heavy boots (part 1)

Monday, January 2, 2012

gorgeous ... June 2012 - from Cavallini's flora & fauna calendar

You cannot protect yourself from sadness
without protecting yourself from happiness

Jonathan Saffran Foer

He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others–the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.

Jonathan Saffran Foer - Everything is Illuminated

I'm currently reading Jonathan Safran Foer's - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I was reminded of the book by recent previews on TV of the upcoming movie starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock & some amazing new child star playing the lead character - Oskar

After his father's death in the 9/11 World Trade Centre disaster Oskar begins to suffer a deep sadness, panic, worry, fear & anxiety. He describes these feeling that overcome him, almost constantly, as wearing heavy boots. As I read this book I feel like I know Oskar really well.

On Tuesday afternoon I had to go to Dr. Fein. I didn't understand why I needed help, because it seemed to me that you should wear heavy boots when your Dad dies, and if you aren't wearing heavy boots, then you need help.

I wear heavy boots too. It's my biggest secret or maybe it's not a secret at all. Sometimes I think they're getting heavier & this brand new year I want more than anything to lighten them.


  1. Some days you wear heavy boots. Some days you wear runners. Some days you wear flip flops. And on sparkling days in summer you go barefoot. Wear the shoes, don't let the shoes wear you.

  2. Oh man, when I read this book I totally understood the description of heavy boots. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

    P.S. I like MLou's comment!

  3. I do believe that you've seen me wearing runners & flip flops & even going barefoot ... somehow this year I want to actually "feel" & remember the feeling of wearing those shoes.
    loveya, xoxo Susan

  4. Having worn them since I was 5 years old, I can't even undo the laces now. I'm not sure that I could function without them - a bit like Chinese women with their bound feet. Taking them off would be such a painful process, I just hunker down and accept that they are there.

  5. dear veg artist ... I think the pain might ultimately be worth it (my 2 cents).

    I'm at a place in my life where I can't imagine "not" trying to at the very least "lighten" their heaviness because they are holding me back. I am holding myself back. My boots are mostly made of fear & fear that is incapacitating in so many ways. Fear that takes up way too much space in my heart & head. Fear I want to stop thinking about & fear that I am determined to lessen.

    "sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living" JSF

    your blogger profile does not link to your blog - the next time you comment could you provide the blog name or link. thanks xo Susan

  6. I just ordered this book from Amazon yesterday! Good timing to hear some of your thoughts about it.

  7. Well the obvious slip side of that is that your art is the yang to that yin - if you didnt tune in at the level you do then you wouldnt have the gift you do. and i agree - this culture makes out like any diversion from clown faced joviality is a character flaw - like the kid say, sometimes sadness is the evolved and appropriate response. but letting it take you down in totality is not ideal. I am looking at the little tiny "zinnia like" flowers you sent and dreaming of when I can post a picture of them in my sunny southern garden. happy new year friend.

  8. Thanks for writing this - it describes a sensation I've been experiencing for a long time. I wish, for all who want it, lightness of heart in the new year...

  9. amen to that, mlou! here's to more sparkling, barefoot summer days with the crew in bayswater! when are you coming, susan? - n

  10. I, too, understand heavy boots but I really like MLou's comment :)


Hey ! We LOVE comments here at 29 Black Street.
Thanks for stopping by.