Sunday, November 18, 2007


Pete lent me his shoes yesterday, on the condition that I bring them back (which was my intention). He was concerned about the fact that there was chicken poop on the bottom of them, but I told him that was fine. Actually, it's not just chicken poop, but sparkley chicken poop--evidence of not only the chickens in his backyard, but his three children (who are delightful). Unfortunately it is really hard to capture sparkley chicken poop with a digital camera. You'll have to just trust me about the sparkles.

Pete's shoes are about size 11 slip-onable leather shoes, which I guess he uses in the backyard. They are really large on my feet. I decided to go on a walk in the morning, before the sun melted the frost and the icy-topped puddles. I wandered down the street, through the community garden, and around the neighbourhood a bit. I really enjoyed carrying a camera. It seems to give me reason to pay more attention to the details of what's around me.

Each time I take a step, my heel comes out of the shoes, and then as my toes lift off the ground, the shoe snaps back into place, kind of slapping the sole of my foot. This made me smile. Somehow wearing other people's shoes makes me more aware of the simple act of walking, and all the sensations in my feet that come along with it.

Pete's shoes made lots of noise as I walked. In places it almost echoed.

At home I did some work, had some lunch, and hung some laundry. I actually really enjoy seeing laundry on the line. Especially colourful laundry. Especially colourful laundry in the breeze. Especially colourful laundry in the breeze beside a garden full of apples.

Later on I walked downtown through the Santa Claus parade crowds to meet Christina briefly (more shoes!) and to meet my mom, brother and sister. We came back here and mostly hung out in the living room, and goofed around with a 'stability ball' that I am trying out as a chair. I tried to work on a video project, but the camera wouldn't hold a charge, which was disappointing. Instead I did some other work, and tried to drop by on Cecilia, who was distressed on account of her neighbour's reaction to her chickens. Biking in Pete's shoes isn't something I would try on a busy street. They kept on getting in the way--catching on my baskets in the back, or the tire in the front. And dismounting took some concentration.
Home again, and dinner, and chatting a bit with Ben and his friend from magic camp ("like space camp, or computer camp, but less cool").

Pete's shoes are again not meant for my feet in the way that shoes are usually meant for feet, and yet they were somehow comfortable or comforting in their own way. Maybe the feeling of wearing them reminds me of being a kid and sticking my feet into impossibly large shoes, just for the silliness and playfulness of it all. They made me smile. They are simple and sturdy and well worn. There isn't chicken poop or any sparkles on the bottom of them anymore--they must have worn off somewhere along the wanderings of my day. Instead there's a bit of mud. But I suppose that they will be there again soon enough.


Tara said...

how wonderful :) i laughed out loud about the bike riding!! you are funny and sweet and i'm sure it's no problem to keep the shoes for a few extra days

Tara said...

i should have also added that those are pete's "good" shoes ... they're my backyard shoes - that is, when i'm on chicken duty and at his place (which is the only time i'm on chicken duty - call me a lazy farmer) i slip those on (cuz they slip on) to trudge out to the back forty and close up the birds for the night. i love my neighbour.

Benjammin Reid-Howells said...

aislinn, thanks you.
this is wonderful to read. the simplicityof it allows time to be spent thinking abut the complexity left unsaid... or something like that. i love it.
not having had a clue as to what to expect, i find myself quietly delighted.