Portrait of the Artist's Feet by Melissa Giardina performing at the Cafe Kroegske, Oostende Belgium.

 

out in Arizonan desert...

 

 

Going Barefoot: It is Good to Touch the Ground (Elephant Journal)

I will not kill you with my bare feet

My problems with shoes started at an early age. They were always uncomfortable and ill fitting. Always one to look for creative solutions, I found the best thing to do was to skip them entirely. I grew up in a rural environment and going barefoot was a perfect solution. My feet grew strong and tough and they were waterproof which proved handy in the swampy country of my youth.

Of course, as I grew older being barefoot caused all sorts of trouble. Stores and restaurants threw me out. I was told I was either spreading or going to catch some awful disease. I was cited "health codes" and other such laws. None of those things were true. The "health codes" don't exist nor are there any laws prohibiting bare feet. Diseases like the dreaded “Athlete’s Foot” are actually caused by wearing shoes.

Along my path as a starving artist the shoes I had eventually fell apart and I felt no urgency to replace them. The problem is once you have been barefoot for several months it is near impossible to put them back on. Since then, I have become less concerned about all the controversy. After all, my bare feet, however strange they may be, are my own damn business. People try to convince me that I am going to get hurt but I have been barefoot my entire life and I haven’t been hurt. In fact, shoes are so awkward to me that I find them dangerous. I willingly waive any liability if I am allowed to go barefoot but I cannot be responsible for what happens if I am forced to put on shoes.

I should point out that feet are pretty tough if allowed to be bare. I am an avid runner. When I wore shoes to run I had problems with my knees and shins after a couple of miles. I found that I could run Marathon distances in bare feet. I have climbed mountains. I hiked the Grand Canyon. I have even crossed deserts in my bare feet. There are, of course, certain times when the world is hostile enough to put even me in shoes but those times are much rarer than you might suspect.

Americans have become dependent on consumption. I believe that is going to destroy us. I have chosen to follow a different path. Besides my instruments, I own very little. I go without a lot of things other people feel are “essential” including shoes. I see nothing wrong with that and I hope you can respect my decision to follow my own path through this life.