Monday, April 27, 2009

The Many Hands of God

Here’s a new one: an attempt to sell a rockslide rendered Hand of God on eBay.

The term “Hand of God” can have very different meanings. Michelangelo’s version from the Sistine Chapel’s “Creation of Adam” is without a doubt the most famous.

But, if you know more about World Cup soccer than art history, Diego Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God goal” from the 1986 Argentina/England World Cup Quarter-Final match probably comes to mind. One of the sport’s most lauded athletes scored two goals on that day, one that he hit in with his hand but was never penalized for, the other a result of Maradona dribbling around 6 British players to score what has since been dubbed “Goal of the Century.” (Argentina won the game, and the World Cup that year.)

If you know about symbolism in antiquity and world religions, “Hand of God” signifies khamsa, or hamsa. The five-fingered figure is believed to have Phoenician origins though it is most commonly associated with Judaism and Islam. Not only do our hands have five fingers, but the Jewish Torah comprises the first five books of the Bible and Islam has its Five Pillars.

According to this CNN report, if you ask Paul Grayhek what the Hand of God looks like, he’ll show you the photograph above, and then try to sell it to you. The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, resident lost his job and during Lent had been praying. Then on March 8 within a stone’s throw of his home the rocks tumbled, leaving this form, which is about nine feet tall and four feet wide.

Excavating this mass would be expensive, but no worries, you aren’t getting anything material. Says the report: “The buyer will ‘basically be buying the rights, complete and exclusive rights’ to the rock, including literary and movie rights, according to Grayhek.”

He goes on to say: “People think I'm some holier-than-thou person trying to get rich. I'm not . . . The purpose is to spread the story of God and eBay is just a vehicle.”

Well, in this instance eBay is a bit of a jalopy because as of writing this post the item has been removed. Maybe God thought there were better ways to spread His story. Or maybe God’s agent got in touch with Grayhek and explained that literary and movie rights to all rocks and stones have already been sold . . .

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

He lost his job then saw this as an act of God - wonder if the fancy hand got him a new job - or just made him a local (if not global) laughingstock. . .