Friday, December 17, 2010

Numbers of feet

We have boxes and boxes of shoe parts collected from our 1000 yard stretch of beach. Boxes. Hundreds of heals, padded inserts, flip-flops, whole shoes.

A friend was looking at this part of our collection and found a shoe, a DKNY spangled sandal she had scrimped for as a teenager. Cinderella tried it on and it fit. Was it hers? She was amazed to see her teen-angst fetish object, the thing that would lift her into a dreamworld of glamour, in a box of rubbish. Oh! how the desire for being loved is manipulated and rubbed raw.

All these shoes washed out of the Pacific remind us of numbers of human feet on the planet. Let's see...over 6.5 billion people on earth right now, that would be 13 billion. How to think about that number???

Walking back from the beach loaded down with bags and bags, dragging tied together buoys and bigger scraps, tied with rope found at the beach, Richard started playing an arithmetic game. It takes the mind off the burden of the load.

Hmm, how long is a million seconds?? That'd be twelve days. A billion seconds, that'd be thirty one years ... Shoes feet time—big numbers made real (.. er) by a little arithmetic footwork.

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