A foot in the door

Moving… for the second time in a little more than 2 months…weird to be heaving my stuff around yet again, for what will only be 3 months, before I give in and move once more. Not all my stuff, mostly clothes and a few personal effects.  but footwear alone  fills up a duffle bag. That frightens me. If i ever want to live lightly as a traveller on this planet, I’ll still need footwear for different seasons and conditions, and my feet are big and difficult and need the right habitat. Orthopedic shoes, insoles and waterproof walkers. none of those fancy  pretty thing with heels for me, I’d crush them as soon as i put them on.

In some countries, people don’t wear shoes. They can’t afford them, no one else is wearing them, and their feet become tough and streetwise. i love to go barefoot, but to do so year-round would be impossible. In cold places, people have to hunker down, and find appropriate footwear for the season. Or not. i have seen many people wading though slush in sneakers, but I treat my feet better than that.

I am not a driver but a walker, so I work my feet hard. But recently I went to see an RN who now has her own foot care business. She treated my feet to an hour of healthy attention, which involved a dremel with special attachments for filing away callouses, medically sanctioned moisturizing cream, industrial strength toenail clippers and (ouch) antiseptic lotion for the cut on my toe.  it was all very medical, surgical almost. I have never been interested in anything like a  pedicure, but the experience was somewhat relaxing, when not jolting or stinging–  akin to going to the dentist for a cleaning. ( lie back, close your eyes and let me stick this electric buffer in your mouth).

Taking better care of my feet is part of my desire to take care of myself in some basic ways that have never been that important to me, but which I realize are related to having a humble and reality-based attitude toward myself and my place in the world.  A clean, organized home is not the sign of a crazy person with mixed up priorities, as I have sometimes thought. It is the sign of someone who does not consider themselves too good, or  too bored, for basic chores, who understands that we are dependent on our environment for our health, our happiness and our very lives, and that the way we keep our homes says a lot about how self-aware we are, because dirt and disorganization undermines our ability to think, feel peaceful and rested and hopeful about the next good thing.

I slip up all the time of course.  Just as in any religion, the ideal of Perfect Cleanliness is one to strive for but never attain, and sometimes even willfully oppose. Not that I sprinkle my floors with dirt but often I leave my dishes to marinate in their own juices overnight, I admit. But in this lovely flat i realize what a treasure it is to have space to think and breathe and move unencumbered. It is someone else’s cleanliness and orderliness that I am striving to preserve, but I am hoping that such habits will grow upon me.


I moved in before i finished this post. I am padding around i pnlastic slippers indoors and praying my clunkiness doesn’t disturb my downstairs neighbour and that I’ll be able to sleep when this blog’s put to bed.  On the subject of getting back to basics– I have a little way to go. But i am on my third pot of soup from scratch in this apartment and I consider that a good sign. I have swept the floor a few times and put my little bit of clutter into piles.There is a place for all those footholders…out on the landing, where smelly things belong.  Thankfully, in this nice space I am calling home for a little while, there are places for things.  And for me.



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