Feet poetry

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 2:33 PM


I sit on the floor of my new room. This particular space has been dedicated to the color pink: pink wall, pink bed, pink desk, pink memorabilia. The walls are posted with magazine ads for Bratz, Barbee, and the Power Puff Girls. I sit on the floor in my new room, my hands encircle my knees, and I finally let myself cry.

"What the hell am I doing?" I repeat, some strangely therapeutic chant. So I give myself space to be sad.

I do some yoga, struggling to have proper breathing through my stuffy nose. I distract my mind by concentrating on my body. Downward dog. Breathe. Cat pose. Breathe. Tree pose. Balance. Breathe.

Somewhat composed, I go to explore my city. Maria* walks me to the street and points the way to the Cathedral and old part of town. I stray from her hand-drawn map and let myself get a little lost. "Estoy encantada con esa ciudad," I imagine saying in response to her future questioning about my walk.

I wander into the Cathedral. The stage lights that illuminate the 3-story gilded wooden display - to make it shine - are perhaps the most interesting of all. The lights shift, I'm guessing to illuminate the Christ figure and only him. But they miss their target and succeed only in lighting up his left shoulder and the cherubs who attend him.

Emerging from the Cathedral, my eyes adjust to the light. I notice the little dog whose yaps had echoed inside the building. He doesn't look particularly happy, tied to the iron gate.

I find a park with strange sculptures and a duck pond. A hippie man with bandanna and a giant bubble maker made from two sticks and rope enchants some children.** I notice that Spain has a lot of lovers and lonely old men who all have the same hobby: bench sitting. Both make me sad.

Wandering back to my flat, I pass by a table of two British 20-something gentlemen that I have seen before. Their beautifully-accented English is a relief. I enter my flat and play out the scene if I were to go back. It seems the worst they could say would be nothing at all. So I turn around, approach their table, and stumble through something like "I heard you speaking English and it sounded really nice and it's my first day here and I'm completely overwhelmed."***

They laugh a bit awkwardly and push out a chair. "Have a sit. Join us then. You want a drink?"

And so I do. We exchange stories; the wine and the easy conversation calm me down.

"It's a brave thing you're doing," Tom says. I just shrug my shoulders.

But secretly, his comment frees me. Not entirely - but a bit of the strain and worry of my capability to do this disappears with his affirmation. It is a brave thing. And merely the fact that I had a thought - months ago - that I could do this and that I wanted to do this means that I very well can.

Either because of the affirmation, their humor, or the need for friends, I decide to shove off feelings of jet-lag and exhaustion and agree to go out with them. Brits party hard. And that's all I have to say about that.****

And now I sit on a bench in a little nook on my new campus and watch a woman lift up her dog to drink out of the water fountain. It rivals the sight I had yesterday of a woman holding up her child to pee on a tree in a public square.

I check the time. It's almost the hour I am to return home to try and get the internet configured on my laptop.

Just a few more moments, though.

I look to my left and see very European-looking flats, knowing that just behind them are grassy hills - small mountains - waiting to be explored. Oviedo is comfortably nestled in these mountains' embrace. I like to think about them hugging the city and therefore hugging me. It's a solid hold. It makes me feel secure.

Several hours of skype-contact later, I have cried, laughed, and discovered new wisdom***** from my very wise friends.

The first is this: "After you've confronted the bad of reality, you are able to take the real happiness."

The second is this (a new answer to the question, "Why are you here?"): To write poetry on people's feet.

Both bits stand alone, I think, and require no further explanation. Or perhaps that is my tiredness talking. Either way, they will have to do for now.

And with that, I breathe. I look at the wonderful Memoryfoam pillow that will soon cushion my head****** in my bed in my room in my home. It's time for sleep.

*Host mother
**Weaver Street hula-hoopers, eat your hearts out.
***Later they inform me that I had been a bit manic when introducing myself.
****That was all day one. Moving on to day two.
*****I cannot mention all the wisdom, kind words, and love I recieved. But thanks and shout out to those people who held my hand today.
******Some people in this world understand the importance of a good pillow. Some don't. I very much appreciate that this family does.

Comments (3)

Hey there cutie!!!!
I love your blog. makes me feel like im in spain... i also experienced the mom holding her child to pee on a tree in public spaces.
i however unfortunately did not meet brits to take me out ;)
what you are doing now is VERY BRAVE and im so proud of you and i know totally how you feel about sitting there thinking "what the hell am i doing!?!?" i had that in the airport.
it gets better though.
i love you. i miss you. skype soon???

So nice to hear from you via email, and to catch up on your adventures through your blog. The first month is very hard, but just as you said, eventually where ever you are begins to feel like "home." I think it will be interesting for you to explore that concept...it seems like you are already embracing the adventure!

Travel safe and enjoy the journey.


I have been on a quest for the perfect pillow for a year now. Let me know if you find it. Thinking and praying for you. Love,
Mrs. Hampton

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