When I’m Back On My Feet Again

Recently I decided to play my Greatest Hits album by Michael Bolton, and in light of the way I have been hobbling about the last week or so, I found that one of the more interesting and relevant songs for me personally (for anyone who has seen me at church or out about town tootling around on my crutches over the past few days) from that album is the song “When I’m Back On My Feet Again.” As might well be imagined, the song itself explores the symbolic meanings of being on one’s feet, although the lyrics are left a bit vague as to what that means. It seems likely that the singer is referring to the experience of overcoming heartbreak as learning to be strong. Yet while Bolton focuses his attention on the secondary meanings of the titular phrase of his song, we need to remember that secondary meanings draw what power they have from the primary meaning. It can be a very literal and very painful and very difficult matter to be on one’s feet.

As is often the case in choosing to write about such a topic, I speak from experience. When I went to visit some friends and distant family last week, I did so with a cane, hobbling may way about because some uric acid crystals had found their way to my left big toe, leaving me able to drive but not able to walk very well. That night, some other ones found their way to my left heel, where some remain up to this point, making it impossible for me to put much weight on my foot and requiring some rather awkward looking moving around. To be sure, it is a conversation starter, as people ask obvious questions and give their various gout remedies and ask what you did to yourself, all of which springs naturally from providing others an obvious entrance to conversation when one is showing that one cannot run away as quickly as one might do normally.

One of the more interesting aspects of today’s sermon was a reflection on the results of the Great Depression in leading some people to be very tight when it came to money. I do not necessarily think that being reluctant to part with one’s money implies in any way that one is being selfish at all. The experience of scarcity and insecurity and privation to the extent of the Great Depression is often something that leaves a mark on someone, and one can see that others are not being selfish if they are generous in other ways, such as with their time or with their food or something else of that nature. It is something worth taking into consideration, at least.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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4 Responses to When I’m Back On My Feet Again

  1. Barbara Lundberg says:

    Sorry to hear about your affliction 🙏🏻Liked your comment about the difficulty of escaping unwelcome conversations on cruthes

  2. Catharine Martin says:

    I am so sorry to hear that your gout is troubling you in such a distressing way once again. It is very interesting that you tie it into the lessons of the Great Depression so well. Depression is also a state of mind as well as one of deprivation. Wounding the heel also has great spiritual significance, however one may take it. We often must suffer in silence and patiently endure the unending and often unsolicited “advice” of others without being able to make our getaway. Perhaps that is part of the “taking it patiently” that we must learn; bearing with one another. That can be one of the most difficult road to hobble on.

    I learned, as a child of parents whose formative years were spent in the Great Depression, just how profoundly the experience affected every aspect of their lives. They didn’t take anything for granted, but they didn’t know how to have fun. Every moment had to have tangible purpose of some kind. They never knew the experience of being children without cares or worries bearing down on them. My mother was born with rickets. Her older brother wore leg braces from the disease until he was ten years old. The family was malnourished and poor beyond poor. They were forced to move from Canada to the States because things were so bleak. My mother was responsible for the care of her three brothers while her father and mother looked for work of any kind. My father went to work at age eight to help support his family. His father had been wounded in WWI, and I learned after he died that my father suffered unspeakable abuse, due to grandpa’s mental and emotional battle scars–and because he wasn’t able to take care of his family. His little boy was doing a man’s job, and he brutally lashed out. We have no idea of what this kind of life is like or what it does to a person. We only feel the effects, and only later try to put the pieces together. And to think that we haven’t seen anything yet because the sins of this nation. This generation doesn’t have the moral standards or backbone to survive intact as a nation. We’re embroiled in civil war now, whether we choose to believe it or not, and things haven’t even begun to get started.

    Your blog speaks of heartbreak, and the sighing and crying for one’s physical homeland can be the most profound of all–even with the promise of the perfect world to come. Knowing what will have to happen in order to arrive there can break one’s heart, but we can’t look at the short term. I guess that is is how those of the Great Depression survived; they learned the lessons and tried to instill them into the next generation. “When they are mature, they will not depart from it.” I guess, in one form or another, we all limp and hobble as we travel the path to our future. May it be the straight and narrow one.

    • I’m glad you saw the connections between the various threads I was writing about. My heel is doing well enough that I have moved from crutches to a cane at the moment, but I did think of our family background as well when I thought about the effects of the depression and on the hobbling along the road of life that we all must endure in some fashion if we are to reach the Kingdom of God.

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