Feet & Toes take two, or ‘I found monkey-mind!’


Going to give this another shot. I just skimmed the surface, and didn’t let go at all, when it comes to feet. So weird, such a very um… what could you say like, provincial sort of topic? But I have much to say.

So I take up my pen! To write again, only no pen in sight. I take up my keyboard! That doesn’t sound at all romantical though, and you wouldn’t take up your keyboard unless you were going to pound someone on the head with it.

Food for thought.

Feet and toes…

wow  those words are almost silly. They encompass silliness. But what a rare and noble instrument (slow down, slow down) there is no hurry here, just the leisurely continuance of words, words, words.

I do have something to say.

About feet. Foots. Feeted. A foot fete. Feet. Feelin me?

i love the many  ways a foot can feel. We just brushed past the way a foot can feel (this browser just did weird things. And there’s my monkey mind again. This is what they’re talking about, Quoin Monkey and Natalie Goldberg- where the mind seems to want to chitter and hum over every distraction, never settling in) 

But I have to say it’s fascinating. It’s fascinating, the thrum of tendon, muscle, sinew skin. The sensations. The gooshy sort of quib! vrrr… if you squeeze it too hard. People do squeeze it too hard, sometimes. In massage. There’s a point of pressure when you’re pressing the muscles, but you don’t go too far, there… just to the point where it’s almost too much, and the foot wiggles, and the touch should ease then. Strokes. The thumb just press up and into, but not violate the muscle, just sort of excite and then release… yes. There’s a pressure point right there, up at the top of the arch, directly under the strip where the ball of the foot is located. There’s sort of a windows peak where the round part under the big toes is, and where the pad under the rest of the toes are. 

Stretch and bend the foot as you apply pressure there, then zing the fingers over the side, and gently knead the tender muscle underneath. There is another feeling if you stroke the sides of the toes. I will post a chart that shows how the areas of the foot are supposed to affect the body. There’s a place in each part for each anatomical headliner.

Check it. I’m not so sure, but some of them are right. There is a sexual context too, which changes… feet can become aroused- not in the same way as a sexual organ, but they grow in sensitivity to touch, and certain muscles can be sort of ‘turned on’, so a foot’s sensitivity to massage can alter. It can be a stroking, and soaring experience.

Let’s talk about feet in the context of care. Jesus… yes, did you know he was going to come up? Well it was just this Thursday. Maundy Thursday- the last supper. They are honoring Jesus, so instead of taking the attention he turns and cares for them. This is such a beautiful sentiment, whatever your beliefs- that the central figure of religion is not above giving of himself. Giving in service to other, and he goes to that both  humble and wonderful instrument of the body, the foot. Because it is kind of a clunky thing, isn’t it? Isn’t the foot the servant of the body, taking the weight of everything upon it, remaining above all, functional. Utilitarian. Your foot is a work-horse, but then-

it is capable of such transcendant feeling and sensitivity. The same dogs that pounded through the day of work, taking on the labor of everything can also stretch and curl,and respond to the lightest, softest touch. Can seem to glow with the magic of erotic responsiveness. Can cuddle, curl, be playful and warm and comforted in a good lap.


If I could go more personal. I did stop. Against the rules, but paused for a moment and listened. My foot had fallen asleep in the other one. Weird that I didn’t think to even wiggle my toes when writing this way before. I must say, when my honey was sick the night before, it was this service I wanted to give. To take his foot gently into my hands, and touch.. tickle, warm and stroke. To give him some comfort of contact without his fear of infecting me. To show, through gentle service, action of love.

It was him, another… not a good person in my history who gave this self same service unto me once. After labor. A day and a half had passed. I could not sleep, I kept vigil, I was odd. Couldn’t make my body rest. It’s a civil war, pregancy- inside the body. Your organs have literallly rearranged themselves to accommodate, your body has sent hormones and growth ideas and new-human magic coursing through your veins, and you are a survivor of all these processes. Like the lab-rat *after* the awful experiment. And then there is the emotional. The milk. The mess. I’m not surprised some men, and many women are afraid of the body and the pregnancy crap. It’s complicated your awareness, your *self* purchases inside all that bloody chaos, and there has to be a sort of detachment, or divorce from the body in order to accept all the things happening to it.

So the reintroduction period is something else. My awareness took precedent, I felt such fear for my daughter after her birth, it was instinctual. I could not sleep. 

It was when I’d had a shower (first) and tried to lay down on a hospital bed with my own dark blue sweatshirt (finally) and legging pants on that he came. Her father. Him. 

He wasn’t all bad, which is the hard part to realize sometimes. Just as Anne Sebold writes in the Lovely Bones, ‘What I couldn’t understand, couldn’t wrap my mind around was that he tried to stop, he killed pets to try to keep from harming children…’ so it is for me now, to remember when he was not killing me, he was a friend, almost. Sympathetic, almost. We connected.. almost.

And in that moment, then, in the room, without talking cus his words would have lighted up all the fears coursing through me, he took my feet (I lay on my front, angled) and gently, very gently massaged them, until something in my head stopped fighting, for a moment, and I slept. A beautiful sleep of maybe an hour and a half, and the only one I had the first four days after my daughter’s birth.

So that’s foot. Feet. Don’t read anymore, just wiggle. Wiggle your toes, and go do your day.


7 thoughts on “Feet & Toes take two, or ‘I found monkey-mind!’

  1. Is that the Cadbury bunny with the chicken? lol!

    And you have a scene (or what looks like a scene) from Harvey on your header!! That’s one of my all-time favorite movies. :)

  2. Robin- *laughs* I donno… I just found that when I was searching for an easter type header pic. Somehow, it was like… okay… that kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

    Yes! Harvey! very good call.

    mad- Hear, hear!

  3. You know, I forgot about Jesus and feet. And that reminds me of the Hindu and Muslim idea that the bottom of the foot is unholy. Is that how it goes?

    Feet have this duality to them. They can be smelly and they touch the ground, yet when someone cradles your feet and gently rubs them, what an intimate act. BECAUSE they are smelly and touch the ground. Or get warts on them. And Athlete’s Foot. (Not that I would give foot rubs to feet with any of those problems, although I’ve always marveled at how massage therapists never wear gloves and yet probably touch a lot of strange foot things.)

    And I got a little weak thinking about how fragile the foot is with all those bones, and the idea of squeezing too hard. Yikes.

    Ah, I love the wild mind. So amazing to follow.

    Hey, great diddy, mad! Wouldn’t want to massage those feet, though. 8)

  4. Your chart reminded me, with a shudder of horror, of how very much I dreaded having those points “needled” by my acupuncturists. No matter how gentle they were, I just about went through the roof every time. This experience, repated over decades, gave me quite a horror of having my feet touched at all … I had no idea until recently how lovely that can feel, with the warm hands of someone making loving contact.

    The complexity of emotion in the anecdote about your ex is just stunning.

  5. Stellar. I agree with David, great anecdote.

    Feet are amazing things. Point A to Point B, they are abused and maligned, but never complain. There is an amazing duality.

    I love getting foot massages (although the Chinese foot massage is actually a body massage, but that’s another story). I’m amazed at the pleasure and pain a very small pair of hands can cause.

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