Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not Afraid to Dye

Learning to Dye
Happy New Year. . .weeks into January.  And time for a self-indulgent meandering update. I will not stay on-topic.  Please don't read this.  It's going to be really, truly bad and full of Woody Allen-esque self-analysis. It will be more shoe-gazingly emotive than a teenagers journal.  It will be full of "I" and "me."  You might puke. 

Last time I posted was nearly six weeks ago with the adorably happy and uplifting story of Funger The Clown.  Hardly anyone committed suicide after reading it, but still, at least it made an impact!  Oddly enough, Funger was like some little lingering bit of doom flushed from my psyche, and I have spent the last few weeks playing rather than working.  Work is when you know what you are doing.  Play is when you are just goofing around at something you don't know how to do very well.  It's like the Fool card in Tarot, or "Beginner's Mind" in Zen Buddhism.  It's hard to keep that kind of openess and newness to things that you do all the time.

I set aside the wool for a bit, and picked up my guitar again, and played with clay, and drawing, took a deep inner journey, saw family and friends. . .even crocheted my mom a scarf  for Christmas (My, aren't you a good boy!).  Finally, I have started taking some different yoga classes, which are challenging me emotionally, creatively, and physically.

Yoga and creativity have become inextricably linked for me, even more so recently.  One of the studios I practice at was offering a once-a-week Kundalini class that I started taking in the middle of last year.  The old scientific-rationalist PJ of a few years ago would have scoffed at this particular branch of Yoga's costume-y new age trappings, it's complicated mantras and mudhras, and especially the almost church-hymn like singing of "Long Time Sun" at the close of each class. But my work on this path has done much to open up my right-brain, change the way I see colors and feel energy, and helped open up my heart, leaving me a less jaded and more loving PJ. (I still feel like an asshat admitting that, but I don't have any inner-editor or filters these days.) 

The Kundalini class was permanently cancelled in the middle of last month due to lack of participation--there just weren't many other regular students. I felt really sad, and I know that much of that was because I liked the teacher.  I mean, we have a Kundalini Center here in San Francisco, and I plan to start practicing there, but, well, it's like the TV show "Cheers". . . the place where "everybody knows your name" and all that.  You are always going to miss a familiar, smiling face that's genuinely happy to so you every week.  And having experienced a lot of personal growth in the class, maybe a part of me felt like that growth was in danger.

Going to turn this into Quetzalcoatl
The point of this mopey segue is that the one sad day I had in December helped me resolve to immerse myself in a greater diversity of yoga experiences, and this has subsequently helped me stop being afraid to dye.

What?  PJ's finally getting back to the exciting topic of wool, the topic that draws in millions of readers from around the globe? Yeah.  So, I've had a total block when it comes to dyeing wool for some reason.  I bought acid dyes, other ingredients, raw un-processed wool, and books on the topic months ago.  It was something I wanted to do, but I kept finding myself procrastinating.  I'm not sure why yet.  But in this recent whirlwind of playing, of the Fool setting out on a new journey, I just plunged into it.

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!  Love standing over the stove experimenting, part mad scientist, part witch doctor pinching eye of newt into a cauldron.  Not just single colors, but working on setting multiple colors simultaneously to get a gradient effect, without the colors just bleeding into one mushy shade of brown.  Finally, though I'm not ready to share pics yet, have been experimenting with ways to steam-set dye into pre-sculpted pieces.  Challenging, but interesting results so far.

On a final note for this New Year "catch up" post, it's 2012!!! End of the world as predicted by (independent from one another) Edgar Caycee, Nostradamus, Terrance McKenna, the Mayans, and the book of Revelation, and I just keep seeing Quetzalcoatl in my inner eye, feathers glittering like open chakras.  And whether December 21, 2012 turns out to be nothing at all, the dawning of a higher consciousness on the planet, or a literal doomsday of earthquakes, volcanoes and solar flares, I can say with absolutely no hesitation that. . .


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