releasing the light

by uzwi

If you untie an old knot, Bob Almanac showed me, the original colours of the rope shine out again from a nest of convolutions — pink, yellow, green, orange, much as they were in a quiet shop on a wet afternoon in winter. “You release the light that was caught up in the knot,” he said. “I think of it as releasing the light.” He smiled shyly. “I thought you’d like that.” Out running in the early morning to avoid the heat, I found three pairs of women’s shoes someone had thrown into a ditch at the top of Acres Lane where it bent right to join the Manchester Road. Delicate and open-toed, with very high heels that gave them a radical, racy profile, they were all size four: one pair in black suede, an evening shoe with a brown fur piece at the toe; one in transparent plastic bound at the edges with metallic blue leather; and a pair of light tan leather sandals with a criss-cross arrangement of straps for the upper part of the foot. Inside them in gold lettering was the brand name “Marquise”. It was a little worn and faded, but otherwise they seemed well-kept. They were still there when I went back the next day, but by the one after that they had gone. I couldn’t imagine who would have thrown them there; or, equally, who would pick them up from a dry ditch full of farmer’s rubbish at the edge of the moor. [From Climbers, 1989.]