My left foot is a perfectly fine 72-year-old foot, with slender toes, a slender ankle and a proportionately shaped calf. It has a low arch, but an arch nonetheless, so it can enjoy any shoe style. It is the best foot that I put forward.
Its counterpart has a completely fallen arch. So much so that it actually has developed a callus where the arch would be, if there was one. The arch fell down in 1980, when I picked up my sleeping infant from a playpen and saw stars. I had slipped a disc and pinched a nerve. I was in pain for a year. It was further injured a few years later during an unrelated surgical procedure when the lymph system was accidentally cut.
Because of the cut lymph system, the same poor right foot also became swollen ever after. The foot is flat, the toes are fat, the ankle is thick, and even the calf is out of shape. It cannot stand on tip-toes, run or jog. My daughter has always lovingly called it “Mommy pig foot.”
For several years, high heels worked better than flat shoes, because they actually held the arch up into position. Even though the feet would have liked to take a long walk once in a while wearing athletic shoes, they were both happy enough. Over the years, as the right foot falls more and more, balance becomes an issue, and they now need low, block-style heels. The left foot resents this restriction, as it has always enjoyed styling in high heels. If I had two left feet, perhaps I’d be a better dancer.
These feet of mine are a constant reminder of the dichotomy of life; mine anyway. I think I’m a prominently left-brained person; fairly organized and methodical. I wish I were right-brained though; more creative and freer.
Choice or decision? Choice is no reason, just choose. Decision is with reason. Left brain is decision, right brain is choice. Putting my left best foot forward makes me think that I’m holding something back besides my right foot. I fear that I’m blocking my creativity with my stubborn left brain, and ugly right foot.
I practice a daily writing exercise because I don’t trust myself to let my creativity flow however it will, without a metronome in 4/4 time.
This is my first submission to any publication. Audrey Ferber’s class in the OLAD program has changed my life from a political junkie to a creative writer. I am endlessly surprised at what comes out on the page as I discover my own voice.
As a Philippine-born visual artist, I continue to explore concepts of identity and of home through the lens of the Filipino diaspora. My work draws from Western art history, Filipino and American cultures, post-colonial life, and pop culture.