Friday, May 15, 2020

Shoes and Books

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away we asked for contributors to the blog to share a story or two about ourselves.
For such a chatty group at breakfast it feels like the vacuum of space, with the exception of a few brave souls that took the risk to tell us all a story. Those few stories were pretty good, they took us to places we would have never imagined.
This reminded me of a story I wrote as part of a writing class for beginners at Front Range Community College. Trying to write anything at all seemed to be an insurmountable task at times for most of us. We had a great teacher who used different tools to teach us that we could write and often times write quite well. Once, as part of freeing up the mind and getting us to be creative she had  reach into a bag and pull out two pieces of paper. Each piece of paper had one or two words on it and the challenge was to combine the words in some fashion and write something.
She had given us a starting point, one that didn't require a blank sheet of paper like our minds seemed to be. With a bit of trepidation I unfolded the papers and there were the two words. SHOES and BOOKS. What was I going to do with those?
As it turned out it didn't take long to think of something. Soon those two words intertwined into a common likeness. In my mind they were both almost the same but so different in what they could do and had done for me. I had personal experience with both. (That's one thing we learned, write about something you know well and it's a lot easier) These two words were almost like a gift for me and made it easy to write.
The commonality was that BOTH SHOES AND BOOKS take us to places we had never imagined. They each transport us to different worlds, new and old places, that opens our minds, leaves us speechless and often educates us.
How many different kinds of shoes and boots  have we had that allowed us to travel in the cities, go on those alpine trails, dance, fish, bike and gave us a glimpse of what's around the next corner both mentally and physically? We buy a new pair of shoes for a reason, to take us where we want to go. Nothing like a new pair of shoes right?
How many books have brought us to other countries, worlds, galaxies, into someone else's mind and literally hear their thoughts, each voice different for all of us, that gave us new perspectives and thoughts which let us travel in our minds to explore endless possibilities? We buy a new book because we look forward to the content and where that will take us. We can't wait to get home and start reading it.
Books have gotten us excited about where we might go on our next trip, hmmm, am I going to need a new pair of shoes or boots for that trip?

So let's hear some stories, maybe about a trip you took, maybe about something you learned or the time you turned left instead of right and met someone that changed your life or made you cry out Holy Crap! A teacher, a partner, a crevasse you almost fell into, the time the canoe turned over in that mountain lake and you fished naked until your clothes dried on the rocks. There are a million stories out there and you have more than a few of them. We would all like to read some of those.

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