Monday, December 05, 2005

Cowboy boots

I was born in Alberta and tacky souvenir shops filled with cowboy-and-indian stuff take me back to being about six years old. I think that stuff is wonderful and then I wonder what I am thinking! Maybe some of that six year old longing and excitement is pulsing through my veins this week as my younger son prepares to go onstage as Curly in the musical Oklahoma! (the exclamation point is part of the title. Really.).

My parents were both raised in Alberta and cowboy outfits were part of our family history when I was little. When my oldest son was born, my brother returned from a job in Alberta with tiny, perfect cowboy boots for him. Now I have caught my first glimpses of my younger son wearing a cowboy hat and boots. He is very tall and slim and appropriately slouchy. He looks like a cowboy. He looks like my Dad.

Cowboy boots make subtle adjustments in the way one stands and moves. If physiology is the foundation of state, then cowboy boots make a range of states possible that would not be possible without them. And they make another range of states impossible. The same could be said of flip flops, of course. Yet there is something intriguing about the states created by cowboy boots. Something that is at once relaxed and ready, restrained and free. Something that implies those things that beautiful horses and wide open spaces have always represented.

Oh yes. And there's also something just plain fun about cowboy boots. Boys dance in them - not the way boy pop stars dance. Real boys full of boy energy and boy awkwardness. They dance in cowboy boots. Sometimes to music.

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