Hands Across the Miles…

Being of Italian descent means a conversation with me doesn’t just contain words…

I also talk with my hands. 

In fact, if you travel to Italy, you’ll witness that words aren’t even necessary in a conversation.  You’ll see an energetic flow of hands, dancing back and forth between two people.  Hands play just as important a role as words do, in relaying a thought or an idea. 

Back stateside…I remember that my speech professor in college was frustrated by the use of my hands.  She joked that she would like to tie my hands to the podium since they “distracted” the audience from focusing on my spoken words.

I always begged to differ — I knew that my hands were just as capable as my words in getting my point across. 


All this came to mind tonight as I sat in a local coffee shop to escape the chilly rain that plagued Manhattan.

The coffee shop was unusually quiet….reason being it was mostly full of young college students cramming for final exams. 

As I sipped a steaming Sumatra, I noticed a woman, two tables away, who was video chatting with a man on the other end of the connection.

The curious thing about the video chat was that she too was silent.  She didn’t utter a word.

Instead, the woman was using sign language to communicate with her on-screen companion…

Even though their dialogue contained no spoken words, their exchange was full of warmth and enthusiasm.  The woman’s hands expressed emotion: joy, surprise, happiness….all brought to life through her two hands.

Her fingers conveyed feelings and her smile was the proof that the message came through loud and clear.

So tonight, over a cup of java, I was reminded of how communication takes on different forms.  There is the written word, the spoken word, and even a word sung here and there.

And there is also the signed word…equally as poignant and powerful.


This photo is of the woman who made me smile tonight in the coffee shop…



  1. I’ve been known to knock in to people with my hand gestures when I’m really passionate about what I am talking about. I think body language, facial expressions, and “talking with your hands” is so important and can convey even more that words can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Every person has a way of expressing their words or they have their own style of communication. I am not Italian but I also use a lot of hand gestures whenever I talk publicly or may even on a personal conversation (unless it is in a packed train, then i can restrict me hands). 🙂 hand gestures sort of help me pull out the right words to use in order to connect with my audience. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! All the means are good. I am using my hands too when necessary: most important is to deliver your message. Italian language is very rich and has enough words to express any subtle thing. I think that hands just enrich the conversation. My daughter is teaching her little children some sign language, and I love the idea.


    • Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for reading! I completely agree that the body, hands and signs enhance any conversation…I was amazed how the woman in the coffee shop showed such emotion and feeling with her hands…And thank you for enlightening me to the amazing video of the little girl telling the story of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas! Indeed she melted my heart too….and put me totally in the Christmas spirit!
      Take care and I wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday season!
      PS your blog is wonderful and look forward to reading you!

      Liked by 1 person

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