Writing about Sandals
I am sitting on a flight back into Kingston from working in Barbados, and just read this month’s BWIA magazine.
Confession – while I can barely tolerate BWIA itself (Better Walk If Able) their magazine is very, very cool.
And one thing that is cool about it this month is that a new friend of mine, Kellie Magnus, has 2 articles in it that just caught me up in the joy that I have developed for the written word.
Her first article is about sandals – the wearable kind.
Now, I don’t know for sure if I have some kind of foot fetish, but I find that a woman’s foot can be a thing of beauty. Someplace in my head, I think, I believe that a woman’s feet can tell all sorts of stories about what kind of person she is… Of course, coming back to live in Jamaica has been good for the fetish, as there are plenty of naked feet to look at. (OK – back to Kellie’s article.)
Her article, as I said once before, is about sandals. Apparently there is someone in Kingston who loves them, and who is mastering the craft of making wearable foot-art. While I can’t speak to the quality of the sandals themselves, I can speak to the effect of Kellie’s use of language ….. well, “use” is too harsh a word. It was more like an “artful caress.”
By the time she was done, I could actually feel that I knew what it was like to be a woman who is on the search for just the right pair of shoes, finds them, and goes into absolute ecstasy (provided she can afford them, or better yet, get them on sale.) I have been on shopping trips and seen women go to extraordinary lengths to experience the thrill, leaving me shaking my head in wonderment.
After Kellie’s article, I don’t think that I will be able to look at a woman’s sandals feet the same way -- such is the power of her words on my mind.
Incidentally, she also wrote another piece in the same issue that so reminded me of my “Coming Home to Jamaica” frame of mind. She wrote about “plate-sharing” – you know, when your father sits and waits for someone to share out his dinner, and will literally starve until someone notices that he has “not been fed.”
(I have a feeling that my joy of being the recipient of some nice “plate-sharing” will be coming to an end once my wife reads Kellie’s article…)
This is clearly one of those Caribbean practices that look quite normal up close, but almost bizarre when there is a separation, and a reacquainting.
But, Kellie’s article helped me to see myself so clearly -- a part of me that I rarely see. I saw the love of reacquainting myself with Jamaica after being away for 21 years, and the joy of discovering anew what was so taken for granted. This pretty much sums up why I have this blog, and why I write, and why I think about writing all the time, and why I started this without even caring if anyone ever read it.
She shares that same joy of discovery, I think (I’ll ask her later this weekend when I see her.)
I do know that familiarity breeds contempt, and that over time it is predictable that I will lose this sense of discovery, which requires a certain child-like quality to be authentic I believe. While I know that I will probably one day “grow up” I have got to find ways to preserve this basic love of life.
This weekend is the Calabash Literary Festival in Treasure Beach, and I am looking forward to being with others of like mind.