Shoe laces

Do you remember the day you were able to lace up your shoes.

I wanted to walk backwards. They wanted me to keep up. In my house, everyone but me could do it. They did it to me. I got laced up. I didn’t want to be. They did it so fast, I was all knotted before I knew it.

I liked being shoeless. I didn’t like stepping over things. I liked stepping into things. I liked being unfitted so I could fit sand and grass and water between my toes. Be part of the world underfoot. Where stepping into puddles made splashes in the sky. Where walking backwards was the thing.

I look at my laces as I sit here in the Redwing café in Penzance. I find myself shoe gazing for laces. I wonder, why today. Do you remember the day you were able to lace up your shoes, I don’t. I remember laces trailing like the tails of a kite.

I was born left handed and my right, was always wrong. However hard I tried, tying my shoe laces never seemed to knot itself into my world. Instead, I lifted one foot and then the other into the world of possibility.

I danced with trailing laces. I gripped my shoes hard with my toes and spacewalked on earth. I slid right up to the top, tilted forward and slid along like crunchy nut ice cream down a microphone. Up steps and down steps undid me all over again. My feet dangling shoeless in the air. And then, there was the slip on slip off. It could last for days, even weeks if I was lucky. It depended on who tied my laces. They had to be just right, not too tight or too loose. Then I could move between worlds with ease. Slipping on and slipping off.

Do you remember the day you were able to lace up your shoes, I asked someone over my coffee cup. They didn’t, so I suggested they might like to pull out the bow and tie it again with the question in mind. They did. Someone by the door shouted they could remember, as they undid their shoe laces anyway. Another and another joined in until it felt like we were all undone together. Some were left handed, some right, some double knotted, others didn’t. Each, unique in one way or another. All glowed with the achievement of that day. Thrust into the midst of difficulty they had succeeded.



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