Wednesday, January 13, 2010

30 Days of Touching

Day 9: Shoe Shine

This afternoon, I leave for Cincinnati where I will begin a year-long School of Spiritual Direction cohort at Sustainable Faith. Just a head’s up; I probably won’t blog until I get back on Saturday or Sunday. No matter—make sure you keep on touching the textures of your world with interest in how God speaks through them.

As I was packing, I realized that I wanted to take a pair of comfortable boots with me. The ones I had in mind were a brilliant find—made by Cole Han and on the clearance rack at DSW for $20. They needed polishing, something I don’t often do. So, I hunted down the black show polish and got to work.

I gooped a rag with greasy polish and began to rub and swirl it in. I took a brush and swiped it across again and again. The boots began to shine, the leather re-conditioned and supple. As I was wrangling with the boots, trying to apply the polish and buff it, the smell permeated the air. Instantly, I had a memory of my dad.

Polishing shoes was an event for him. On Saturdays, he would gather the shoes that needed attention, line them up on the table, get out his shoe shine kit and polish away. I think he enjoyed doing it. I can picture him right now, chewing his tongue (something he was infamous for!), and relishing the simple act of restoring shine to his shoes.

This was the first time my touching experiment evoked a memory. I suspect it had to do with the strong smell of shoe polish—one of the strongest factors of memory retention. It was good to remember my dad. I miss him. I miss watching him chew his tongue and many(not all:) of the other idiosyncrasies that made him—him.

What have you touched recently that reminded you of someone you love? Enjoy remembering.

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