Sole Sister: ELSPETH
(Multimedia Artist): Writer/ Musician/ Photographer/ Film maker, Interactive conceptual Installation artist.
Port of Spain, Trinidad

Toronto  SLippers

I love these slippers because they are a souvenir from an I-can't-remember-the-last-
time-I-laughed-like-this experience. It was the summer of 2009 and I was walking along the shores of Lake Ontario with a friend. It was drizzling lightly when we set out, so I had carried my raincoat. By the time we got to the lake, a few minutes away, the sky was dark grey, thunder was rolling and rain was pouring - not just downwards, but also horizontally, as winds from the lake were blowing the drops against us like missiles. 

Within minutes, despite my thigh-length army raincoat, I was drenched (the wetness crept up my jeans) and my track shoes were flooded. My friend was also drenched, but because he lived nearby it didn't matter. I, however, had to take two buses and the subway to get home and could not do that in the condition I was in.

Fortunately there was a thrift shop nearby. We stopped in so that I could buy some dry clothing. As this was more of a functional exercise, I didn't factor fashion into my purchase decisions. The easiest (didn't have to try them on) and cheapest pants for me to buy were some black, leathery-looking, elastic-waist, one-size-fits-all kind of track pants which I never wore again after that day. 

The only shoes that could have fit me were a pair of winter boots lined with sheepskin and a pair of brand new slippers with Canada emblazoned across them. I opted for the slippers. They weren't something I would have bought ordinarily, but there was something endearing about them. I knew I would wear them again once I got back to Trinidad.

Needless to say, my friend and I had some great laughs from the time we got drenched to the moment that I left his house, dressed in my thrift store apparel, looking like a bag lady.

The featured photo was taken (February 2010, Trinidad). I was spending time sitting with two friends on a yellow blanket in one friend's back garden. My friend lives near to the airport and at one point, a large plane which had just taken off, was flying low over us. It was so loud we couldn't hear ourselves talk. When the noise had subsided enough for us to converse again, one friend said: "There goes the Toronto flight."

In a flash, I felt a surge of excitement at the thought of being on the flight, heading to Toronto again. It's ironic that I was wearing my Canada slippers that day. After the plane flew over they become more symbolic - of stepping into that place even though I couldn't physically be there.

~ 4 Beautiful footprints: ~

at: Sunday, March 28, 2010 said...

Elspeth I think it was all a sign, all that rain and the beautiful end to a wet day with your Toronto slippers.

Elspeth says:
at: Monday, March 29, 2010 said...

Yes, a good sign.

Hajar says:
at: Monday, March 29, 2010 said...

It's amazing the amount of stories a pair of shoes [or slippers!] can tell. :)

Salma says:
at: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 said...

Thanks so much Elspeth for sharing with us.

Hajar~ it's amazing, you're right.

Copyright 2010 The Sole Sisters Collective Blog & its contributors. All photos belong to the contributors, unless otherwise stated.




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