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14.3.02

Today was the first barefoot day of the year. It was a bit too cold for it, but I felt like it suited the spirit of the weather.

When I think about why I go barefoot, the thing that always comes to mind first is the tactileness of it. When I'm barefoot, I feel the ground with every step, instead of just feeling the inside of my sock. It adds a level of sensory experience to something as mundane as walking up the hill. I can appreciate the difference between the smooth slate steps and the grass pulling my feet in and the rough pavement where I have to watch out for scattered bits of gravel.

It's similar to the way I feel annoyed when I see people walking around with headphones on. I did that once, going up to 'Gate House to see if Marty was around late on my last day of sophomore year, with my walkman on so that I could listen to Dave's radio show. And even though it was one in the morning, every time I saw any people I would have this impulse to rip the headphones off while I passed them, so that they wouldn't see what I was doing. I feel like having headphones on means that you aren't really paying attention to what's going on, that you have made a conscious choice not to care -- the path is just something keeping you from where you're going, and you need to insulate yourself from it.

But that's kind of a hypocritical attitude for me to take. I don't wear headphones, but when I walk around I can get just as absorbed -- deliberately or not -- in whatever song is stuck in my head. Instead of listening to snatches of conversations, and the wind ruffling the trees, and my own feet on the stones, my ears are full of "yum, yum, Bumblebee, Bumblebee Tuna, I love Bumblebee, Bumblebee Tuna..." And I'm always thinking about the next thing I'm going to do -- the chart I'm going to make for The Maroon-News, the amount of time I have to eat before the lecture, the book I have to read tonight because I can't renew ILL materials.

Much as I try, I can't quite experience.

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