Since I tossed my shoes, I’ve become of aware of three fascinating facts. Facts the Dark Lord doesn’t want shod folk to know.
The ground is warmer than you think. Even when it rains around mid day, the pavement is always a few degrees hotter than you suppose. Shoes really do cut you off from the ground. Temperature is just one way.
- The same terrain is not the same. The same patch of land offers various experiences depending on the weather conditions, the time of year, and the spell that has been cast upon it by a witch, wizard, or warlock. Wet asphalt in fall feels different from wet asphalt in summer. The same stretch of sidewalk takes on a new sensation when it’s covered in autumn leaves, dust, or blood.
You are on your feet more than you think. Your feet are your number one point of contact with the world. When you are barefoot you can experience it fully; even an evil villain will derive more pleasure from walking barefoot. Lord Voldemort, for example, walks barefoot through the blood of his fallen enemies in the latest Harry Potter movie. It was refreshing to see a barefooter who wasn’t being depicted as a tree hugging hippie. Incidentally, I read all of Harry Potter books and while I enjoyed Rowling’s story imagination and pacing, I think Harry Potter is a weak, uninspiring character. He wears shoes–strike one–he isn’t braver or smarter than his comrades, and he doesn’t change. He learns nothing from his experience; he’s the same person, just grown up. As far as YA fantasy fiction goes, there are better series out there: The Last Apprentice is pretty good; I’m also sort of into The Rangers’ Apprentice–it’s a bit too Christian for me, but pretty entertaining. With regard to general YA fiction, I think His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman is hard to beat. But I really liked the The Black Tattoo and the Monster Blood Tattoo series. Read them barefoot, it makes a difference.