Raise your hand if after reading the title of this post you’re:
a) agreeing with me,
b) laughing, or
c) all of the above.
Ballerinas are known for having beautiful legs, but our feet, well, they generally leave something to be desired…
Unsightly? Deformed? Disfigured? Yes, yes and yes!
Well if you put all your body weight on your toes what do you think’s gonna happen?
We shop the aisles of the drugstore that generally are only frequented by the geriatric. I just spent $40.00 at Wallgreens buying corn-pads, bandaids, Vaseline, Second Skin (this gel-like stuff that’s used for skin burns) and masking tape – all items necessary to get me through the first weekend of the All Tharp Rep we’re finishing up this coming weekend.
I’m a “waterbaby” in Twyla Tharp’s Waterbaby Bagatelles, and the combination of boureéing my toes into oblivion during the finale and wearing the flesh-dyed pointe shoes (who’s boxes are coincidentally hardened by the dye) created the perfect atmosphere for disaster: the box of my pointe shoe literally sliced the big ‘ol callous I’d built up on my pinky toe leaving a thick flap of flesh and an enormous gaping wound.
I didn’t just have a blister on my pinky toe… my pinky toe was a giant blister. If only I had a picture… it would be a nice post-halloween scare for you all.
It’s therefore not a surprise that I, Jessika Anspach, am notorious at PNB for having the ugliest feet in the company (and for wearing my pointe shoes the longest, but that’s for another post). Now that’s saying a lot!
So are all my shoes closed-toed? Ha! I’m sure there are people who wish they were… Nope. I unabashedly wear my flip-flops or gladiator sandals in summer. I mean hopefully people are looking at my face and not my feet. And for the most I try not to care what other people think. For the most part…
But there are some days when I wish I had some new feet. And there are some days when I know I need new feet… but not in the way you’re thinking. You see there’s someone else who’s a lot like me:
“In the first place she was a cripple with feet so crooked that they often caused her to limp and stumble as she went about her work. She had also the very unsightly blemish of a crooked mouth which greatly disfigured both expression and speech and was sadly conscious that these ugly blemishes must be a cause of astonishment and offense to many who knew she was in the service of the great Shepherd.”
Her name is Much-Afraid. She is me. I am her. Her story is told in Hinds Feet on High Places, a story that I’ll be working my way through this year as we both (Much-Afraid and I) make our journey toward the High Places, having our crooked mouths corrected and our crippled unsightly feet transformed to hinds feet.
You’ll be hearing much more about Much-Afraid and me. And you’ll be reading many more snippets of this book. Why? Because, well, it pierces my heart… it cuts right through the thick of it. It says what I cannot. And hopefully it speaks to you too.
And so the journey begins…
“The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:19