Extroversion and Tie-Dye

Alaree in reverse dye scribble

It makes sense to me that extroversion and tie-dye go together.  Tie-dye is unpredictable and can be wild. No matter how I try to control the dye there are always surprises.  Compared to some of the other tie-dyers I follow online I am actually pretty tame, but I am still relatively new at it.

There is a sort of alchemy  in the process when I mix dyes and blend colors; watching my reactions to the colors and patterns as well as other people’s. Start digging into the psychology of color and things get more interesting.

It is a primal, messy process involving splashing liquids around and incubating the fiber to set the dyes. Kind of the way I live my life; the cooked pasta approach; throw it at the wall and see what sticks.  I throw dye on fabric and see what it turns into.

I have been called a galloping extrovert and (please pardon the buzzword) an empath.  I like people.  They fascinate me.  I have never met a stranger.  I am constantly curious about them, sometimes to the point of having been called nosey and intrusive.   Give me 10 minutes with another person and if I am in the  right mood I can often hear their life story and tell you how many eyelashes they have.  And interacting with other people is very similar to dying, there are always surprises, not always pleasant and not always what I think I want, but never boring.

I am famous for having connections with people where ever I go.  I walked into a grocery store in California and struck up a conversation with a young woman who turned out to be from my hometown in NC and whose grandparents were known to me. That sort of thing happens often. in my life.  Someone I know says there are only 100 people in the world.

Friends and I were discussing taking a trip to Florida to visit some of their friends.  I can think of 3 people in the area that I know and a couple along the way that I would love to stop and visit with if time allowed.  If I were going alone I would probably do it.

I can talk with almost anyone about almost anything and have a great time in the process.  There isn’t much of a filter on my mouth (I try, I really do try). I am eternally curious, overly analytical, and have a wicked sense of the absurd in addition to being well-read and in love with wordplay.  Sometimes I like the sound of my own voice too much and tend to blather on too long, but the Universe has ways of shutting me up.  I try to lay down my ego and pride every day.  They get too heavy and I often trip over them.  If I don’t try to put them aside, they may get yanked from my grasp.

“Telling stories” is a southern, mountain thing.  The oral tradition is strong in the Appalachians and, though tending to dwindle, still exists in the groups of men having their morning coffee together in the local restaurant, women on girls’ nights out, and people in fiber crafting groups.

Some years ago I dragged a friend away from his PhD studies long enough to visit my family in the Western NC hills.  He had been born and raised in Michigan and had never experienced a group of people who just sat around the table after dinner and talked. He was astounded.  Not only did we talk, we “told stories” on each other, knee-slapping tales with tongue in cheek humor and only mild exaggeration.  It is a bonding experience and the habit is part of the famous “southern hospitality” as well as part of the reason those of us with roots in the hills have been considered clannish.

I see a saddening erosion of community in the world these days, a lack of deep connection and awareness of the world around us.  In my small way, I try to reverse the process. Nothing is accomplished by a person alone in spite of all the dramatic tales you may hear.  Look behind the tales of the heroes and see who and what helped get them there.  Even Batman had Alfred.

We are all connected on many levels. There are many stories behind every sentient being and every thing we encounter if we are willing and able to try to listen.  Sometimes we have to ask others to listen to us, too.  Sometimes it takes severe circumstances to yank our heads out of our own asses and wake us up to the world around us.

I  recently read an article on addiction that spoke to the theory that addictive behavior is a result of a lack of feeling connected to others.  But being connected also means being vulnerable.  Energy travels both ways.  Reciprocity.  Lack of connection means a lack of feeling safe, of isolation.  So we are self-destructive or other-destructive because we have no tools to create the connections we crave.

When I dye a shirt, I do a little ju-ju over it.  I ask that whoever wears it feels loved, that they have happy times when they wear it, that they grow and learn, that any attention the shirt garners be positive and lead to connection with others, and that the wearer have the strength and support to accept and grow from whatever comes their way.

That may be a big order for a yard of cloth and some chemicals, but otherwise. . .why bother?  You tell me.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s