Friday, December 7, 2007

JON, take 2

December 3rd, 4th, and 6th, 2007.

I stayed at Jon and Paul's apartment in Toronto for a few days this week. One of Paul's projects is experimenting with decreasing his energy consumption. I think they are going to see if they can get through the winter without having any heat.

Jon warned me to bring extra sweaters. On the whole, it actually is pretty tolerable. Being above a store front likely helps. I found, however, that my feet were especially prone to being cold, and not having brought slippers or extra shoes of my own, I wore Jon's shoes around the house over the past few days. I had actually just returned Jon's shoes to him on Sunday. I found them in the apartment in the grey plastic bag I'd returned them in, beside a row of boots.

Putting on Jon's shoes was interesting. I had worn them for a day several weeks ago (it's interesting remembering days based on whose shoes I was wearing--I mostly remember how I bailed off my bicycle that day, ran into Tara and her kids, and made friends with a soggy paper mache Santa). I had a sense putting them on again, that they were familiar in their unfamiliarity. Or rather, familiar in the particularities of their unfamiliarity, if that makes sense.

It was like my feet had a felt memory of the way Jon's shoes bend at an odd place by my toes when I walk, how easily I can pull them on and off, how I trip up stairs, and the fact of their too bigness and the elastic accounting for the springy feeling in my feet.

Also, because of the temperature in the apartment, I was especially aware of my feet becoming warm in Jon's shoes, and thinking about the possible grossness that might evoke for some. My feet were the warmest part of me, which made the whole experience of being in a cold apartment entirely tolerable. By providing me with much needed warmth in this way, it seemed like Jon's shoes were generous, and also had a sense of ease about them. Perhaps because they helped me be more easy in my skin, move more slowly, be relaxed. They helped me navigate through what may have otherwise been a much more physically uncomfortable situation.

Also interesting to note--perhaps because of the familiar feeling of the strangeness of Jon's shoes on my feet, I seemed less inclined to look down. So I didn't have the same kind of constant visual disconnect as I often experience when I see my feet in other's shoes. I wasn't aware of them in that way at all. This may also have to do with the fact that I didn't wear them outside in the world, and so wasn't self conscious in the same way as I often am, and wasn't seeing myself so much through the eyes of others.

(For some reason, when I saw these birds, it made me feel like the world really is okay.)

I wore Jon's shoes in the moments when I wasn't outside exploring the city and meeting up with old friends. I wore them as I cooked a terrific soup of my own design, knit part of a beautiful scarf, read a little, typed a bit, watched a show that made me laugh, rested and generally went about home-type things. Jon's shoes were comfortable and generous and I was glad they were there for me to wear.
I appreciated their warmth.

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