Do winter scarves go to that same place where socks go? If so, they enter by a different portal. Socks seem to exit our universe through the dryer, perhaps via some complex law of physics having to do with heat and centrifugal force. But scarves just seem to dissolve into thin air. They were on our necks a minute ago…

Gloves must have complex relationships, because they often seem to get divorced. One minute they’re together, happily spooning in your pocket, and then at some point, without so much as a by-your-leave, they go their separate ways. We’ve all seen that lone glove, sitting on a park bench, looking depressed and unloved. Pity the poor glove.

But if I could hear the end of but one story in my life, it would be the one about the abandoned shoe. Why do so many individual shoes find themselves sprawled on the interstate? Were they cast out violently by their owners? (“Out! Out! Damned shoe!”) Is it the aftermath of some Khruschev-like shoe-banging incident, more common than we’ve been led to believe? Were these shoes so desperate to avoid foot odor that they preferred suicide?

These are things I think about.

I shall leave you with the poem “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. Written nearly a hundred years ago, this poem is becoming eerily apropos.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


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6 thoughts on “Textilelandia

  1. Fortunately, mine hasn’t. I’ve been wearing the same winter scarf since the mid-1970s. In all that time, it’s got just one small hole in it, on one side. 🙂

  2. Angiportus

    Well, at least the rough beast will have shoes, if ill-matched ones.
    Here, from memory, is Piet Hein:
    “Losing one glove is certainly painful,
    But nothing compared to the pain
    Of losing one glove, discarding the other,
    Then finding the first one again.”

  3. Howdy Barb!

    All good observations to be sure and each weighs upon my mind, but not as much as the siting of a pair of underwear alongside the highways and byways of our great land. How is it possible for one’s underwear to be so frivolously discarded? Was the owner on his or her way to the laundromat? Was it the extra pair that only the very prudent carry? Was some hapless lover overtaken by passion and toss it willy-nilly from their speeding passion-mobile? Will it ever be reclaimed or claimed again to be worn with the same pride that so many of our young men now seem to have in their undergarments so that they are shown off to the world in their full sweaty glory?

    Whither the lost and discarded underwear?


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