Be careful with the lettuce….

Hands 2

(Perfect Hands… Granny and grandchild)

I will be giving a talk in Dublin on Tuesday night and one of the sections is about being unique. I was thinking… we’ve heard it all before…. each person is unique. From our finger prints to our retinas to our heartbeats, we’re all different. We even look different. Of course we know this already, it’s normal, ordinary… and so it’s lost. Uniqueness needs to be connected to our everyday life. When I look in the mirror I don’t think about my particular eyes being the only eyes exactly like them on the planet. I’m more interested in what I’m wearing (do my clothes fit in?) How I look? (do I look normal?) Is my hair brushed? (will people think I’m a homeless bum?) Is there lettuce in my teeth? When I look at my hands I don’t notice the intricate patterns that are mine alone.

Hands 3

(Perfect Hands… Aunt and Niece)

We watched a movie the other night about the guy who created the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. He realised that fingerprints would be a great way to identify law breakers. Before that it was only possible to identify criminals or potential criminals from their photograph and if they were seen in the act of law breaking. But fingerprints are left behind after the person has gone and fingerprints are unique.

Hands 5

(Perfect Hands… artist)

Why would any of us worry about being as good as or as smart as or as pretty as or as successful as anyone else? Do we ever wonder if our fingerprints are “good” fingerprints. Are they smart fingerprints? Are they pretty? Are they successful as fingerprints? Yes, yes, yes, they are perfect fingerprints and only because they are ours. They would not be perfect glued onto anyone else…. they would be counterfeit. Fraud.


(Perfect Hands…. another artist)

So, as I look in the mirror this morning I will be brushing my hair and extracting lettuce but mainly I’ll be looking for what makes me different; what makes me unique; what makes me a perfect specimen of me. And it’s not just the stuff on the outside that’s unique, it’s a combination of everything about me. A combination of all the things I love, all the things I like, all the things I hate, the way I relax, the way I cry, the way I get mad, the stories that inspire me. Every little thing about me bundled all together is unique and is a perfect me.

Seriously, is there lettuce in my teeth? Mairead.

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