On why I braid.

By Danié Gómez-Ortigoza

August 17, 2020

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In time, you learn that there’s a difference between taking someone’s hand and braiding their soul because once a soul finds its way into your heart, you can’t let go. Undoing that braid and leaving the hair adrift would create an incredibly deep scar. So deep, that the now unbraided soul will forget in time that the scar is even there, hidden under logic, and excuses created as an attempt to help it heal.

But tell me, who can explain to an emotion that things were not the way it felt them? They only feel, they do not listen to reason. More so when they are childhood emotions we are referring to.

Last week one of those scars teared opened in me: the mother of all my scars. I was in my car with eyes flooded by tears and an agitated heart.

It had been a while since I felt it so powerfully. So long that I thought I had healed.

But no. Actually, the scar was just sleeping: perhaps hibernating, but still there, even when my soul is already disguised in the body of an adult.

“Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievieus fault. Because I did it. I let them do it to me. That’s the way I see it. That way it hurts less. It’s often where we love the most where we are least loved, for the same reason we love so much.So I often choose to love less, so it hurts less. And eventually I quit. I get tired of the tedious process. And I choose solitude. And I choose nature. She does not desert us. This way, it hurts less.”

Desertion.

I don’t think there is a remedy for that. Many of us carry it with us every step of the way. It’s a reminder: an intimidating feeling that says that you are not from here. That no matter how much you do you will never belong to anything or anyone.

And yes I wish I felt like I belonged…

Once this cloud of thoughts dissipated, I understood why I braid.

I braid because I have faith.

My faith exists because although I realize that the feeling of isolation will never disappear, when I’m braiding it feels different: everything is integrated into one.

When I braid I understand above all that I belong to myself. I intertwine the past, the present and the future; the continuation in this life of what my ancestors started. Because I know that those same memories that often leave those scars are only interpretations of something that doesn’t exist anymore. And that the power of intention and the good things that you do for others, is all you leave behind.

So I keep braiding. Even when I find it really hard.