Monday, February 19, 2007

In My Rhyme of Dyeing

My mother's partner once told my mother, "You talk about death too much. Let's talk about other things. I know, let's talk about music. What is your favorite piece of music?"

My mother thought. She replied, "Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem."

True story.

Because of my mother's gothic fascination with the afterlife, she has to be careful when talking about one of her other passions: changing the color of cloth through the power of RIT. If she were to say aloud, "I think I'm going to dye tomorrow," we might misinterpret her intentions. However, dyeing is one of my mother's many favorite hobbies. I knew she was the right person to consult after I gave up on finding (in the wild) a simple violet purple tee-shirt.

When I designed Saints as Action Figures for the blog, I listed Lydia Purpuraria as the patron saint of dyers. Hitman J was sure I'd made her up. I assured him that I had not, though it would have been the sort of thing of which I was capable. Lydia of Thyatira,, a dealer in purple cloth, has her own terse patron saints index entry here. She was Saint Paul's first known convert. Here is the action figure I designed:

I decided that the action figure was not enough. Other saints have their catchy rhyming prayers. People who spend their time dyeing need a little help too. I devised this rhyme for everyone who's ever attempted to alter his or her hair color or transform a yellow chiffon ball-gown into a green ball-gown (result: grey chiffon with seaweedy lace cuffs):

Lydia, St. Paul’s first devotee
Bless this dye, purple and pungent
For this plain
[your garment here], on bended knee
We pray the dye may be an unguent--

May the waters be soft,
May the hands not stain
If accidents happen,
May we not complain.

This week, my mother is in town. We're dyeing. We'll be careful.

By the way, Young Adult librarian Dawn Rutherford must have invoked the patronage of Lydia Purpuraria. One year, Rutherford challenged teenagers to 50,000 pages for the summer reading program. If they succeeded, she promised to dye her hair purple. They read 54,299 pages. Rutherford delivered.


limpy99 said...

Way to step up Ms. Rutherford.

Lady K said...

I'm in awe, once again...

I'm writing a prayer, for my gray hair..God, please, PLEASE let it NOT be there. hee hee!

Ya brought back some of the Catholic in me. Bless ya, kiddo. You really ARE a blessing in my life.

Lone Star Ma said...

I don't know. With all the purple hair we are likely to have around here in the next few years, We should definitely be devotees of that saint. My coolness with dyes doesn't really extend to St. Paul, though. St. Peter was more my type.

galetea said...

Enjoy your dying time with your mother. :) I'd love to do some dying sometime soon! I used to LOVE tie-dying and the anticipation of taking all of the rubberbands off to see what I'd created! Maybe I can jazz up some of the Prawn's white baby gros. :)