I've been spending a lot of time studying at the University of Chicago's library in the last few weeks. I've found my spot on the second floor in some of the reading cubicles. They're fantastic. It's like taking a spelling test when I was a kid, when we'd line up folders to our left, right, front and sometimes, we'd even make roofs for our little no-cheating zones. I love the cubicles because I have to make a conscious effort to get distracted.
Below each cubicle though, I see someone's feet. Sometimes the feet are in their shoes. And sometimes, the shoes are drying out below, unattached to said feet. I always analyze peoples' shoes. I think you can tell what country or region somebody is from by their shoes. European sneakers are more likely to be Pumas. Americans from the South seem to wear Rainbow flip-flops a lot, not that we're seeing a ton of flip-flops these days. Camp counselors and their Chacos, Keens or Tevas.
Shoes show where we're from geographically, but they remind me of the journey we all take to get somewhere. I always wonder, when I see those detached shoes, what steps a person has made to get to the little cubicle in Regenstein. Have you traveled across the country? To a different country? Are you an undergrad? A PhD student? Another seminarian sneaking into Regenstein? Do you like the arts? What about sports? Do you believe in the theology of the cross? Theology of salvation?
As the Dave Matthews Band song asks, "Where are you going now?"