Locs Are a Commitment Beyond Braids: Talk I Had with the White Girl at the Cafe

Locs Are a Commitment Beyond Braids: Talk I Had with the White Girl at the Cafe

So much lyfe happens at the cafe: And, it’s insulting when they call our locs braids. In my opinion braids are not umbilical cord commitments. A young white girl at my local coffee shop said, I like your braids. I had some before. I said, my hair is not braided, it is loc’ed. Matted growths of hair. An umbilical cord commitment. She said, oh my god what does that mean? It was irritating because she was white, previously had locs and didn’t even know it, and kept asking me many questions. Her lack of depth and totality about what is a natural phenomenon of rooted goodness for my hair made me almost intolerable. Yet, I smiled and indulged her because she didn’t shame me and was respectful, more for the sake of love and understanding though. She said, so I had locs, not braids for a couple of years then? I said, sounds like it. She told me about how she couldn’t hang with them. How she felt tortured and weighted down my them. She shaved them off and got instant relief. She asked my advice on what I thought had happened with the ‘real’ reason she shaved them. I told her that its been my experience from having loc’ed hair that they are more alive than dead (although regarded as dead hair). Locs have energy and feed off of the energy of the body, and the bodies spirit- circumstances. Loc energy is alive and well.

They remind me of a baby in the womb mother process. To me each loc symbolizes an umbilical cord connecting us to the mother and the mother symbolizing (god, the creative, spirit). Just as a baby receives life source, nutrients, health and wellness from umbilical cords. Locs are the conduit between you and ‘the creative’, elevating you in the same fashion. And instead of one umbilical cord there are many (locs). Locs are moody and vibrant, and strong like any other living being. They feel, covet, release, confront damn near everything-and at the same time are protective and loathe when their space is invaded, interrupted, stifled. And just as living beings hearts become heavy by changes in life, so do locs and they will often stop growing, cause sensations in the scalp, forcing one to sever the cords. They demand basic living rights and that is to be acknowledged and respected on their journey. They live and die that way. The bond between the creative is a permanent one, even after locs are shaved from the head. I like to think of this connection as spirit-body, sensory, untouched, highly intuitive love frequencies that can’t always be felt, seen or touched. Locs always, always teach us something. I told her that perhaps her locs existed only to bring her to this moment and this moment alone. Her face was grateful and her words matched. I’m please that her and I stuck it out and talked things through. -Gracie

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