catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 7 :: 2007.04.06 — 2007.04.20


My shoes

There is no expert or prince of age that knows about the ownership of my shoes.

In the past five months I have carried most of my belongings in a backpack.  So it will not surprise any of you if I admit that in the beginning of this unrealized simplicity I was shocked at the stripping away of clutter that I had appropriated over a period of five years. It seems that somewhere along the way I forfeited my authority as a consumer and my selfhood was cruelly absorbed in a ghostly residue of purchases from The Dollar Store and Payless Shoes.

I was exposed as consumer extraordinaire: Guilty!  This admission, however, renders a clue to my personhood; I am un-formulable.  Where once there was vacuity—a lack and a nothingness which became hidden in a boring and unsustainable consumption—there is now a discovery of something like wholeness.  There is now a testing of things, and a nuanced discernment of self being stuffed by it’s self.

Objects contain meaning; they speak to others about their maker and they remember for us that we live somewhere.  So regardless of times when we feel dislocated, when we catch ourselves hidden beneath a fragile disguise of silence, lack and a frightening vulnerability, we have still points: our objects.

Every evening I place beside my backpack a pair of shoes, my Keens.  I intentionally committed to only wearing this one pair of shoes and have successfully done so for the past five moths. They characterize what I am attached to—my Keens are my objects.  Through the test of time with dust, rain and snow these shoes have protected my feet, and provided me with an identity of simplicity and recognisability to my community.  What was once my consumption of footwear turned into restrained gratitude for the usefulness of shoes.

My Keens are a design of achievement and symbolize a dynamic mediation between a craftsman with a cultural task; a tangible reality of urban style and outdoor function made up of waterproof leather, woven laces, patent pending toe guards and anti-slip, oil resistant rubber soles; and my personal journeying.  They have become an aid in helping me see myself, my shoes posses a story saturated with meaning, they maintain informing power.

In a world that is oftentimes dull, mass produced, and disappointing it is nice to be able to wear a decent pair of shoes.  These shoes are a small measure of goodness that nurture no thoughts of other shoes, and instead, usher me outside to a refreshing world, implicating me to be a living testimony of joyful response to The Craftsman, my Maker.

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