I love feet. Along with the remarkable curve of the lumbar spine, the human foot is the marriage of architecture and evolution, raising us above the grass of the savannah, storing the kinetic gift of our vertical posture in the rebound of its arch.
There are detractors. William Peter Blatty, better known for The Exorcist, once penned a regrettably neglected novel about military misfits becalmed in a psychiatric facility; I gather the eventual film underwhelmed audiences, but the book left an impression on me. Manfred Cutshaw, the astronaut who aborted his mission at the last moment, complains:
“… frankly, I hate feet.”
“The way they smell?”
“The way they look. Hud, I cannot stand the sight of them!”
“Does that include your own?”
“Especially my own! How could a wise and beautiful God give us ugly things like feet! Give us padding things like feet! They’re a disgrace! An anomaly! A disaster area, Hud! If God exists, he is a fink!”
“Or a foot. Yes, a foot. An omniscient, omnipotent Foot! Do you think that is blasphemous?”
“Yes,” said Kane. “I do.”
But poor Kane, like Blatty himself so far as one can tell, is an aspirant to the impossible ideals of Catholic theology. Feet are pretty divine, all things considered. The Earth is a big blue God hurtling in the Galaxy, a God (or Goddess) which we neglect at our peril, and our feet hold us to it.
Cutshaw eventually drifts into the habit of referring to the Supreme Being as “Foot.” At the end, Blatty sends his astronaut hurtling to the stars once more, because, you know, leaving Earth = Heaven = closer to Catholic God.
To each his own. Me, I like Foot.