On the Surprises of Feet

Today, in the middle of Paschimottanasana (the seated forward bend), I took a good hard look at my feet for the first time in a long while. On each foot, a few centimeters below the juncture of the second and third toes, was a dark spot left by the constant chafing of the flip-flops I wear almost exclusively these days.

If human beings bear their histories on their bodies, women bear theirs most ostensibly on their feet.

To demonstrate: When I was a grade-schooler and high-schooler, I had calluses right below my outer ankle bones from the constant friction caused by Mary Janes. Later on in college and when I started working, I started forming calluses on the outer edges of my pinky toes from the pressure exerted by high-heeled boots and pumps. It took four years of wearing loafers and sneakers as a university teacher and postgraduate student to efface those earlier scars. These days, I sport the aforementioned dark spots at the juncture of my second and third toes.

Funny what you notice when you’ve got nothing else to do but breathe.


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