Take off your shoes

Before standing on her own two feet
practical, not pretty Start-Rite shoes
shielded her; she tentatively walked
endless pavements to school alongside
familiar, reassuring, rhythmic, adult feet.
Soon childlike shoes were gone, replaced;
the landscape was different, new paths,
alternative possibilities, came into focus.
Not letting the grass grow under her feet
she kept moving, step by step – desperate
to escape, to leave well-trodden, mundane,
uniformed pavements and paths, but why?

Thinking on her feet she landed in a
varied town, then county, yet paths were
still littered; countless over-worn feet.
Well-loved Doc Martens of every colour
replaced the once worn Start-Rites –
still practical not pretty, yet beauty lies
in the eye of the beholder! The start of a
new adventure, discovery, exploration of
novel places, original spaces, unique faces.
DMs were powerless to ward off itchy feet.
Before long lovable DMs jumped in feet first
to find warmer climates favoured sandals!

Sandals accompanied bold cumbersome
daredevil enthusiastic feet, then cold feet.
they caught tears of loneliness, defeat;
they tried running, finding a different way;
still she persevered. Sandals grew tired
as did novelty of alternative paths, pastures.
Returning home she’d be back on her feet!
Where was that? Too far to walk or run! Home –
it felt like a moment in time unable to stand still.
Homely paths had changed remarkably….
They took new people to the same places
amongst different faces in nostalgic spaces.

Going back was no mean feet! Before one foot
was in the door she knew this would be raw!
It wasn’t right – she had two left feet!
They explored the lure of being bare along
a distinctive, strange, overgrown path:
hallowed ground. She fell to her knees
at the feet of the One who was, and is
and ever shall be! Awe grasped her,
she gasped as breath left…it returned anew.
Feet now firmly on the ground felt echoes of
creation underfoot urging her home,
finally taking the weight off her feet.

Shaking the Dust

Ancient custom decrees shaking
shoe dust at unwelcome faces.
Unspoken communication
such as this seeks to acknowledge
hostility which replaces
delightful hospitality,
where shoe shakes supersede handshakes!
Such tradition comes not without
trepidation, hesitation
before final demonstration
of submission to one’s wishes
What brought me to stand at your door
and desperately shake dust off
my shoes, with the bitter taste of
betrayal tainting highlights of
our history – our childhood and shared
experience? What? Where? When? Why?
Why use this powerful method
of communication to end
all future destructive attempts?
Few know how to truly hurt me,
yet you have long since scrutinised.
I marvel at such attention.
The impact of pain, exclusion,
petty point scoring runs so deep…
Such consideration deserves
the response long meditated
upon, negotiated for.
A shame those involved knew nothing
of your game, such acquiescence.
Of innocent participants?
Mere cannon fodder to you now
And yet I still forgive you – yes…
but to forget would be foolish.
So I shake the dust off my shoes,
turn away never to return.
As this ritual requires.

Shoes…

#301 What does your #shoerack say about you? Do your shoes represent different aspects of your #identity? Or different interests perhaps? Do they remind you of the places you’ve been? The walking or running that you’ve enjoyed? The painful blister you got? For me, my shoes are the #wallpaper for the last few years of my life…and carry within them so many memories. One of the most evocative photographs I have ever seen was of a huge room full of shoes. These shoes had once been owned and worn by Jewish people; they had been forced to relinquish all of their belongings on arrival at Auschwitz. The room of shoes belonging to people long passed away whose #stories may never be told communicates well the importance and value of things we often take for granted today.

Jealousy

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#254 These #shoes are lovely. Every time I see them, they make me smile. They are not my shoes though, but those of a friend. They seem very sensible and flat, comfortable…and a gorgeous colour. They are clearly loved, and they seem to go with so many outfits – they are perfect. I seem to be coveting these shoes, and yet #thetencommandments warn us away from #coveting our neighbour’s property. I’ve been involved in so many conversations where people have basically asked “what can I get away with?” in response to rules, law or commandments in scripture. I wonder whether that is the wrong question though; rather than being concerned with how far I can push something, perhaps I should be making a conscious effort to never coming close to breaking a rule or commandment. In a society where #impatienceisavirtue avoiding something which causes us to disobey a rule or command seems #countercultural perhaps…