Today is a special day. Leap day! All are required to jump over a person or object at least once today to celebrate the wonder of human legs and the ability to jump. Yes, you must be thankful for jumping because elephants, for example, cannot jump and they certainly are majestic and wonderful creatures, just like you, I assume.
I thought it fitting to touch another special breed of people on this fine day - nelipots. It is a neologism, that is correct. It refers to people who go about life without shoes. If you have seen me around the fair estate of South Alabama, you might have spotted me therewithout on the chill of a freezing morning or the melt of summer's noon. It is said that when I am seen with shoes you can make a wish. It is also about as rare a sight as Halley's comet.
The question oftentimes arises as to why I do not cover my feet with some protection or, as my one teammate aptly described them, foot prisons (shoes) and foot jails (sandals). Here is a reply that I quote from a message I once sent:
"Yes, I do have shoes. I actually had a pair of shoes in backpack and I had the sandals with me as well. I am blessed beyond measure because I have numerous pairs of shoes in my room. I just choose not to wear them frequently. One of the main reasons is that I want to feel more connected with Earth and because I want to feel more. By having shoes and lots of clothes on, it is easy to be numbed from the beauty of experience that is around us all day. It's almost like I can dip my toes into understanding how our distant forefathers must have felt when life was much harder than it is now. Luckily for me, I can open up my backpack, put shoes on and be relieved of pain, but they could not, so really they are far greater than I am. Another reason why I do it so publicly is because I want people to think twice about why they do what they do, think what they think and wear what they wear. If I can walk around barefoot in January are shoes really that necessary? We are programmed by society to think that we need certain things, when really we are brainwashed to desire a bunch of stuff that are not really important. My hope is not per se that other people would go barefoot, but more along the line that people should be less materialistic.
I also understand that it is not something I will be able to do forever and there are places that I have to wear shoes, so it's not like I am being obnoxious about my desire to not wear shoes."
To reiterate, I think that sensory experiences and emotions are wonderful aspects of life. We really do overvalue emotion in the West because we constantly enquire about others emotions when really emotions we can easily dissociate ourselves from our emotions and still do great things. I know that in Eastern cultures emotion is not as big of a deal as it is in the West. However, to me, emotion makes life more worth it. Would you really work as hard if you could never feel satisfaction from achieving your goals? Would you go to concerts, play video games, watch movies, listen to music if you could not experience happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, etc.? Yes, many of us would still do those things, but they certainly will be far less worth it. A good, full life, I assert, is one where you get to go through the full range of human emotion at their appropriate times. This does mean that you can be too happy, just as you can be too sad. So, really it all comes down to balancing the tensions of opposites of human experiences. Sometimes we must temporarily unbalance the system, especially if you have massive ambitions, but eventually all must return to equilibrium lest ye die.
I leave y'all/youse guys with the following story I read in "Thirsty, Swimming in the Lake" which is a book about Eastern therapy.
I man had a surgery of his mouth and his mouth will be in pain for the next five days. His girlfriend, who he has not seen for many months, will come and visit him, but only for the next 5 days and will leave again for many months. He has to chose, will he take the pain relief medication, but not feel her affection and kisses at all or will he not take pain relief medications and feel pain, but also feel the full extent of her kisses.
The choice is yours.
As a nelipot, I chose option two. I try not to relieve myself from every pain that is in this life and rather feel the full spectrum of high, low and middle that life offers us. I believe that I will feel life more fully even if that means feeling pain more fully.
Not everyone will value emotion and sensory experience as much as I do. That is understandable, because they can be distracting from actually doing things. I might be so caught up in feeling that I never do. The opposite of my problem would be someone who always does, but never feels.
Once again, the middle is best and know that free men and women still walk this earth!
TheLonelyman (who is also TheNelipotman)
Thursday, 4 February 2016
It was not as though I have not, for I have a multitude
Yet, alone I stand, the many being silent
The present - a similitude
Of days, of nights, of pain, like a struck flint
On old wounds – ablaze
Be all you can be
It is of him, the slogan spoke
The man that stands proud like the forest tree
He makes of his enemies a joke
The knight in tempered armour
The blazing wound cast the present alike to the past
Have you even moved beyond yesterday?
Look, you sit staring at those passed
No more closer are they
Ever distant. Ever beyond. Forever out of reach?
When he strode
The men, the women, the children were aghast
Such strength! Such power! Out of him it flowed.
On the hearts of them, his net he cast
The adoration of all, the hope of all
In this intense introversion I am reminded
Merely the presence of my multitude is not enough
Many a valley, many a mind, still lay unchartered
It is not meet for me to pull myself a bluff
Yet, the fear of crossing boundaries, is my master
Fears? He has, doubtless
Enemies? He has, certainly
Valour he uses to strike fear to the less
His enemies look upon him jealously
For they know, he is their true ruler
If only the boundaries could be easily crossed
The seemingly high mountains easily scaled
But suddenly, to my eyes hers traversed
Will I be he who failed
Or rise to claim her stare, ever longer?
Nay, I go into the smelter
It is not for him to be he who failed
For my armour I shall temper
He opens his mouth, her stare to be hailed
This he is me - all I could ever be