Get rid of it! It turns out that Ken's foot pain is the result of wearing the wrong shoe size. He's managed to do this all of his adult life, we think. I know, go figure! The podiatrist diagnosed bone spurs on both feet, a tearing tendon in one, and shortened achilles tendons in both legs. A pair of inserts and orthopedic crocs later, Ken is a new man.
He nearly burst through the door with his enthusiasm running ahead of him when he came home, his pain eased for the first time in weeks. He headed straight for the bedroom with gleeful purpose--purging his shoes. The picture of the chair laden with his discards made me laugh, as well as grab for the camera. By the end of the day the shoes had been delivered to Goodwill and he was still riding high.
The next morning I reached into the closet for something and realized I lacked the right vantage point to get to what I needed. There was a row of shoes in the way! I'm not sure why these shoes and boots continue to occupy space (and tantalize the puppy), but the balloon of my previous laughter felt burst by their presence. Perhaps these aren't the wrong size after all--the test now is whether or not the insert fits into the shoe appropriately. And here I thought I was going to be able to tease him about parting with what so many woomen think of as necessary accessories (and who knows, maybe men, too).
Not Ken, however. Shoes, to him, are about getting the job done, be it a work boot or a dress shoe. There are no duplicates in different colors or styles. He simply wears what he needs. Now his simple need is the correct size.
There are, no doubt, multiple metaphors in this. The one that grabs my attention is about what it costs us to exist in anything that doesn't fit us well. Shoes bring on physical pain. Clothing, discomfort and self-consciousness. Image--now there's something that we could spend hours discussing. And of course there are relationships and vocations, too. If it weren't Sunday morning and I didn't have the need to get to church nipping at my heels, I'd probe all of that a bit. Perhaps it is just as well that I leave the canvas blank for the reader to draw their own conclusions (or paint their own scenarios). I'll simply offer this invitation. Is there a "shoe" in your closet that doesn't fit? Just think of the possibilities if that space opened up for one that does...