A digital story club I am a part of (sort of) had a writing exercise this week that I participated in. It gave pieces written in several different writing styles and challenged us to mimic the style of a piece of our choosing. Just writing about whatever and freely (constrained only by trying to mirror another’s style and the 200-word count). I tried the one that had a let me explain…style; and that’s what I attempted, using what was on my mind at the time (I was on a break from editing my CREATIVE SPACE column (CREATIVE SPACE #19 OF 2022 – THE “HEADKERCHIEF”; HERITAGE, FASHION, CELEBRATION, AND RESISTANCE). So I explained headwrapping. &, though that’s not why I wrote it, it’s meant only as a writing exercise, shared it in the extras of the posted online edition of the column as I’ve done a few times because a column called CREATIVE SPACE literally has space for that.
This is a skill that requires a sense of style and a willingness to allow instinct to lead. Letting instinct lead is only successful if you have a sense of style. Even a small bit of one will do.
You place the short end of the cloth on one side, the long side on the other, an unevenness that the body wants to fight. We are designed to appreciate symmetry. But fight it, fight the conditioning and listen to your fingers, they know what to do. The body remembers, not just the whip, not just the slave ship, but the customs and teachings of home. How to turn fungee, how to cornrow hair, how to wrap a head in a language that those like you, also of your community, can read.
The tie for romance, the tie for war, the tie for sadness, the tie for salaciousness; we know it all. Just listen to yourself. And ‘llow the long end to drop, then drape it over the short end, in a V. Wrap the head. Build up. High as you like. It’s your crown. Let it stand, threading in other cloth as you like. You’ve got style and you know it. Now, strut, Queen.by jhohadli
If you try the exercise and feel like sharing what came out, you’re welcome to do so in the comments.
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.