Two lovely Japanese maple trees in a front yard one block south are symmetrically planted amid cement squares filled with small white stones. For eight years I walked past this house every day, so I could admire the way the owners, whom I always pictured as two calm men, swept the leaves and raked the stones into perfect, weed-free squares. Looking at this yard calmed my spirit. A few years ago the house was sold, and since then it has been reclaimed by wildness.
Last week, as I made my way through a morning-long panic attack, I weeded my gardens, cleaned my kitchen, and folded laundry. Laundry has always been meditation to me. Give me your towels, your fitted sheets, your underwear even, and I will make symmetry of it all. Strangely, later that same panicky day, I came across the poem below. From wildness we improvise order.
Folding the Clothes, by Sarah Sadie
Even the most capacious bath towels fold
into squares, and the wash cloths fold
into smaller squares. Pants meet themselves
and quiet down nicely. Underwear
resigns itself, socks domesticate, and the shirts,
well, the shirts get wrinkled.
They’ll have plenty of time to relax
dreaming through hours a rumor of buttons.
Which is not to say shirts meditate, but
there’s almost a Zen to the job, if that weren’t so trendy.
Almost the little sand garden with its rake
and its rock.
Its imagined snake.
For more information about Sarah Sadie, please click here.
Your posts are so poignant and spot on. I love your thinking.