I read a post called Shop Class as Soulcraft on one of our sites and I think there is something to this that speaks to the reasons I love being around horses. (And tools, but that's another fetish for a later date.) I will say that tool use seems to be a disappearing art, which is a shame. It's one of the reasons I encouraged my daughter to take auto shop - her friends all think a cell phone is the only tool you need when your car breaks!
Noodling through something mentally can be very satisfying, but there is also something fundamentally soul-filling about using your hands to do something. I think balance - for me - comes in part from using this tool (the computer) all day and a shovel and hoof pick in the evenings. It makes me feel more real, less ethereal, more a part of this universe.
Lena definitely makes me feel grounded and real. Trying to communicate with an alien (thanks for that analogy, Bert) is a truly challenging exercise for both mind and body. And being able to use my body as a tool to facilitate that communication is a gift that comes from using a lot of other tools along the way.
My hands may be ugly, but they are strong and will usually do what I want them to - even if they end up dirty, scraped up and greasy. :-)