The past couple months I have been managing "Plantar Fasciitis" - a term commonly known to most runners when the tendons along the bottom of your feet tighten up because of inflammation where the tendons connect to the heel. This is an incredibly simplified explanation. Managing it involves icing your foot, massage, rolling your foot out on a tennis ball or frozen water bottle, as well as a series of additional stretches and exercises.
However, for the most part, I feel the "PF" is worst during the work day. I have arch supports I wear in both my pairs of boots. Running for the most part only seems to loosen my feet up where during the work day I notice the most sensitivity. On the weekends, when I have my "relaxed task-list" days, I practice walking slow and gingerly on my feet. I take my time. Make sure to avoid every little jarring or impact and by the end of the day my feet don't feel sharp and swollen.
It has been leading me to think about my working performance and how in a certain way I may drive my heels into the ground as I walk for effect, as if a strong heel strike can make things happen in the world.
Back in the day, my dad had a rule of work fashion that I have maintained in my years as Buffalo Horticulture. "On Wearing Shorts At Work: (1) It must be a minimum of 70 degrees (2) Shorts must have four pockets (3) a button and zipper (4) no elastic waistband (5) and must have a hem at the bottom - no cutoffs. When on the job, one is not to look like they are going to the beach."
Oftentimes during the day, especially when working on monotonous tasks where one performs the same movements over and over for an extended time, I drift away into consideration. Lately I have been asking myself about dress at work as I try to strike a balance between Buffalo Horticulture's identity and the individuals who compose it. While on the one hand, I like to think that my choice of work attire is on the radical edge of conventional construction clothing, none the less, for the most part I wear a plain white T-shirt, Levis jeans, and Red Wing work boots - seemingly a very plain and conservative assembly.
My questioning is: "How far can one stray from such a model while still identifying themselves as 'one who builds things in the world." Of course, certainly one can wear just about anything and still make constructions. But. Can they really? How much of building and learning takes place in a certain habitual state in the world where one is always attending to certain details - and without taking on such an identity, is that intensity of attunement possible?
On Attunement: I was coming up Grant Street this morning on my way back from Neimeic Builder's Supply. There is a newly fenced off construction site at Grant and Potomac which I noticed on my way up. As I came towards the intersection I noticed a dump truck pulling an excavator on a trailer swing out into the street on a trajectory to back into the construction site. I sat patiently watching a very well executed back in of the triple axle trailer of which each axle needs to be slowly crept over the curb. It all happened very quickly - one pull out into traffic, a cut of the wheel, slowly creeping each axle over the curb, getting out of the way to wave traffic by, to then pull up and make the final approach to unload their machine. There was some sub-grade constructions that had already been made that the driver was maneuvering around and as I passed by I looked up into the cab to see the driver leaning over into his mirror trying to expand his field of vision.
I thought about Caitlin. She wants to drive the trucks. And I wondered, "Does she want to drive enough to the point where she notices other trucks and how they are operated?" And what does it say, that as I sit here in traffic, backed up by this truck that I am watching every move made. I suspect all those around me had their attentions captured by everything but the drivers posture and how the truck worked to get each tire over the curb.
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture