BBC Radio 4, Sunday 13th July 2014, 13:30
Join AL Kennedy for something uniquely intimate and comforting that begins in childhood – a small hand enveloped in that of other, stronger, larger hands.
We associate it with comfort, concern, care. And then for a while we abandon it – not holding your parents’ hands is a sign that you have grown up.
Then we have the joy of rediscovering new shades of meaning in the gesture. As adults, we may hold hands with our own children, holding hands may link us quietly with our parents.
Hand holding may be a part of courtship – it’s not as flashy as a kiss, but can be a clear signal to ourselves and others that we are together – it can be a subtle brush or glancing touch, it can be a complex form of foreplay.
We may also have our hands held at times of stress and crisis – sometimes by people we don’t even know. And we may hold the hands of the sick and even the dying as they leave us, or after they have gone.
Novelist AL Kennedy ruminates… she visits Monkey World to hear about hand holding among non human primates. We hear from her mum amidst the voices of people remembering holding hands.
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