So, I fold my t-shirts and underwear in a very particular way, every week. They all get folded in the same manner each time there’s a clean load ready to be put away. And once folded they go into their particular drawer, placed in nice, tidy clean rows, the underwear rotated so the oldest unworn pair is at the top and the just-washed pairs at down the bottom. My t-shirts are folded down to the size and dimensions of an A4 business envelope and placed on top of one-of-three stacks in the drawer second form the top.
This is order.
This is method.
This is containment.
What am I containing?
My inner turmoil.
The sense that shit might get of control.
Only by consistently following this practice of how my socks, boxers, t-shirts, shorts, business shirts, trousers and shoes are all stored away, keeps me on the right side of sane. Otherwise, it’s all just fucking meaningless, random chaos, right?
This seemingly benign system is in fact a complete infrastructure designed to protect me, giving me the feeling that control something I wield.
Within the system, everything is kept together. Repetition. Expectancy. Certainty.
Leaving as little to chance as I can in areas within my circle of control.
I’m buffering my choices, safe-guarding against decision fatigue.
What’s wrong with a little mindless autopilot?
It’s so taxing to be present all the time. Presence is a gift and therefore it’s also a weight and weights can only be carried for too long before they begin to grind and crush.
So, tread lightly and find respite when and where you can.
Order, sanity, control, they are held close, but loosely in the little rituals and habits I have formed. Limit the unexpected when I can. Reduce the uncertainty. Reinforce that there are things I can know and I know them because I created the conditions for knowing, and if I created any conditions that exist beyond the moment they were created, then I am, in fact a god, because to be a god is to be a creator.
And if I am a god, well then, I have sway and power in my realm. It’s like the reveal of a magic trick each time I avail of the system. At the opening of each drawer you can almost hear the low whisper of the Universe saying, hocus pocus, and when I pull out the drawer, Ta-da!
The mysteries of the universe revealed.
No slippages. No breaks. No nasty little surprises.
Just order and everything in the place it is meant to be.
The system delivers. The system protects. The system contains.
So, I continue to fold and put away my clothes in this way, all the time, no matter how tired I’m feeling or how many other things I think I need to do. Nothing gets put away until it’s been folded just right. That way, there’s always some corner of the world that is in obeyance with the universal laws that emanate from me. These drawers and hanging system are an external manifestation of the order and containment I seek in my life and the world around me as I pass through it.
At times I feel blind – emotionally, scared by the unknown, unwritten future. What else are these safety rails for, if not to help guide me through dark episodes?
In the places I am still unformed and as I moved through spaces that are undefined to me any familiarity, any indicator of certainty is a most welcome respite. Each instance, a little flare of light, popping and exploding in a bright burst of light around me, showing me I am not in fact blind, but that the world around me is dark and there are things I can do to help light the way.
Containment, order, habit are just some of the ways I do this.
My underwear. My socks. My t-shirts. My shoes. My shorts. My business shirts and trousers.
May they continue to be beacons in the night, their very presence an unspoken nod and wink to all the work it takes to create light, to extend a guiding hand when all around seems to be swirling into madness and deformity.
Keeping it tight. Keeping it together.
Keeping it very together.
Keeping it within.
Keeping it locked down.