Barefoot on leather

The greatest border imaginable between us and the world is in our shoes

There was a Greek
demigod named
Antheus who took his
strength from Mother

He was invincible as
long as he stayed in
contact with the

There was a Buddhist
monk, Śāntideva, who

" With the leather
soles of my shoes it is
as if I had covered the
whole earth with

There is a vast world
with shoes that is
different from a small
world barefoot:

it’s more detached,
insensitive to
roughness, inattentive.

There are closed feet in
their comfortable
containers that convey a
doubt to us:

once a barrier, can
shoes be one with the

There is religion and
technology, nature and
artifice: everything
passes through the
threshold of our feet.

The shoe is a precious
boundary between the
two most unknown

The Earth and us.

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Ryozo Kotoge thought he was becoming invincible 75 years ago when his government decided he would die as a kamikaze pilot. He was part of the Shinpū tokkōtai, the special unit of the Japanese aviation that asked its pilots to crash their entire plane into the enemy. On August 10, 1945 he received the order to prepare. “I was summoned at 4 in the morning. I thought of my mother and cried a little" he tells the Süddeutsche Zeitung today. Then he waited, he waited for the van that was supposed to take him to the airport, but never arrived. In fact, precisely in those hours the Japanese government understood that it was going towards a certain defeat: and the fire in Nagasaki had not yet died out. Testifying now, Kotoge says “They decided not to let us die for nothing,” and that at age 93 he feels guilty for still being alive.

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When Imelda Marcos, first lady of the Philippines, fled her country after the 1986 revolution, newspapers reported that she had more than three thousand pairs of shoes with her. In a starving nation, the discovery caused a sensation. Because the charm of the shoe never deviates from its intrinsic vulgarity. So much so that other evidence of the Marcos family’s obscene wealth - the villas, the exotic animals, the jewelry, the clothes - did not trigger the same indignation. So when Carrie Bradshaw, the protagonist of "Sex and the city", goes to buy shoes as a therapeutic activity to face the pressures of the metropolis, the situation is comical because there is an inconsistency between the importance that is attributed to these objects and that which in the series is defined as the "boringly intrusive banality" of shoes. 0 0
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