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.. observing your Feet’s Feats…

by | Oct 15, 2020 | Feet (Followership), Little Feat, observe

Many people I have talked with over the last few months are starting to reconnect to some of their initial goals for their life. Being forced to actually hold still for this long, I can certainly relate – this much time to actually NOT be chasing after something has brought a different level of awareness to what matters and what is temporal.  This writing practice has allowed me to do another positive thing – focus on gratitude.  Many of these stories have caused me to reflect on the many gifts I have received over the years, and reach out and let them know about their impact on me.  One of them was a story from a Bible study many years ago, and the question is “What are you most thankful for?”  After the typical awkward silence, one of the men said “My Feet.  When I get up and roll out of bed, and see them, I am grateful”…

 … so you know I had to use that story for this series 😉  I would love to say that I thought that was profound, but frankly, at the time, I had to swallow a laugh. It was the simplicity of the comment, and it’s earnestness that has continued to deepen my understanding of that simple sentence.  There is the existential nature of the statement – each day is a gift, sure.  And, the actual fact of HAVING feet that work is not something to be taken for granted as you get older.  I have been using this time to also pay attention to some pain in my neck (… I see that smirk…)  which has meant some Physical Therapy.  In this practice, we are all socially distant, but you observe others working to do something that is easy for you – like stand up on a stack of blocks and balance.  From knee surgery, injury, whatever… it is not something they can take for granted.

Richie Hayward’s Feet drove Little Feat – literally. As the drummer, he was also one of the original founding members. From Clear Lake, Iowa, he absorbed a lot of the drumming techniques from Ray Charles’ band before heading to LA in 1966 with just his drums and $85.  He played with The Fraternity of Man on their hit ‘Don’t Bogart Me’ which was picked up in Easy Rider… and that is where he met Lowell.  He was a big fan of Captain Beefheart, and when Lowell was fired by Frank, he went with Lowell as the core of Little Feat.  Different than the Mothers, most of their work was done in long extended jams that would evolve into songs that would then be tightened up.  Many commentators talk about how critical Richie was – drumming and keeping a jam together is not nearly as easy as it sounds 😉

The song for today came from their initial jam sessions in early 1969… but would not be recorded until their 4th album “because of the complex time signature changes, it was hard to record.”  A mix of 4/4 and 7/8, it probably took 5 years for them to be able to anticipate and really hear where each other were going, and flex and go with them.  It was their breakout album that really put them on the map, and when you look at the “backup players” you get the picture of both why that was… and also what a party it was recording 😉 Both Bonnie’s – Bramlett (of Delany and) and Raitt on slide, Emmylou Harris, Tower of Power horns… The title is a shortened version of something that all teams deal with…. Wait until the ____ hits … The album cover features a smiling George Washington driving a concerned-looking Marilyn Monroe along a cliff…

Physical therapy is about getting your body realigned – finding what is not working “as designed” and helping you gain that back.  Feet play an important role in that – your whole weight on about a square foot – so in my case that is 170 lbs/sq ft of pressure – all day, everyday.  And the slightest issue there is reflected upward into other systems that try to compensate, and before you observe your hips are tilted, or your shoulder, or in my case, my head is literally not pointing the right direction 😉  It is a slow process of daily exercise to get it back to “normal” – which starts with noticing something is not right.  The real feat is not ignoring it – and taking action.  I was talking with a leader yesterday who… well let’s just say this full title fits the situation.  AND, the feat is getting their feet to actually move – somewhere.  The therapy is physical – not what they want to hear of course… they will probably just continue experiencing … The Fan.

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