on saving soles: a query answered

I have been asked how my affection for shoes have grown so strong from my previous aversion to them. Actually, I was asked about the ‘conversion’ process from the later to the former. I do not see it a conversion, for two primary reasons:
(a) I have always had an appreciation for shoes. (Some of my early memories are of a particular pair of sandals I was quite fond of; and some of the most vivid images of my childhood are of watching people’s feet.)
(b) I still have a great appreciation for not wearing shoes.

In fact, in some regards, I consider the /bare foot/ as a, allowing an analogy from syntax, ‘null morpheme’. Also, the naked foot is the un-shoe and, simultaneously, the universal shoe — as the nude piggies are thusly clothed in the grass and grime, the mud and sludge, of this our universe.

The shoe is ripe with rich meanings and implications about the person and their psycho-social ecology. And, as such, my (very generous) use of the un-shoe for much of my life heretofore was an aesthetic of that landscape.

On the topic of ‘saving soles’, shoes are quite rich theologically. In prelapsarian humanity, shoes were not known. It is only with the introduction of the curse that shoes become an option. Ironically, it is in this setting, where man is made to toil in the earth, that the shoe is introduced as a separation from that very earth. In the prophets one is often reminded that the state of morning and humiliation is one shorn and un-shod. Thus our relationship to the earth as its governors is mitigated by the shoe.

Remember also the cases of Moses — who is to remove his shoes before God, and John the Baptist — who is ‘not worthy’ to ‘unlace the straps’ of Christ’s sandals. Combining these with images of the shoe ceremony of the Levirate* wedding, there is a plethora of implications. Not being a theologian, I will not go into any of them, for I have not myself been able to consider all of them and their worth and virtue.

Needless to say, I do not think it was a conversion, but maychance it should be called rather a growth and development.

*edit: my apologies, typed Levite instead of Levirate in the original draft.


~ by jeorgesmith on 24 September 2009.

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