A Haiku for my Brown Shoes (which I attempted to give away on July 3 and November 2):
I spent the day sniffling and snorting and trying to get my congested brain to function so I could write, but words and sentences and thoughts came slowly today. The hours passed quickly though, and before I’d written half of what I’d hoped to write today, it was 3pm and time to pick up my son Theo from school. I thought about taking a pair of shoes I wanted to give away along with me to school just in case I saw Lena, one of only two friends that shares my shoes size (see February 3, August 4 and September 23!), but I rarely see her at pick up, so I left the shoes at home. But I walked in the gate, who should I see but Lena, with her son Malcolm! Darn it, I thought to myself. I should have brought the shoes.
I’m always looking for the perfect shoe,
A comfy fit with some style too.
The shoes I find that look quite sweet
Inevitably hurt my feet.
I have only got to know Ami recently. Her daughter and my son Theo attend the same elementary school, and although they are two grades apart, they attended the same art class on Sundays for a while and art camp last summer. Over the last school year, Ami and I talked a few times over coffee mainly about art classes and her dream of creating an art non-profit organization. It quickly became clear to me that she is a passionate, intelligent and creative person who gets things done, and I shared some thoughts with her based on my experience in the art world and with non-profits. Over the course of our chats, I learned that Ami is a filmmaker and tv writer and director, and in her work has covered some very serious topics. Her film Texas Killing Fields (2011) was inspired by true stories of the serial murders of women in Texas and the dumping of their bodies in an area between Houston and Galveston. Recently she had been working on a project with a much lighter theme – a romance between a travelling musician and a former singer called Jackie & Ryan. It was due to be released in July, so Ami has been on my mind lately.
The other day, as I was trying to clean the house to prevent dust from irritating our fragile airways, I noticed that David has many very similar, nice-looking, black leather shoes stashed under his side of our bed, collecting a lot of dust. As I was peering under the bed, I noticed that Sonic the cat was sniffing inside the shoes, looking for something he’d lost. It turned out that a petrified lizard had hidden inside one of the shoes to flee his captor. I pulled all the shoes out, extracted the lizard and then carried it outside into the bushes, much to Sonic’s chagrin. I then lined up all the shoes. From above, they all looked the same and in pretty good shape, but David had told me before that he wears out his shoes in a very particular way that only shows on the underside. Because of his degenerative neurological condition, he struggles to walk and now uses a cane almost all of the time. He leans to one side as he walks and this wears out the soles of his shoes on the side he puts more weight on. Over the last year or so, he has worn down a few pairs and has more waiting in boxes in the closet. However, he hadn’t disposed of the old ones. When I pointed out all the under-the-bed shoes, he immediately suggested he give some of them away as part of my giveaway.
Today, I was stuck in hospital all day being treated, observed and tested. The only thing I had brought with me that I could have given away is a Turkish coin purse, but since most of the staff and many of the patients at the hospital I’m in are Armenian, and this year is the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, such a gift didn’t strike me as very culturally sensitive. So, even though he already had his hands full looking after Theo, taking him to a doctor’s appointment to get him checked out too, David gallantly offered to contributed three pairs of his shoes to the Giveaway by dropping them off in the Planet Aid (http://www.planetaid.org) bin near our home. He even took the picture for the blog! Hopefully, the shoes, which still look pretty sharp and hopefully won’t tilt too much to one side (!), will help a young man out there with very little money for clothes, stand up proud in his first job interview. With this blog, I never know from day to day how the giveaway will play out, and I may never know the impact some of the gifts will have on the recipients, but that’s part of what makes it such a rewarding exercise, especially on a day like today when I didn’t get to put my own shoes on and step outside.