Tuesday, May 15, 2007

poetry shoes


This is why it's hard for me to throw anything away: I attach my heart to it, pin it to its little grubby laces, and even though there will be no running left in these shoes (not that I ran in them anyway, more like meandering around campus), I cannot seem to part with them. Its mate also seems to be missing; I am guessing Zephyr has buried it somewhere in the mess that is our house.

So this is my project, and you have already witnessed it once (ugly gas station cup, a memory of when K and I first met): to find ways to throw things out that have no real use, that have no huge memories attached, and to throw, just after a sad little memorial here on the blog, complete with illustration. This needs to be theraputic but I need to clear out the clutter in this house before I tear my hair out: I must ask, "Which is more important? My sanity living in this house fast becoming a refuge for lost trash or keeping mementos from every moment in my life?" I'm sure no one else finds this interesting, but you must realize that a blog is a very selfish act in and of itself initially--it is our little space to pontificate and ruminate on our very own lives and the things we find most important around us. Sure, many blogs do great social justice. Now I'm starting to feel guilty and get distracted when this is really a memorial for my poetry shoes.

You see, my first year at university, I felt so small and the world was so big (the population of our campus is 60,000) and I was floating about, trying to get my footing. I had just escaped home and was so relieved and needed something to keep me tethered to Earth.

Enter Introduction to Poetry class. Oh, I fell in love so quickly and so easily. I stopped writing all those terrible, mournful love poems and began to write about real things, things that mattered to me but could also matter to others, to my classmates, to people who did not know me or the person I wrote about again and again after a particularly melodramatic breakup. I had my first workshop and survived. I would walk out, feeling floating high as a kite and adored sitting and critiquing, picking apart work to be helpful. This is where I found out I could be a Poet, or at least some day in the future.

And there was a very cute boy in this class, no matter that K and I were in the throes of love, and he had very cute shoes and he was very clever and very pompous (which meant we could never have a future, alas, but I still liked the idea of exuding poetry like that) and so I got these shoes. And as I write it down, it all sounds very silly, which it probably is, but to me, at nineteen, poetry was what really mattered (and there is a lot of truth in that for my own life now--heck, I just spent an hour with my creative writing class doing something they struggled with because I wanted to write the entire hour with them). And I wanted to exude it too. Not that running shoes will do that, but when your whole life has gone from driving about in a suburban town (OK, so Parents Town is not a suburb, but it definitely has that quality) to walking e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e, you want something nice for your feet. Something that will remind you of poetry.

And I kept them for too long, went canoeing in them for the first time with K, went hiking and wandering around Tahoe and Duluth and on long walks everywhere, holding his hand, loving him and walking on words. So while I can always get a new pair of running shoes, these little blues should be dipped in bronze to remind me of those Tuesday and Thursday nights spent in the classroom just on Washington, with the sound of buses going by in the night, getting home at nine, writing poetry on the palms of my hands. Instead, I'll just come back to this post to remember every once in a while.

1 comment:

bluerose9062 said...

What a great idea! I would love to read some of your poetry sometime.