Back when I was a kid, I saw someone somewhere with locks. I don't remember who or where, but they stuck with me. I found myself wanting to let my hair tangle up like that. A want that lingered in the back of my head a long time.
Mind you, I'm a researcher and skeptic by nature... so, I did what comes naturally... I read... everything...
Sometimes that means I give up on what I had previously wanted but in this case it actually made going through with it inevitable.
To most, dreadlocks is simply a term tied to Jamaica, reggae, cannabis andRastafarianism, but what I found was a number of traditions far older than any of that, traditions rooted in nature, wisdom, self-sacrifice, etc, etc, etc,...
I had hesitated to lock ye olde mane of hair because of a few things.
1. I'm not christian. Rastafarianism, the origin of the english term "Dreadlocks", is a christian sect where the locks are a part of showing their devotion to YHVH (the judeo-christian deity.)
2. While I am of mixed heritage, I'm about as white skinned as the next guy. Dreadlocks, as a word, is strongly tied to the history of people of colour (specifically, of African descent) in Jamaica and USA.
3. There is no other actively used term for this than "dreadlocks" (or "dreads" for short) so there's no way of escaping the first two points.... people will misunderstand and misinterpret.
Not after I found ties to my ancestors, my ancestral faith, my heritage if you will.
Not after the tradition of locks as something done, not out of rebellion, not out of combat, and not out of subservience to a deity, but out of a search for something more, a search for wisdom, a search for understanding, out of proximity/connection with the earth, etc, etc, etc, etc...
I respect wisdom more than rebellion, I want to learn and grow in wisdom myself.
I want to understand more, I want to know more, I want to be more open to the beating of the heart of nature herself.
I know that hair won't do that... but it's symbolic, it has meaning to me.
And meaning is something we create. A card doesn't have an inherent meaning, but the image, the text, and the people who give and receive it, these are the things that add emotion to the act of giving a card, and the people who have that emotion are what gives it value and meaning.
So it doesn't matter if it's "just hair", it's something I'm doing, for this reason, and this gives it value, and meaning.