints?
Not just touched them – I mean really FELT them.
No? You should. Let’s do it now, together.
First, find a quiet spot where you can concentrate. Why, you might even prefer to fire up some chilled choonage to fluff the mood (I’m wearing headphones haunted by Nils Frahm).
Gently touch the thumb and forefinger of each hand together as if to stop two fine fragile fairies from flittering off. (No, don’t squish them.)
Now rub the tips of your digits against each other, slowly, back and forth, delicately, deliberately, all the while separating them in infinitesimal increments until the resistance almost tickles and you can just feel the vibrations of the loops, whorls and arches created by the friction ridges barely snagging each other like old Velcro. Focus on the feeling and move the thumb to the other fingers, one by one, before moving the fingers on to your palms.
You feel that?
But why stop there? Let’s build on this moment. Take those more receptive fingertips and stroke something else that has a subtle texture: velvet, cotton, plastic, paper, wood, vinyl records, lenticular pictures…
Where’s this going? Not where your mind is, you saucy thing.
Despite using touch so much, it’s easily our most underappreciated sense (well, unless one loses one’s sight). We seldom indulge our sense of touch in the same way as we feast our eyes, ears, noses and tongues.
Every day we sully our sensitive little sausages – the tips of our applaudable appendages – by thoughtlessly pushing buttons and pads and sticks and keys, poking and pinching and stroking plastic and glass to manipulate impalpable objects that can’t even exist outside of the compelling illusion that is fabricated virtual space. And yet we still manage to really feel so little, even with the addition of feedback through vibration.
We have in our hands such a uniquely tangible intangible medium; a means of expression that can embrace, engage and unify our eyes, ears and fingers into a harmonious whole, but we choose to squander it.
Mark my words, there’s a new form of more sensuous entertainment – sustenance for undernourished fingers – just waiting around the corner. I can feel it. 💡