A Whole New Perspective »
Bob Luckin, the mind behind our popular “Murphy’s Dogma” column, shares a tale of compassion, understanding and Oneness through a symbolic journey. Enjoy this online exclusive!
Roy and Randy had been a pair of socks since birth. No one really understood or could explain how socks are paired. The rule was once a pair, always a pair.
Most pairs got along fairly well and lived good lives covering feet of all different sizes. There were old feet, young feet, dancers’ feet, athletes’ feet, just to name a few. Some feet stood for hours while others rarely touched the ground.
No two pairs of socks lived lives that were the same. This wouldn’t be much of a story if Roy and Randy had stayed together warming cold feet, giving comfort to athletes and doing what socks do.
Aside from uncut toenails and some smelly feet, the only thing socks are afraid of is a giant pair of animals, usually living side by side in the kitchen or garage of many homes. The Water Thrasher could easily drown an unprepared pair of socks. Most socks had learned how to hold their breath for long periods, long before they were tossed into the mouths of these animals. If the Water Thrasher wasn’t hungry and didn’t eat them, the wet socks were tossed into the mouth of the Dragon Breather.
Roy and Randy were created white, and the Sock Tender wanted to keep it that way. One spring morning, the Sock Tender tossed them into the mouths of Thrasher and Dragon Breather for the last time. No one knows who ate Randy, but Roy was the only sock found.
He was a clean, lonely, somewhat worn, single left white sock. He had always been a left sock. Some socks were right socks. Usually by the time they are old enough to be worn, socks know if they are a left or a right sock.
For socks, it really isn’t a lifestyle choice. There are a few socks that feel they are left and right. In the sock community, as long as you cover feet, it doesn’t really matter. The saying among socks was, “Socks is socks.”
When socks are not in service, most can be found lounging in a drawer waiting for a call to service. White socks in one drawer, black in another, brown, yellow and multi-colored socks also carefully separated from each other. Why they must be separated is not all that clear. When asked, Sock Tenders just said, “It’s better that way.”
Because Roy was a single sock without a partner, he would never be returned to the drawer for pairs. Instead, he was tossed into the hopper — an orphanage for single socks.
At first, he found himself very frightened. There were red socks, purple socks and socks of many colors. Roy saw a white sock and a black sock dancing the “sock hop,” a dance all single socks in the hopper loved.
Only pairs of socks can walk. Single socks must learn to hop. The socks he had lived with in the drawer never danced and never talked to socks different from themselves. Roy, being very frightened, clung to one side of the hopper and shook. A very old and worn sock with glasses, smoking a pipe, befriended Roy. “Hi, I am a sock-ologist. I am here because I lost my partner, as did you. My job is to help new socks get used to the hopper.”
Sigmund Sock went on. “Every sock here is a unique and perfect sock. Where you came from, most of the socks you spent time with looked so much alike that you didn’t get to notice how unique every sock was. You need to know that sometimes artists, musicians and free thinkers come to the hopper in search of single socks that don’t match. They may choose two left socks — that’s called a same-socks union. Or they may pick a red sock and a blue sock to wear. We love it when that happens! The sock chooser picks us because we are different from each other and because most of us, having learned to love how different we are from each other, fit in easily. We enjoy providing comfort and warmth for those taking the road less traveled, and that makes all the difference.”
Sigmund’s words were comforting. Roy noticed his fear had vanished. Without fear, he could see clearly how each sock was both unique and beautiful. It didn’t feel strange or wrong to hang out with a left sock, a multicolored sock, a tall sock or a short sock.
In the hopper, right socks loved right socks, left socks loved left socks, and the more colors a sock had, the more they had in common with socks of any color. All the socks in the hopper learned to love each other. “It is strange,” Roy thought. “I feel more at home and more alive than I have ever felt before. I am a single sock, but I don’t feel lonely. I feel like all socks are my brothers and sisters.”
Early in the morning, the Sock Tender returned to the hopper, opened it and began looking for Roy. “I found you! I found you!” laughed the Sock Tender. Roy was worried. What did this mean? The Sock Tender was holding Roy in her left hand and Randy in her right hand. Randy hadn’t been eaten! He had been hidden in the folds of a bed sheet when taken out of the Dragon Breather.
It was a warm and tender reunion. Things would never be the same for Roy or Randy. Once back in the drawer, Roy shared his adventure with all the other socks. Before long, black socks had managed to get into the white socks’ drawer. White socks climbed into the brown drawer, and multicolored socks could be seen everywhere.
Early in September, a time now called “September Fest,” the socks decided to have a sock hop. A great band was assembled, and Roy taught every single sock to dance. It was a special time, and each sock understood its own value. Never again would any sock in the world look down on or say unpleasant things about other socks. The old saying, “Socks is socks,” was changed to “Socks is socks. The Sock Maker didn’t make no bad ones.”
© 2016 Rev. Dr. Bob Luckin