Friday, June 06, 2008


Okay, so how can we even think about the fact that four right feet, that’s right, it is now four right feet, mind you, that have recently washed up on Canadian shores. When the fourth foot appeared a couple of weeks ago, complete with running shoe, as were the others, it was news for a couple of days. Police reports were exceedingly cautious about this fourth foot. First, they said there was no evidence that the foot had been severed from the rest of the body. Then they said there was nothing (nothing definite) to connect it to the other three right feet that had washed up before, which evidentially had been severed from bodies. And then this fourth foot vanished from public consciousness.

This kind of thing is painful to think about because as citizens we have no place to put this kind of information. What does one do with this kind of information? Eject it out of our minds, that’s what. And wish the police and media would do the same. We don’t want to hear about it. We want the police to get on with the drug traffickers, domestic murders, and petty criminals. And tend to a couple of rather violent municipal political politicians who are in dire need of anger management.

But still, like the Pickton Pig Farm, this foot thing won’t really go away. Perhaps it’s because on a collective level many of us know, or think we know, what the fourth severed right foot is about. It’s about revenge. Non payment of debt. It’s about drugs. It’s about a sick, drug ravaged world. It’s about depression so rampant that it touches every aspect of our daily lives, lives we live now where pornography and human trafficking have become so common place they’re mainstream, where a popular rock band can call themselves the New Pornographers and be played on CBC (which begs two questions, what happened to the Old Pornographers and as the new ones are actually pretty lame as musicians, would they be played anywhere except for their titillating name?) where drug addictions, to both street and prescription drugs, are reaching mammoth proportions, where hunger and homeless is stalking the streets, where ugliness is the new beauty, greed the new respected value, selfishness the universal North American principal, and where the mother principal of care and nourishing has been almost totally eradicated in our culture. It is only in this kind of culture that can breed a willingness to look away from the severed feet that has washed up on our shores, and to think, however privately, or maybe even out loud, that their owners probably got what they deserved.

But they didn’t. Nobody deserves to have their feet cut off. Whatever they have done. We are all children of this earth. These men, like the women killed at the Pickton Farm where babies once. Beautiful babies with big round eyes, looking out at the world and their mothers, whatever their failings may have been, loved their babies and even if they didn’t, the universe loved them. Because the universe conspired to bring them here. And each one was unique. Nature only makes one of a kind. Of anything. There will never be any man exactly like the man whose right foot recently washed up on our shores just as there will never be any other women exactly like the women killed at the Pickton Farm. Let us grieve for them. For their uniqueness. And vow to never, ever, accept their deaths and mutilations as the price we have to pay for being okay ourselves. We are not okay. That fourth foot belongs to us all. Betty Krawczyk


  1. Wow Betty - what a strong post! I hadn't heard about these feet because I don't watch or read the news anymore. It's like you said -I just don't know what to do with all the bad news and it festers in me - so I don't go there anymore. I still find out about things though, and it's so much nicer to find out about bad things when someone makes some sense of them first, when someone connects some dots and makes the story real. So thanks.

  2. Anonymous4:30 PM

    How lovely to read this: it resonates with everything we SHOULD know and believe.
    -a reader from UK