140. Zen and the Art of Tie Dye

We have dyed with Scouts, with 4H, with friends and with people we did not know. Tiny socks, enormous bed sheets, and everything in between. It is the reason that the adult Girl Scouts have been gifted tie dye baby blankets and T’s. The memory. The camaraderie. The legacy

A magnificent form of dying, tie dyeing, entered our lives with Christine.  I can’t remember the year or the reason.  She brought her equipment, and we learned the process.  Hundreds of items, perhaps more than a thousand, have emerged with elaborate color over the past two decades.  

We have dyed with Scouts, with 4H, with friends and with people we did not know.  Tiny socks, enormous bed sheets, and everything in between.  It is the reason that the adult Girl Scouts have been gifted tie dye baby blankets and T’s.  The memory.  The camaraderie.  The legacy.

The five storage tubs are not hauled out of the shed or garage often, mostly because of the chaos of clean up.  When it does come out, it’s a lengthy process that usually spans a couple of months.  

The full experience can be accomplished in 24 hours.  It doesn’t take long to dye a shirt.  We just have different people who want to pop in for the dye.  And I always have lofty goals that I NEVER reach, just accepted as par for the course.  The materials wait, spread over whatever surfaces function.

Today, Shante and Mark came over with a handful of shirts and some pillow cases.  New for 2020, Dharma Trading Company has dye-able cloth masks, of course.  So they did a couple of those too.  Grownup tie dye requires some sewing, some planning, a lot of patterns and methods beyond the rubber band circle!   Mark’s quote, “I don’t remember this being so technical.” 

This year is technical.  It is requiring every ounce of our patience, an elaborate skill set, and colorful approaches we have never used before.  We are living the lines and colors of the most complex mandala.  And each of us has a role that is required in the intricacy of the whole.  Like opening the tie dye work in the rinse out process, we are waiting to see the beauty in the end result.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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