Since the snow is only a couple of days old, we haven’t quite got into our snow routine yet, which is wet shoes at the door (front or back) and house shoes or slippers in the house. Last night, as we came in from shopping, I realized I hadn’t put any slippers nearby (and my socks were pretty wet too). I went upstairs barefoot to rummage in the closet and was surprised when I found these (top photo).
IB made these 12 or 13 years ago at Waldorf, where he went to elementary school. They are made of felt, which he made himself from scratch. While 7th grade students at other elementary schools were getting into pre-algebra, reading Explorations in Literature textbooks, and taking a whole battery of standardized tests, IB and his classmates were creating their own textbooks filled with their own beautiful drawings and their own stories, dancing eurythmy, and, of course, creating their own slippers created out of felt they actually made.
I remember IB trying to make felt out of the hair of our cats. He was pretty determined and actually quite successful. The cats, Duchamps and Moomintroll, loved the constant combing he needed to do to them in order to acquire enough material. Somehow, more than my toes are warm in these slippers.
On the way into the house from the garage last night, JB stomped the back path in his big boots with the pictured accoutrements strapped to their soles, his arms filled with groceries, and his camera strapped across his shoulder, his feet beating the winter rhythmic choreography. As I walked the freshly cleared path, somehow something more than the anticipated hot tea inside the house was making my insides warm.
Imagine our wonder when, after dinner, we explored IB’s new website which shared some of his photos from his trips to Sasebo, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Kyoto, and Osaka. With my belly warm from the two glasses of Riesling I had sipped during dinner, I was nearly overwhelmed. From making felt slippers to jumping in with both feet, and a lot of stomping in between. Indeed. It is all about the journey.
Walk on over to his website. You’ll get the connection: Japan by Foot.