August 25, 2006

Feet Photo for Friday

feet

I remember taking this photo, although I couldn't tell you why. My extended family were all gathered on an island, taking a swim, and I yelled, "Who wants to be in a foot photo?" Within seconds, the rock I was standing on was crowded with family members jostling each other to get a foot into the picture. If I had said, "Who wants to be in a nice smiling photo?" no one would have come. The only way you can ever get people in my family to pose for a photo is to suggest something weird.

I can remember when I lying in bed at night when I was a little kid, and hearing my mother come up the stairs, and realizing that I could recognize that it was her, just from the sound of her footsteps. In the same way, it is easy for me to recognize each foot in this photo. What might look like random feet to anyone else represent ten family members to me. I could even tell you the stories behind each foot -- why that one foot is bandaged or why that other foot is particularly dirty -- although I am not sure I could explain why my mother always wears red nail polish in the summer. I've always mocked her for it, even when I was a little kid.

From the way the feet are positioned, I can even tell you how people are standing -- my daughter leaning on her brother, cousins balanced with their arms around each other, my niece crowding next to her grandmother. I recognize the towels on the rock, and I can tell you which cousins were relaxing there, letting their bodies soak in sunlight after a swim in the cold river while they chatted. And of course, I can also tell the story behind the feet that aren't in the photo: family members who were busy leaping off the cliff into the water, or taking a nap, or lounging on boat with a fishing pole.

That bit of grey rock beneath the feet is as familiar as the feet themselves. Many times over many summers, I have pulled myself from the icy cold river to lie on that rock, my body pressed against the warmth, my face leaning against the rock to warm myself, to feel all that wonderful sunlight the rock had absorbed all day long.

(Okay, I know that Mona and Sergei said that the theme for today was HAND but I didn't have a photo of a hand so I went with feet instead. Hey, when you pick a random body part for the theme, I don't think you can be picky about variations on that theme.)

16 comments:

Shelly said...

I love it!

YourFireAnt said...

Feet ARE a variation of hands. And in case you thought you were getting off easy making the web site crash just as I wrote my last comment, well....

I said I could tell a lot about those feet, even not knowing whose they were. E.g., who made the most money, who eats figs, who doesn't, who believes in teeth fairies, who does her own laundry without complaining, who gets the best grades, who is dating someone right now, who makes the best raspberry pie, and who you love best.

Hah!

jackie said...

I love it too! I can recognize everyone in my family by their stride or footfall too-- my dad and sister both semi-stomp with heavy-heel-action, while I end up on the balls of my feet much more.

And i love the painted toenails-- mine are always done, year-round!

Heather said...

But what about the stick?

jo(e) said...

The stick was added to the photo by one of my sons. No idea why.

Linda (FM) said...

I love the weird shots you get of your family, but even more I love how you capture in your memory the stories around the pictures. What a gift.

Sara said...

This shot reminds me of photos I always take at mountain summits: feet with the benchmark. Proof! We made it to the top.

I really like how different everyone's feet look. I wouldn't peg you as a toe painter... is that you next to your mother?

ppb said...

Even their feet are pretty.

Shelly said...

So which foot is yours?

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I like the feet! And the stories you tell about them. :-D

Marni said...

I love that the smallest foot in the picture is snuggled up to the one next to it... that little person loves and trusts the one they are next to.

jo(e) said...

Sara: Yep, that's me next to my mother.

And no, I don't think I've ever worn polish on my toenails or my fingernails.

Beth said...

Glad you went random, with feet instead of hands. Wonderful photo, beautiful story behind that ring of feet.

Chip said...

great shot. And I swear one of those feet looks exactly like my son's foot...

liz said...

I love that there is a definite likeness among the feet. That big toe is repeated often.

John said...

Feet! the other window to the soul. love em.