I could understand it if you privately wondered why I seem so obsessed by my clothing.
There are answers to that — yes, more than one!
The first is that my world is very small. My income is both modest and shared, so I rarely go anywhere because even a bus to the town is a £4.30 return. I walk round the block sometimes, and visit Buzzfloyd and her tribe, but apart from church and grocery shopping, that's what I do. My room is 6'9"x9', and my possessions and scope for activities are accordingly few. I can do handsewing, and crochet, and I have a folding up table. I like to make things. Recently, I needed some storage for underclothing. This is expensive to buy of course, but sticky-backed plastic is not much money, so I began to collect packaging boxes, and customise them to my own requirements.
This has my long-sleeved (underwear) vests and leggings:
This has my underwear bottoms:
This one has my socks and tights:
It has something on every surface:
"The pure land", btw, is like Buddhist terminology for the Kingdom of Heaven.
That box took quite a long time to do and I found it rather complicated. A bit of a tussle. I and my scissors got quite sticky. But I like it very much. As well as containing socks, it sits beside me on the bed as a mini-desk for my laptop, avoiding the unbearable sensation of electronic vibrations from having it on my actual lap.
There is always housework, of course, and laundry and weeding the garden and making lunch. And every now and then I write a book, and most weeks I have preaching or some kind of church meeting to prepare.
All of these things are interesting, of course, but you can see why deciding what to wear today might loom large in my life. There isn't a great deal of variety, and the main structure is both solitary and disciplined — which I like, but I enjoy thinking about what clothes to put on, especially as I like my clothes a lot. I like the colours and the flowery fabrics and soft, supple textures, and thinking about who make them. I like the pockets (and putting a newly ironed hanky in them) and the buttons.
But if the first reason I think about my clothes a lot is that there isn't much else to think about — other than the magnificence of the living Earth and the eternal realm of mystery, both of which I consider all the time — then the second reason is an oddity of my mind which I suspect proceeds from my undiagnosed oddities belonging to the autistic spectrum.
Because each day, there are clothes that I want to wear — and once I identify them, I recognise with great joy and fierce passion that, yes, these (and only these) are the clothes I love. I want to wear them always. I never want to wear anything else. I want to get lots more like these — these colours, these fabrics. I want to dispose immediately of anything in my wardrobe that is not the same. I want everything in my wardrobe to be the same sort of thing — this (and only this) sort of thing. Anything that is not like this I don't want to own, see or think about. I don't want anything else in my house, anywhere, not even in the attic. I don't want to know anything different is in my wardrobe even if I can't see it. Throw it away, throw it away.
Then, by lunchtime, I feel unbearably oppressed by the clothes I'm wearing. Their colour vibrations are exhausting me, they feel heavy and thick and cumbersome, I have to wear something else. I never want to see these clothes again. I can't think why I ever thought I liked them. I no longer want to own them or think about them or have them anywhere in my house, not even in the attic . . . etc, etc.
I really am quite tiresome to live with — for myself, I mean. Well, probably for other people, too.
And, if I own many clothes I become exhausted by the confusion of their varied and competing personalities. I cannot have a variety of styles or I get bewildered and overwhelmed. My cotton jersey dress always quietly worries me — because the others are all woven and have different necklines. I have to have only one type of thing, and not too many. I have a certain number of hangers, and that number limits how many garments I own.
Thus, the simple matter of getting dressed in the morning is, for me, like trying to swim across a wide river in full flood — a struggle to resist the currents and undertow that constantly try to sweep me away, including the strong tug to immediately and permanently dispose of anything I don't want to wear at the moment.
That's why I think a lot about my clothes. That, and the language of clothes, which intrigues me.
I love the things I am wearing today.