Magic Slippers

I’ve been on something of a de-cluttering rampage over he last couple of weeks. I think it might be the vestigal packing + moving instinct that 12 years of annual moving has imprinted on my brain. It could be my inner minimalist getting me back.

There are a couple of tennents of the decluttering process that I have routinely observed. They take their inspiration from the three gatekeepers of mindful speech:

1. Is it kind?
2. Is it true?
3. Is it useful?

No to all three keeps the silence.

My de-cluttering gatekeepers are these:

1. Is it a source of great pleasure?
2. Is it true to my current life and values?
3. Is it useful?

No to all three means I chuck it.

But one item has consitantly squeaked by on a technicality. My old beaten up silver sidis. They had been such a complete and unqualified pleasure to own that their glow in my memory has blinded me to their current beauty, relevance, and usefulness.

I bought them on a bike messengers salary, well before I bought myself a decent decent bike. I spent three times as much on these shoes as I ever had on any other. Before I understood the ass kicking superpowers cowboy boots bestow, I understood the power of silver sidis. I wore them every day all day and the only other shoes I needed in my life were perhaps a pair of bunny slippers. My sidis took me everywhere and in return I kept them shined with silver shoe polish.

Eventually, the Velcro lost it’s bite and the treads were worn down to the very sole around the cleats. I regretfully replaced them with a newer model pair of black sidis.

When I uncovered them in a box, I saw in them something different than that static memory that had retained their super powers. I saw in them something familiar and present – my current pair of sidis. They are about 4 years old now, and in the exact same way, they are both worse and better for the wear.

When I have to replace these shoes, will I hold on to them too, for all of the miles and the climbs, and the perfect tailwinds they conjure? Will I see I them the super power that my silver sidis held?

I don’t think so. The spell has been broken. The superpowers are in the use and the time and the beauty of experience. Simply put, the ass kicking powers are in the act of kicking ass.

From → Bike Love, Postcards from the Edge


  1. RickM

    Maybe the de-cluttering is the onset of your nesting instinct? But do keep your sidis. For a long while my only shoes were WalMart hiking boots. I keep them for all the miles and the places and the service they gave me. I love your blog. You are a talented writer.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Rick!

    A good pair of boots just keeps getting better, don’t they? Even when you need to retire them!

    My shoe collection has diversified a lot since I stopped working as a bike messenger and I kind of miss the simplicity of my limited, Sidi-centric shoe situation. When you’ve got the finest in Italian fake leather what more should a reasonable gal really need?

  3. Amen to all that.

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