64. Barefootly


Something lightweight, please.

Diva dance music will do nicely.

I don’t wish to ponder the profound today.

Summer is slipping away

and I want to linger by the warm

concrete apron of the pool.

Maybe

put my feet in the baby pool

effortlessly. Swish them

around just a bit and focus

on the tan line that ends

at Mount Boney Ankle.

One day, one year,

I will walk a beach and

totally tan my toes.

That is a bucket list

commitment. No more

rushing around with shoes on. After all,

shoes are an adaptation that

allows mankind to walk through

and across things that they would not

do with bare feet.  Shoeless

societies are looked down on

by the shoed, but at least they know

what they have stepped on.

This is a helpful bit of knowledge in this campaign season as our political money machines pave our paths with excrement. The unshoed must go slowly and by a different course, but theirs is a natural adaptation. They don’t change the environment; they work with it and change their behaviors, avoiding ice and superheated pavement, and subprime mortgages with balloon payments. And derivatives that only the well heeled can comprehend. And battlefields littered with the debris of the war machine.

If you streamline, simplify your approach to life, you stay closer to the ground. When was the last time you walked barefoot through the grass? When she was little, we could not keep shoes or socks on my youngest daughter Jess. She would bolt out the door and shoes would fly up over her shoulders, followed by socks. Rarely did she ever bring them back inside on the same day that she detached from them. Sometimes, as I recall, we would not find fall shoes and socks till after the snow melted in the early spring. By then her feet would have grown two sizes, or so it seemed. What a pickle butt! Freedom is sand between your toes, or mud squishing there. It is the risk of injury, sure. But also the risk of a healthy nervous system as your mind takes in all that stimulation. How stimulating is a flat piece of hard rubber under your soles?

Would you prefer calloused soles or a calloused soul?  I know, “Shoes don’t kill people; people kill people.” But in our frantic race to the top we can cleat and heel and kick, squash, punt, boot, stomp, and crush others on the way. At least with bare feet you can still feel the teeth of your victims as you stride over them.

A late summer melancholy comes with the rains. Time moves on and lessons remain unlearned. The innocents get on the big yellow buses for another year of school. They will never be taught how Wall Street’s greed and Washington’s collusion cost them chunks of their future. They have new shoes from Asia that light up and hypnotize the next consumer on the bus.

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