Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Slipper Slip Up
Do these slippers belong to you?
My original slippers.
Today's topic is as light and frivolous as flip-flops, literally. With the sea of flip-flops parked around the shala steps, some mishap is sure to happen, accidental swaps and so forth.
So, if you're thinking, hmmm, that first pair (pictured above) looks awfully familiar, like a lost pair, I'm sorry. Maybe you have my pair (the second photo). It's cool. Not fussed. A small practice in non-attachment. If you don't have my pair, again, I'm truly sorry.
It started at last Friday's led class. Or rather, after. When I went to fetch my flip flops, they were gone. I searched all over, around the steps, investigated the feet around the coconut stand but to no avail. I suddenly understood why some students chose distinguishable footwear. Still, there were few cream colored slippers around, nothing like the common black flip flops. I thought I would be safe.
There was a pair, similar in color and metallic hue of thong strap, both Haviannas. They were slightly bigger, strap slightly smaller and less golden. But they were in the same area as I left my own pair. Having brought no other alternative footwear, I crossed my fingers that the owner of this pair had mistook my own and that I would not continue a chain of events in which other folks would loose their footwear in the process. Oh well, best foot forward.
At first I felt odd wearing another person's footwear, thinking the strangest things. Who might own it, what might the state of their feet be? Then I thought with the frequency we all go barefoot around here, it didn't really matter.
The mysterious thing is they haven't turned up. Not even at conference, where I'd left the slippers with a small little note for the owner of my borrowed slippers. No cigar. It fits well enough. I've already gotten used to it.
Maybe I just have to accept the strange exchange. Maybe part of being here in Mysore is forcing us to walk in another person's shoe. It might be very similar and only slightly different, but every shift offers us a different footing in our own experience.