28 February 2006
self portrait tuesday #23 (all of me)
(ward is responsible for this great shot, by the way)
well, this is a beauty pageant compared to the way my feet usually look. originally, I wanted to show my feet in all their gritty post-dance class glory, but thanks to ward's animation shenanigans last week and various meetings and deadlines, I will not be back in class until next week. by then, this particular self portrait tuesday challenge will be over and we'll all be onto the next one. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to move on. because aren't you just a little grossed out by my feet here? aren't you gagging just a little bit? I am. I mean, I love feet. I think they're really cool and beautiful but it took everything in me not to retouch and tweak until the cracks and calluses could no longer be seen.
but these are my ugly bits. the cracks seem to re-open every time I take class and the calluses never go away because I walk around barefoot on wood floors everyday. after class, they are covered with dirt and black from the marley floor covering of the space. I've always loved going barefoot and there's a price to pay for that. as a kid, I'd happily scorch my feet walking across hot rocks and concrete in the summer time. in the winter, socks always made my feet feel hot and restricted. and then came modern dance. going barefoot was (is) a direct rebellion against the confines of ballet (one of many ways modern dance has distinguished itself within the art form). and you know that I could go on and on here (because I love me some dance history) but all I really need to say is thank you. thank you, isadora, because I love the way it feels and feet should be free to move and connect with the floor. there's a give and take of weight that you can't feel wearing shoes and there's an undeniably gorgeous quality that comes from the mover. but of course, feet rip and burn. on the last day of ADF, I could barely make it through class, my feet were in such horrible shape. raw and bleeding. all taped up so I could at least finish the last of the session. and I think I might be strangely proud of that, proud of my feet and all that they've endured-- in a very sort of corny, self righteous way. (think debbie allen, a la 'fame' and yes, it's funny but right here, right now is where you start paying. IN SWEAT. I hope you just went there with me. didn't you? please say you did).
in defense of my personal grooming habits, I think I should say that I do make an effort to take care of my feet (when I can). I love pedicures, though will someone please help the woman who has to make my feet pretty? I usually end up apologizing all over myself and sit there in shame while they slough away. then I leave a big tip and enjoy my semi-smooth heels and candy-apple red toes for about all of 24 hours. my brother likes to say that I don't really even need to wear shoes anymore. that the skin on the bottom of my feet has, in fact, become my very own pair of shoes (custom made, cultivated from a lifetime of abuse and neglect). that I wouldn't even feel it if I walked over a big rusty nail or a small fire. funny. YOU'RE A FUNNY FUNNY MAN, NATE. people are always giving me pedicure kits and minty foot lotions and I love it all and I do use it but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. my feet are what they are.
actually, I'm surprised at how much my feet will tolerate. I'm impressed with their strength and durability and, like the maternity underwear I wrote about last week, I respect the fact that they've seen battle. I should treat them better than I do, I know this. that's why sometime in the next couple of days, you are going to see them all gussied up in a pair of purdy little socks and some purdy shoes. and I'm going to get out the peppermint foot lotion too. because writing this has got me thinking that these old feet deserve better.
(more ugly/lovely bits here and here)