I believe in bare feet.

Katelyn - Dover Plains, New York
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

My senses become invigorated as ten skeptical toes dive into an unknown environment—the mystery that life once lacked quickly shines again. All of the sensations I feel refuse to be identified yet still are blaring loudly beneath my feet. With each step evolves a new perspective, a foreign surface which only future exploration can identify.

Without shoes, I am Indiana Jones.

I am leaping from cold to hot and from hard to soft without daring to look what precedes my motions, never knowing in what state my next bound will leave my feet.

Without shoes, I am Sacagawea.

I am one with the earth while using the details of the soil as my map. Tough as a leather hide, my soles are prepared to face the toughest of terrain and most unpredictable of weather. My feet are not to be coddled with protection. They a culmination of scars, calluses ready for another beating.

At home, when my feet are bare and my mind is open, I can feel both the dysfunction of clutter and the comfort of familiarity. As I step on a tack or stub my toe on a chair, pain instantaneously rushes throughout my spine. This is the price of a rugged reality experienced feet first. However, at the same time, my subconscious jives with glory and smiles at the fruits of its gained acclimation. My subconscious knew the placement of that chair, for it has felt the chair and I collide at countless occurrences. Similarly, it could have predicted the presence of a tack where none should be found, for my subconscious knows that in the disarray of my hardwood floors, nothing is as it seems and everything unexpected and seemingly not belonging eventually finds residence on the ever shrinking surfaces of my home. At home, my feet stick out from under the covers at the end of the bed, willing to face the nipping of the winter air while the rest of my body rests warmly under the covers. My bare feet are soldiers of sacrifice.

Shoes simply numb one more channel through which a person can experience life. I am glad to know what raw tile feels like on warm mornings when it has been heated up by the sun. I am glad to know the suffering of a splinter. I am glad to know how endless sand can feel between my toes, as if I may at any second drift into a granulated underworld which has placed a careful suction upon my legs. For this, I give thanks. I would no sooner subject my feet eternally to socks and shoes than I would continue about life wearing gloves which anesthetize my hands to the world. I do not believe in any extraordinary factors of podiatry. I do not believe in tarsal bones, metatarsal bones, or phalanges. Rather, I believe in the sensory opportunity presented by naked flesh kissing uncertain grounds. I believe in the voyages of bare feet.