Wednesday, November 14, 2007


November 11, 2007
My dad gave me his boots yesterday when we met at the market. He explained that they are his favourite boots, that he's had them re-soled a number of times, and even stitched up a tear; that he has cared for them lovingly, that they really are him.
I asked him why he gave me his favourite boots, and he said that he wanted to give me something that wouldn't fall right off my feet. But I know that he has other boots he could have lent me.
When I put them on, it felt quite comical. If it wasn't for the narrow top of them, I would step right out of them. My feet felt like they were swimming inside. They made a lot of noise as I walk--unless I lifted my feet exceptionally high the shoes dragged heavily on the ground.
I bicycled over to Natalie's house, which was tricky. I found that if I hooked the heel of the boots over the pedal, things worked out alright and my feet didn't slip all over the place.
Again the feeling of really not being right. Almost pretending or trying too hard. It seemed like a bit of a liminal space--not quite myself, and of course not quite anyone else. The size of the shoes compared to my feet made my day seem like some sort of playful farce or parody.
I felt today and yesterday a strong desire to wear a sign explaining the shoe situation.
The boots are distracting--I see them sticking out way further in front of me than I ever expect to see my feet as I take a step.
And so loud. And awkward. Mostly I just feel silly. And have to be careful not to trip.

I was thinking about shoes in general today.
I didn't think that shoes were necessarily so much a part of a the person who wears them.
But maybe they are more than I thought. I guess that shoes do a lot--mediate our physical contact with the earth, protect us from the elements, provide comfort and support, cushion us, allow us to be mobile. And besides the practical aspects of shoes, I suppose there's the function of self-expression. Although I haven't been emulating the person whose shoes I'm wearing, or necessarily having insights about what it means to be them, I am understanding more about what it means to be me trying to be someone or something else. And how perhaps that isn't necessary in order to have respect or compassion for where someone is coming from. Or maybe it is.
Rodney's shoes are practical, cared for, clean and sturdy, and reflect a certain attention to detail, a kind of ministering.
Also, I think it shows a trust and generosity in him lending me something that he feels is so close to himself. It's interesting that it surprised me that he was willing to do this.

No comments: