what it's all about

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Charlotte, NC, United States
I am on a journey -like you, I'm sure. A personal journey, a spiritual journey. A journey about passions, growth, and living. I don't have a good memory, but I value my experiences. It's very strange when you realize that you are being shaped constantly, but ultimately only remember some of the reasons why you are the person you're becoming. I find that when things resonate within me, writing about them helps me to better develop my opinions about them, and to remember them. Sometimes, it's the simple act of looking back and reminding myself where I've been that is all I need to move forward with confidence. That's why I write. Thank you for joining me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

the Dreaded word

In my exploration of the locked internet community, I have seen a lot of discussion over the term “dreadlock”. I figured I might as well weigh in. Now, I know that my opinion may change as my “locs” form, but I have already encountered a misconception in my own journey, and feel it needs to be addressed.

Not long ago, my husband was telling someone that I wanted "dreadlocks". He got a surprised, confused look, and a “She is?? Why?” Chris went on to talk about our trip to Jamaica, my studying, and me finding my fabulous loctician. And she seemed relieved. They went on to talk about the difference between “dreads” and “locs”. She thinks “dreads” are ugly, neglected, unkempt locs of hair, and that “locs” are manicured. But that’s not true. When my hubs came to me with this question, I explained that everything I’ve learned says that the two terms refer to the same thing.

Now, I know that some people don’t like their “locs” to be called “dreadlocks”. They say “there’s nothing DREADful about them.” And that’s fine. I understand what they think. But it’s misguided. The word “dreadlock” is not intended to be offensive. The term “dread”, in the Rastafarian dialect from where the word “dreadlock” comes from, is not a negative term. In the end, when people talk about “dreadlocks”, I don’t think they mean to say that they are dreadful. It is just a commonly used term, and should not be taken offensively.

Last weekend, I saw this guy at church with gorgeous “locs”. I got up the courage to ask him about them, and he said his journey with these “dreads” has gone on for 5 years. And that it’s been fun! I was so excited- to hear him say “dreads”, not “locs”, and to think I had some fun to look forward to. I am not going to worry about calling dreadlocks “dreads”. I think I will end up using the terms “dreads, “dreadlocks”, and “locs” interchangeably. Please don’t take offense if I do, I don’t mean anything by it. Fear of the word, furthers the fear of the subject. You know, like calling Voldemort “He-who-must-not-be-named”. That only gives the feared more power. So empower your head of dreads. Don’t shy away from them. And if someone should happen to say something about it- why not educate them? And in the end, this is my opinion. You have yours, and others will have theirs. And that’s all it is- an opinion. Someone else’s opinion doesn’t have to change how you perceive yourself. I’m not gonna let it change my perceptions- at least, not my perceptions about my hair!

“Dread has a positive connotation in Rastafarian dialect, and can be used as an adjective, indicating a man who ‘fears the Lord’." (Wikipedia. I know, I know.)

dread -from dictionary.com
–verb (used with object)
1. to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of: to dread death.
2. to be reluctant to do, meet, or experience: I dread going to big parties.
3. Archaic . to hold in respectful awe.
–verb (used without object)
4. to be in great fear.

–noun
5. terror or apprehension as to something in the future; great fear.
6. a person or thing dreaded.
7. dreads, Informal
8. Informal . a person who wears dreadlocks.
9. Archaic . deep awe or reverence.

–adjective
10. greatly feared; frightful; terrible.
11. held in awe or reverential fear.

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