Wednesday, April 2, 2008

These Shoes ....

The script that I am writing (developing?) for Script Frenzy has foundations in the fairy tale of 'The Red Shoes'. In her deconstruction of the story Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes (in Women Who Run With Wolves) talks about the symbolism of shoes.

She suggests that shoes are a way of recognising one type of person from another - that shoes tell something of who we are as a person, and who we are aspiring to me. I find this really interesting, because I am a proclamed 'non shoe-ist' ... that is I love to go barefoot. Shoes, apparently were what separated (at one level) master and slave - the master had money, position, status and shoes! Puts a whole new spin on the term 'barefoot and pregnant'. Whilst not exactly 'pregnant' for the past four years, my love affair with barefeet has reached a peak during these seminal years of mothering. Is this a symoblic?

Dr Estes goes on to say that symbolically shoes protect and defend our feet - that is our mobility and freedom. Which makes me muse, as to whether I've needed to protect my mobility or freedom, or whether all these years I've been trying to fashion my own version of mobility and freedom (walking my own walk so to speak?) ... as both these concepts/themes have been, and continue to be, very important in my life, though motherhood has brought a whole new plethora of challenges to ideas or desire concerning them.

So a new pair of shoes? A new conviction for my beliefs and the energy to act on them?

I finally got myself a pair of hiking boots yesterday. A lovely shiny black pair that I am sure will be very well used in a week's time. Until recently I always wore boots. I'm a practical woman and boots are practical footwear - I am sure that no one would argue that. Not necessarily convenient - buyt practical. My last pair of 'practical boots' fell to bits around the same time that I met my partner - I remember the slap of the left sole on the wooden boards of the verandah out the front of his office at uni. So this feels like a returning to my self.

It seems to be symbolic in a way of trying to merge the best of the 'old' (that's before child) with the 'new' (afer child) to create the me that sits in the here and the now. The woman who is a writer, a mother, a partner ... a new pair of boots to negotiate both the inner and outer terrains?

I'm sure that there are many adventures awaiting in the Tasmania - and I'm sure that it will be another turning point (just as our trip to the mountains was last August). I'm ready to begin negotiating the last steps of metamorphosis, to step into my authenticity.


Paul said...

Perhaps if shoes do protect our mobility and freedom, then being barefoot symbolises that you don't need to protect your mobility - that you now feel settled and rooted, that you are where you want to be?

Eamon said...

In England, a country traditonally obsessed by class, shoes have played an important role in this (thankfully class is beginning to disappear - fast). Depending - in a combination of the following - how you wore your hair, what kind of material / style / cut of clothes and so on you had /, but perhaps most importantly of all, what kind of shoes you wore, played an important part in defining which class you belonged to (although accent, of course, has always been the most important indicator).

ginnyvaet11 said...

I am envious of you being able to go hiking in Tasmania. I read a book years ago about 4 very unusual places of the planet, one being the Tasmanian Blanket bogs. It described a man's journey through those bogs and the magic of his experience. The fartherst I have gotten is as far away as Ayers Rock and I have seen a bit of Australia for all of you native Australians. I loved Australia and I loved the idea of the overseas experience. In Australia instead of pushing students to go to college, they encourage students to save up and backpack around the world. You can learn so much more when you see things with your own eyes. I was very lucky in New York to meet a man who had backpacked around the world when I was a year out of college. He convinced me that you have not lived to you have travelled around the world. His encouragement inspried me to save my money and spend 6 months travelling the world. A new blogger Ginny

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Alice said...

Impressed !! I like the way you are thinking.. Well, shoes are a way of recognize a person.