Archive for the 'footwear' Category

Thawing out

November 6, 2011

Someone I know, but not very well, was talking about feeling like a Neanderthal who has been frozen in time and is now thawing out and stumbling around this modern world of homines sapientes.  I was interested especially because I have the impression she’s pretty different from me in some significant ways, so her feeling this way, too, suggests that my attribution of my own similar sense of being a “stranger in a strange land” to particulars about me or my life is just wrong.

Today we chatted about it a bit, and she suggested that maybe it has something to do with a transitional stage when one sheds certain previous ways of making one’s way in the world.  Relaxing from being hypervigilant was a particular scenario she brought up as a possible explanation.  What I like about her image is that it gives me hope that the condition is temporary and part of a progression moving forward towards improvement, and that it’s not like losing one’s guide dog or something.  I also like that it involves warming up, because that is an image I have had for years in many guises, from furnaces with delayed ignition to icy souls to cold toes, or rather, cold feet.

My contribution was that I think Neanderthals get a bad press.  I suspect they had strengths we dominant humans with all our sapientia don’t have.

 

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More footwear imagery

October 5, 2011

I was thinking as I was walking this morning that avoiding judging other people, for me, is analogous to wearing comfortable shoes instead of high heels.

Worn moccasins

October 4, 2011

I came across this the other day and have been trying to resist interpreting it ever since:

A friendly note to our customers

Please do not attempt to return worn moccasins for credit or exchange.  We will not accept them and they will be returned to you.  Thank you very much.

At first I thought about interpreting this in terms of trying to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins, even maybe taking the negative aspect of the message to warn against trying to live someone else’s life for them, or, having done so, trying to decline the karmic results they would have incurred.

It also reminded me of a story about a young girl who was given the wrong partner and didn’t speak up to point out the mistake, because she felt that having accepted him at all, perhaps at betrothal, she was honor-bound to go through with consequences — it would have been like returning moccasins she had worn a bit.

But I eventually came to a more positive interpretation, that we should not reject our moccasins’ having become worn, or the memories the dings and worn spots  may evoke — pushing that sort of thing away usually makes a discomfort worse, I think.  An old pair of moccasins may not be a trophy, but maybe we should find some way to preserve their memories in a respectful, if not loving, way.