I remember staring longingly at the one shoe sitting alone on the closet shelf among the mated pairs long after I had tossed its mate with the busted seam into the wastebasket. The one time lovely pair boasted pale yellow silk-like material with delicate swirls of black, red, lime green and white had instantly entered my heart at first sight as I openly lusted for them as they exhibited themselves on the store display rack. An open toe with a 2 1/2 inch heel (just right for walking or standing) completed the shoes as I fell in love with shameless passion. When I tried them on, they slipped onto my feet as if they were designed for my feet. As I stood, then walked a few steps, the floor and my feet became as one with the universe. A glance in the low floor mirror confirmed that my feet and legs were kindly accentuated by these lovely silken shoes. They certainly weren’t super expensive, not on the Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo scale, just a great pair of shoes that made a summer’s day outfit scream out “best dressed” look. And, of course, there is no greater thrill than looking good while wearing a comfortable pair of shoes. I try to be reasonable in my shoe purchases, keeping the cost in the $150 range. Oh, why do we love shoes so? If Carrie from “Sex and the City” could respond, what would she say?
Looking back, what I regret is tossing the one silken shoe that was still in good condition. So, why did I toss it? Who keeps one shoe? Sometimes in a fit of crazy, one does things that one regrets later. I tossed that good shoe on a day when I could not think of a logical reason to keep it. It had sat on the shelf in my closet, as a shimmering example of never to be worn again, and one day I asked myself why? And, as I couldn’t give myself a reasonable answer, into the wastebasket and out to the curbside my wonderful shoe went. It was weeks later, as I began to miss its presence that I recognized the crazy fact that I longed for an absent shoe. I missed seeing it on the closet shelf. I missed the pair; however, I realized that the one shoe served some subliminal need in my spirit. Was this absent shoe a metaphor for the things that I miss most in my life as I age? In an illogical fit of logic, did I judge this shoe “not a complete package” and feel that I had to shed it to live an organized life? If I had the one shoe back, would it make my life better? The answer, of course, is somewhere between probably not and I don’t know. But, the further question is – what was one silken shoe doing for my spirit?
I had tried to find a repair shop for the shoe with the busted seam. Each of the three repair shop personnel had advised me that the shoe was not worth or could not be repaired. I had stuffed my wide, size nine feet into them so often that I had worn the one shoe out. The silk-like material was tattered and torn where is should have connected to the sole of the shoe and was, in one word, pitiful. My weight gain in menopause and the pressure on my feet as I often walked in those beautiful, delicate shoes no doubt caused the breach.
There are those who like to place beautiful things in a drawer or closet and in private, lustfully look at and touch the preciousness of beauty. Me, I use and wear what I love, receiving great pleasure from the objects. There are no good dishes, silverware, glasses, jewelry or anything else that I own that I do not use to the fullest. And, I wore those shoes on every occasion I could on summer days and fall nights. I wore one shoe into serious injury, finally tossing it, while the other sat on the closet shelf as a reminder of some kind. Why did I not recognize the one shoe’s meaning so that I could have framed it (which would have been a great project) or preserved it in some way? Instead, on a crazy day, I tossed it out.
Did I toss the one good shoe because it sat alone among all the pairs? Was I making a connection with my life? Or, was it simply because one shoe is an unnecessary object to keep in an over-stuffed closet. Then why did I keep one shoe so long? What relevance did it serve? Those are the questions I asked myself as I tossed it into the wastebasket. Now, as I miss its presence, I realize that one shoe represented more than the obvious reality of its being. That one lovely silken shoe, that I still long for, meant much more to me than an unusable object of outer ware.
I am usually a thoughtful person, therefore, I want to explore, in journal format, what one silken shoe could possibly mean to a 73-year-old female who has been living alone among the pairs over many years. A woman who regrets tossing out the beautiful thing that I loved because I could think of no logical reason to keep it. Does life always have to make sense? How can you love something and still toss it out because of logic? Why couldn’t I discern and accept that the beauty of one shoe remained on its own.
I believe in God, therefore, I believe in magic and miracles. I want to explore my longings and my regrets as related to one silken shoe. It could be that once I unlock the mystery of my regrets regarding my shoe, I may be able to unlock the miracle of my living with all my regrets and who I really am.