Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beauty lurking

I'm back to this early morning grind. It's so early, that I usually see several homeless people still sleeping on my way to work. A favorite sleeping place seems to be stairwells leading to Metro entrances. Yesterday, I saw the tell-tale lump of blankets and garments nestled in one of these stairwells, and the only thing indicating that there was a human being there were the two bare feet sticking out from the pile. The feet were smooth and clean. Perhaps the man had washed them before retiring. I had an urge to tickle them the way they were just out there like that. But what struck me most was the beauty of the feet. They were as if chiseled in alabaster, the faint blues of the veins barely shining through, the soles free of blemishes and callouses. They looked like the feet of royalty.

I continued on my way and behind me, I heard a small girl exclaim, "Mama, someone is sleeping there! Someone with big feet!" And there was a small beat until I heard a frantic, "Don't touch them!" presumably from the girl's mother. I had to smile as the little girl was just as intrigued as I was by the beautiful feet (some might consider that an oxymoron) sticking out from the pile.

All day, the image of those feet played across my mind. I wondered who they belonged to and why they were so pristine. And I remembered that beauty lurks everywhere. Simply everywhere.

21 comments:

Lemuel said...

Would that the world would see in the homeless the feet of royalty and treat them equally as well!

CoffeeDog said...

Yes, one would think that a homeless person would walk a lot and have calluses.

mainja said...

i find those blanket piles heart breaking.

i remember one really cold winter walking alone, seeing someone sleeping outside and I started to cry.

of course, that was before i actually moved to the city and was used to the sight. now i avoid contact and quicken my step like everyone else. *sigh*

Ed said...

So Torn you didn't have your Camera phone handy? You can't judge a book by its cover and you can't judge a man by his feet. You shouldn't be judging others anyway. My point and I do have one is they were nice feet. They may have been Gay feet or straight feet they may have been the feet of a mean man or a nice man. It would be nice if all we looked at were others feet to see if we liked them instead of the way they are dressed or how they talk. Does this make sense? Where's my coffee?

Cooper said...

Smooth alabaster feet sticking out of blankets on a September morning, a reminder that unblemished beauty can exist in all of us. Thanks for this, Torn.

If I can can teach my little sons that one thing, that "beauty is simply everywhere", and how to see and access it, then I will have succeeded as a parent.

Patricia said...

wow, i am blessed to not be homeless but i have some butt ugly feet.

seeing this person through your eyes brings a whole new layer of understanding to "walk a mile in his shoes."

Lewis said...

As a foot watcher, I'd probably still have been there staring.....which is what I do! Stare at beauty.

Rebekah said...

Lovely post today Torn.

GayProf said...

That's a nice thought for the day.

em said...

Nice perspective...

Vila H. said...

You can tell a lot about a person by the things they care to notice. Lovely...

Chunks said...

I love your outlook!

I am a foot looker because ugly feet freak me out. I can't help but be judgy with the feet. (Sorry ed!)

Devo said...

I love how children show us all the time how free we used to be. Before life caught us up in its net.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I'll never thing of Six Feet Under quite the same way, TW.

BTW, I showed my wife that video Serge found. We laughed even as we were appalled.

Then, I searched YOUTube for similar educational films from the 50s and 60s. Had a blast with it.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

225 people own 40% of the world's wealth.
There need never be another homeless person on the face of the earth.

Beauty accosts us in the most unlikely places.

David said...

Feet looking like they were chiseled from alabaster, with blue veins? Are you sure the person wasn't dead? That's what would have been haunting me all day if I saw that.

dirk.mancuso said...

I'm with chunks...feet freak me out.

BIG time.

Scottsdale Girl said...

They were mine, I was having an out of body experience as a hobo in Canada.


:) You should have tickled them.

Just a Girl said...

What a beautiful observation.

dawn said...

Ahhhh. Pretty post.

And boooo to early morning grind.

Mark in DE said...

One of the many things I love about your writing Torn, is your ability to see beauty everywhere. Many might have been scared or felt unsettled seeing a homeless person. But instead of fear you saw beauty.

When I read your blog I see beauty.

Mark