Saturday, June 26, 2010


I passed this random tree on a back road in Utah last month. There’s no homes for miles, but for some reason numerous people decided to toss their shoes into this tree. The tree and the shoes captivated me. Why? When? Did they do it all at the same time, or did one person start it and then others followed? Did they even really know each other? Did they all go away bare foot? Are they still? Have others driven by, pulled over, and thrown their own shoes into the mix? I’ll never know, and that’s part of the allure. It’s a mystery and I love mystery.

However, there are those who don’t like mystery. In deed, some are driven crazy by it. As a result, people have suggested I can’t simply disappear off Face Book, as it would be a mystery and thus lead to unending speculation.

It’s true I am leaving Face Book. Let me explain.

There is an ancient Arabic proverb, which states, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I could spend all day debating that little nugget of wisdom. However, there’s really only one reason I bring it up and that is to suggest that in the Face Book world there may be a place for a new proverb.

‘The friend of my friend may be my enemy!’

In a world where employers are checking out employees on Face Book you simply can’t be too careful. My profession frequently takes me into the presence of minors.

Whether mainstream or at-risk, students deserve safety and protection. As a result, running background checks on me (the resident storytelling teaching artist) are a pretty common part of the hiring package.

I can’t control, nor am I accountable, (nor do I want to be) for the actions of my friends or their friends. Yet, any inappropriate actions of any of my friends or their friends etc. may be linked back to me and consequently affects my reputation and my ability to be hired. When it comes to the safety and protection of minors you can never be too careful.

I’ve struggled with how to handle this. I like being in contact with my friends! However, I need a degree of separation when it comes to my online presence. Thus, I am leaving Face Book.

You can still keep in contact with me, and I hope you do, by following and commenting on this blog. Sign up for the RSS feed or email notification. I don’t know how consistent I’ll be, but I promise to give it a good try. Any time you post a message to me here, I will receive it.

However, if you’re under the age of 18 I won’t respond back. It saddens me to take such a drastic measure, but I am protecting us both. After all, isn’t that what good friends do?

Be safe, be well, and check in from time to time!

Teresa Clark


  1. you brave woman. =) ha ha. that shoe tree is so random! you got me all curious now!

  2. I enjoy your blog more than seeing you on FB anyway! Keep blogging! Cool tree, where is it?

  3. I haven't seen you on Facebook for ages anyways. :) I get to see you soon anyways in person. Woot. Woot.

  4. The shoe tree is in Thistle on Highway 89 (I think). Thistle was destroyed by a mudslide and flood in 1983. There's just a few ruins left in this little ghost town. It's about 65 miles SouthEast of Salt Lake City.

  5. I think that tree must be the Grand Central Station for drug dealers.

  6. I'm there with you. Doing it today.

  7. Such a sad tree. Does make one think though.

  8. I have to admit my first thought when I saw this tree was, "Poor drunken saps! I bet they regretted not having shoes the next morning." My next thought was "...or maybe it's the shoes of everyone who's lost their virginity under the tree."

    I like your spin on it, though...I like the idea that it could be something more or better. Maybe it's some local legend of amazingness-a tribute to some memory. How sad that our society teaches us to put a negative spin on all things out of the ordinary. Who knows what we cheapen by doing so?

    I'm gonna be more positive. :)

  9. Anonymous8:06 AM

    Teresa: I love your analogy with the tree, mystery and leaving facebook. I recently tried to find you on facebook and the mystery thoughts began. Where is she? Now I will just have to come to your blog and read your posts. You have such a gift for the written word. Thanks for sharing.
    Kim Talentino