Posts filed under Left-handed

Left-handedness And The Greatest Insult Of All

(Michelle Guo is a self-diagnosed pen addict ever since she charmed the Faber Castell stand at a stationery fair with her metallic ocean-scape at 9 years old. She ended up leaving with all their paraphernalia and now probably needs Hermione Granger's Undetectable Extension Charm for her pencil case. You can find Michelle on Twitter @misheyxxxooo.)

When I was at high school, I decided to enter a spoken word poetry competition. I loved the construction of a good poem; where the right word appeared at the right time, creating a melody of sounds and silences that are the poet’s gift to their audience as they show a side of themselves that is so deeply tied in with their own identity and perception of the world. During the workshops that were held prior to the competition, I was told to write what I know. As a 15 year old, I didn’t think there was much to me that was profound enough to turn into a poem. Spoken word poems tend to be loud and passionate, as if the words had jumped off the page and demanded to be heard. A good spoken word poem is must be personal enough so that it is uniquely yours, but broad enough to immerse your audience. Remember, I was 15 at the time, and I don’t think I or any of my peers had enough life experience to really appreciate and understand a poem on love, loss, legacy, death, the transience of life; the more common ideas found in most poems.

So I wrote about being left-handed.

Don’t get me wrong, handedness may seem like a petty and insignificant thing to write an entire poem on, but as a left-hander I do believe that it has an affect on the way I live my life; the way I hold things, the way I position myself in relation to others, the way I learn various activities that are led by right handed teachers. Apparently, left-handers make up 10% of the population, and I think that it is time that the other 90% get to know more about us and the way this trait can affect our lives. So from me to you, dear pen addict, let me share with you a part of me that was also once the greatest insult of all.

The Greatest Insult of All

Insults have boiled down to very shallow things recently
People get offended when you call them stupid, ugly, weird
But out of all physical qualities existing,
There is one that was once the ultimate insult
Which I embody

I am left-handed
Etymology tells me that I am awkward, tactless, weak and evil
In history I am a stigma of degeneracy
A sign of neurosis
The twin that would die in the womb
Unlucky, gay
I have not done anything wrong but I would have been burnt at the stake
Mistaken for the witch
As soon as I picked up a pen
With a palm ridden with scars from a whip left over from countless beatings
And fingers with newly cut wounds
This cursed hand turns compliments into insults
Toasts into curses of evil
Stripped me of my rights because my left-handedism has left me to take stand on my own
Ambidexterity has become a goal that I can never achieve
I will never be ambidextrous
Because I will never be right-handed on both sides
You may try to tell me that it doesn't matter anymore
That we have climbed right over the hurdle of handedism
And left it in the past
But try telling that to the smudges that are left on my page
From dragging my hand along it
My wrist, tired from its right angled position it takes to elevate my hand away from the whiteboard
So that my hand doesn't wipe off everything I have written
To the menacing binder on the left hand side
The non-existent computer with a left-handed mouse
To my body that has to twist awkwardly to reach anything on the right hand side
To that pair of scissors  that have been tailor made for people like you
But end up being left to people like me
And hinder my every move
Try explaining to my PE teacher,
That swinging the bat with my left hand
The way you do with your right hand just doesn't feel right
In fact
Nothing feels right
When I am trying to do something that I wasn't born to do
I am the ultimate victim of modern society
The only spot where I belong on a row of tables is at the end
I am the odd one out
People say that right-handers are always right
keep in mind that our brains work opposite to our bodies
So the truth is
left handers
are the only ones
in our right mind

I’d love to hear from fellow pen addicts about their experiences with or as a left-hander and the kind of stationery they find themselves gravitating towards because of it. I am always on the lookout for nifty tools and gadgets to make my life easier, although I must say I have adapted a lot already in their absence.

Posted on February 15, 2016 and filed under Left-handed, Guest Post.