Monday, November 26, 2012

Hair as Identity

Locks cascading
off the nape of her neck
gently along the curve
of her lower back

The language they spoke to her was of a gentle nature. Capturing energies and gently whispering their intention to her soul. She valued their presence, these locks, the wisdom they shared and the protection they offered. They connected her with the Wise Ones. 

But her spirit called for renewal. A change understood only by her. One that sought to release the memories stored in her locks and other parts of her body. They understood it was time to go but were pained nonetheless. And so was she. You see, not only did they protect her, but they also made clear to others her racial and cultural identity. 
Ahhhh identity...such a fluid construct. Yet the desire to identify in a particular way powerfully impacts decisions about how we prepare ourselves to interact with and be among others.
But the call for renewal was louder than the drive to preserve an identity that, although authentic, needed to undergo change along with everything else. And so it was that she cut her hair. 

Friends supported. Those closest criticized, perhaps in response to facing the limits of how they define race, gender or even sexual identity. Yet she persists in midwifing needed change. Her hair being just one small part. And so it is...

Hair tentatively climbing
from her scalp
to eventually reach
and gently rest
along the curve
of her lower back

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