February 27, 2012
My Toes Are Burning
My toes are burning. The rest of my body is happy in the warm shower, but my toes feel like they have been dipped into scalding water. Perhaps it is because they have been shrouded in wool socks over the last 36 hours to protect them from the dry ice-like weather of San Francisco. Perhaps they are trying to tell me that they miss the recent sunshine and freedom of flip flops as they traverse the Mexican cobblestone streets.
The comparison of my toes' recent experiences troubles me as I try, with delicate desperation, to hold on to the warmth of joy of a recent vacation. They remind me of falling again, into the mix of wet cement poured into the impassable sidewalk of my daily life. My brain, which has been held off for ten days, is going through the inventory of things to be done. I am pursued again by the same two familiar feelings with their intentional roots. One is the illusory experience of celebrating a newly found "good" intention, where premature feelings of accomplishment cause me to never lift a finger to bring it into reality. The second, is the suffocating confinement of "good" intentions to logically and efficiently tend to my chores, mundane tasks of daily life, obligations and commitments. I know these two too well.
There is a third feeling, far more fleeting and vague. It is like opening a perfumed letter that permeates the entire room with the pleasant aroma intending to elicit a particular feeling by the unknown sender. From there, you are guided by good intentions that draw you forward, clairvoyant and unknowing at the same time, like floating down a river to somewhere that you do not know. If you allow yourself the luxury of time and space then actions seem effortless and hard work is satisfying. But if you do not, then the good intention sits in the back of your mind like caked mud. After a while, your brain becomes too heavy for your back to hold itself erect and begins to hunch under the weight. Your back muscles, under the strain of trying to right itself, begs for rest, which you oblige. The absence of movement causes the circulation to slow in your legs and feet and eventually, your toes will protest by burning.