An Ode to the Left Hand

line drawing of person with giant left hand
Tim Lahan

This article became printed on-line on April 17, 2021.

I raised the drumstick, brought it down, and a dreamworld opened below me.

A dreamworld, to be clear, of incompetence. A dreamworld of crapness and debility. A traipse in tempo, an abyss. I became sitting at my practice drum kit, making an strive with out a doubt among the signature strikes of the unhurried John “Bonzo” Bonham, of Led Zeppelin: triplets with a left-hand lead. Performed successfully, with the authorized dosage of model and power in every stroke, left-handed triplets will conjure an unprecedented more or much less jazzy declare. Performed improperly, they sound love a dresser falling down stairs. When I lead with my authorized hand, my triplets are okay. No longer Bonhamesque, no longer Bonzoid, nevertheless okay. But when I switch to the left

Being human, reader, precisely what I’m talking about. Righty or lefty, that whereas you lead along with your nondominant hand, whether you’re brushing your enamel or dismantling an unexploded bomb, the clichés of maladroitness will swarm you: the fists of ham, the fingers of butter, the multiplicity of thumbs.

Why this built-in asymmetry, this out-of-whack distribution of motor skills? The biology of handedness is advanced. However the psychology, it appears to be like to me, is sleek easy. It goes love this: Inside your anxious plan lives a shadow person, a shadow you, shy and clumsy, dislocated, light-fearing, no longer nearly as honest at things as you is seemingly to be. An underachiever who would very worthy desire to be left by myself. And also you salvage entangled with this person, instantly and straight, by the exhaust of your weaker hand.

Work the left, divulge the sports actions coaches. Learn the correct technique to take a ball, throw a punch, produce a shot along with your weaker hand. Shouldn’t the life coaches divulge it too? By summoning your gauche self, the muzzy and foot-dragging character who rises and sleeps with you, you’re doubling your capacities. Take care of this character with a stern kindness, with a reproving warmth. Order on self-discipline. Shock, humbly, at the slowness of the progress.

And whereas you—which is to speak, I—can at final pull off the sweet Bonzoid clatter of a tidy left-handed triplet, then presumably, who is aware of, never divulge die, I will be succesful of in some unspecified time in the future tackle the unfinished fresh presently jutting out of my psyche love a lump of the Acropolis. They lurk on the shadow facet, these possibilities. In the murk of the as-but-untrained. In the cunning of the weaker hand.


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