Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shoe, symbolically stripped

If you place your shoe on the territory of another, you take possession. So says both Christianity and Islam. This is why shoes are disallowed in a mosque - because the holy house does not belong to any individual or group of persons. Hermes who was the God of Boundaries was the rightful owner of all lands on which he set foot. But this lost baby's shoe has been placed on the fence and it was clearly placed there to be found. It is not a claim on the boundary or the territory. If it was an adult shoe we could regard it as something different and in all likelihood, no-one would bother to help out. Would we automatically pick up a lost adult shoe? The child is symbolically innocent and regarded as spontaneous and simple. So the child's shoe signifies something else - a starting point perhaps, a setting out on life's journey. The child is seen as having no forethought and therefore can bear no malice. This shoe is stripped of the symbolism applied to adults and the fence on this occasion is no more than a convenient place to display a lost object.