Friday, November 23, 2007


Leslie lent me her boots on Thursday. She warned me that they are from the farm and have dirt in them, to which I think I responded, "great!" I, again, like it when shoes come with things (dirt, cat hair, chicken poop, stories, makes it all even more interesting). Leslie also told me that the right boot has a hole in the back, and that I shouldn't jump in any puddles. Or else, jump in puddles but jump right back out, because spending any amount of time in them would result in a wet foot.

I actually didn't encounter many puddles today, but Leslie's rubber boots are insulated, so they were great in the snow and ice that I did encounter a bunch of. I thought they were black, but now I think they are green rubber boots with a lace at the top to keep everything inside dry. The lining is thick white felt.

When I put them on they feel really roomy in a comfortable way. They actually remind a bit of being a kid. I think that was most strong when it felt like one of my socks was falling down and I remembered the feeling of walking home from school in the winter with my socks bunched at the bottom of my feet inside my boots, and how somehow that was a really enjoyable feeling. I remember my mom telling me to pull my socks up when I arrived home and would walk around the house with my socks barely on my feet, and the ends of them flapping about. I didn't like pulling them up because it felt so great to have them hanging off my feet.

I had an appointment downtown this morning, and when I left it was close to -10 degrees and it was the kind of cold that bites at my face. So it was a very good day for boots. From there I took the bus to school. It was so tight inside the bus that I had a conversation with the woman standing beside me about how it would be impossible for any of us to fall over--we were packed in so tightly that we were holding each other up.

I headed towards the art building. It made me smile to see my feet--the boots are really quite wide, and it felt like a game to be wearing them. Like my feet could be any size inside of there. They made interesting sounds as I walked, kind of scuffing the ground, and the laces did a funny dance all over the place, as I didn't tie them up.

I ran into Renee and she showed me some of the work she's been doing in her painting studio (squirrels, lots of lovely lovely squirrels), and where to get scraps of copper to experiment painting on to. I picked up some equipment from Nathan (and we also talked about this great thing I'd never heard of before--some years ago Fischer Price sold a video camera, presumably for kids, that recorded onto audio tapes, and was responsible for at least one teenage art star). I also ran into another classmate, Victor, who was working on a reproduction of Giorgio Morandi's work, which struck me as really beautiful and warm in all its sparseness. I really enjoy that palette. (It's actually hard to find good stuff of his online.) Then a quick breeze through the Buy Nothing Day activities at the student centre before heading home again. Walking home I felt really excited for no particular reason, except that it felt like a really healthy way to spend a morning (feeling less pain in my body, running into people, learning about new things, finding warm winter boots at the stuff swap...and sunshine!).

(I am here strategically placed in front of what may or may not be a penis in the painting on the wall. I thought it best to try and keep things PG...)

In Leslie's boots I came across more interesting and inconsequential things to photograph, and also a package from my grandmother waiting for me on the front porch. More shoes! I made a very yummy lunch (sweet potato latke scramble--they never make it into pancakes...way more work for something that tastes basically the same). As I was grating potatoes and carrots, and chopping onions and parsley, and roasting kale I thought about how Leslie had a terrifically huge part in growing and harvesting and processing these veggies, and how much I appreciate having food that I enjoy and feel good about. And how the dirt on and in her boots (she was right--I now have that funny dirt-inside-sock feeling, and little dirt marks on my long johns) reminds me of that seemingly miraculous transformation of seed to transplant to plant to food. Hooray for soil!

After lunch I was really actually this time for real determined to get a chunk of school work done, and I did. After which I went to a Shabbat potluck, which was really neat. Although my mother and her family are Jewish, I've never before witnessed a Sabbath celebration (or celebrated many of the holidays at all), and it's something I often felt like I missed out on. So it was really quite a treat. It turned into just a really nice gathering of people talking and playing instruments and telling some really funny (and some really not so funny) jokes. I was proud of myself for leaving the house after dark--I find it hard to do so around this time of year as the season is changing and it is getting colder. I think that the just past full moon made it easier. And so did wearing insulated boots!

Leslie's boots are really practical, but not without a personality of their own with the playfulness of swinging of laces, and holes to watch out for, and dirt, as well as their sheer width. I am really grateful to Leslie for lending them to me, for a day of feeling a bit like a kid in over-sized winter boots, for the opportunity to wear her farm gear in the city (where they were somehow still really practical, for different reasons), for staying warm on cold and icy sidewalks, and for the feeling of dirt between my toes in my slipping down socks.

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