In Which I Paint My Shoes Gold and Change My Life
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," 1702 posts strong! Lord love a fruit fly! The freakin War and Peace of vulture worship on the Web!
Today is a watershed moment in my life.
As I write this, a man from Cumberland, Maryland is driving to Bedford, Pennsylvania to finalize the paperwork and set down the money for my family's property on Polish Mountain. The property from which my great-great-grandfather marched to the Civil War.
The buyer is a nice man who has gone out of his way to let me know that I will always be welcome to "come home." He's not even changing the lock on the door. But part of his relentless protesting about my still being a part of the farm is the tacit understanding we both have that this will not be the case. In our modern culture, a signature on a piece of paper has enormous emotional and temporal significance.
Yesterday I read in the New York Times that the kind of titanium hip replacement I have has serious design flaws, and that these devices are wearing out and jeopardizing the health of many people who have them. Well, my surgeon was honest when he said I would get 20 years out of the hip. I was 49 at the time.
So, what do you do with 15 years of quality life remaining, when you can't go home again because home ain't there anymore, when your lack of ambition has led to epic failure, when your kids are nearly grown and your husband doesn't really need you so much as all that?
First you ground. Center. Breathe. Then you dedicate your life fiercely to the bored Tricksters.
In short, time to stop worrying and learn to love Philadelphia.
And so it was with reverence and a feeling of oneness with the Gods that I took a worn-out but comfortable pair of sneakers into my back yard and spray painted them gold. For most people who do this, it's just another pre-Mummers Parade chore. For me, it's a rite of passage.
On January 1, 2012, I will step out with my possibly bum hip and march in Philadelphia's biggest and longest parade. I will revel with the other participants in the neighborhood that hosts their antics. I am really and truly ringing out the old and ringing in the new.
Now I must go and put anther coat of paint on those shoes. I hope they will be just as comfortable now as they were when I used them to walk the land. Look for me in the Two Street Stompers New Year Brigade. At home with Loki and the ghost of Benjamin Franklin.