Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Boots and the Land

I was reviewing old photos and found this chance shot. I'd still call it an "end of roll" photo, when I'd use the remaining few frames on a 35mm roll, to hasten it to the lab. Often, these shots would be be the best on the roll. Technically this is a boot, but the symbolism of boot is no different from shoe. I don't agree. We use boots very specifically to denote certain things. It's a seven league boot in European fairy tales, not shoes. We boot up a computer - that's more of a kick isn't it? But that derives from getting going under your own steam by "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps." It's Puss in Boots of course and Puss in Shoes doesn't quite fit the bill. Boots are grand compared to shoes. They are for specific activities - walking, working, climbing, motorcycling or even hopping around on the moon. Where heavy duty is concerned, boots are just the job. When we put them on, we transform into the person for the task.Only then do we possess whatever ground is appropriate. I recall all these fierce battles of Kinder Scout in the UK for the rights of ramblers to walk on the land. The mass trespass in 1932 and the disgraceful reaction by authorities made the event indelible for those who feel they have the right to roam their land. If I know my ramblers, they would have been wearing stout footwear that memorable day - and after the fights and arrests, they may have have been pleased to take their boots off.