Meet Rivka S., British tichel maven. She not only wears incredible wraps, but is a beautifully eloquent writer, too! Recently, we were privilaged enough to read about her love of Wrapunzel’s incredibly diverse Facebook fangroup and just knew that we had to share it with YOU.
“It’s hard to encompass what wrapping means to me in mere words, but it’s fair to say that the community aspect of it has altered my life profoundly. It is a very real sisterhood that provides comfort and support in even the most trying of times under the careful stewardship and guidance of the moderators, who work really hard to make sure it stays relevant and true to its focus of wrapping.
I have worked in the Criminal Justice System for nearly a decade now and, apart from a brief stint as a dispatcher, all of that has been spent working in major crimes. I deal with the worst of the worst – the murderers, the sex offenders, the fraudsters and the child abusers. My days are spent wading through the deepest, darkest depravities that humanity is capable of. It’s very difficult to do a job like this and not become jaded with cynicism and I see it all around me every day in the faces of my colleagues. When you only see the underbelly of civilisation, it becomes easy to always assume the worst of mankind as a species. While I believe with all my heart that justice is always, ALWAYS worth chasing, it’s fair to say that sometimes it can feel a little hollow. A guilty verdict and sentencing might satisfy our moral needs or desire for vengeance, but they don’t bring the dead back to life or unmake an event that derailed a survivor’s existence. There is always loss in our triumph, something worth grieving for even while we celebrate.
It crosses over into our personal lives too. I don’t think I’ll ever forget holding my nephew for the first time and feeling a gaping abyss of terror looming before me at the thought that the world was a horrible place and I would never be able to keep him safe from everything. Every horror story I’d worked through involving children cycled through my mind in that moment and it wasn’t a good feeling.
Before Wrapunzel, I tried to counteract the negativity of my professional life with little random acts of kindness, but the law enforcement community is small and tightly-knit and we’re all moving in the same circles, the same fish-eye view of the world. Small smiles change moments, not world views. Negative reinforcement is a powerful thing.
When I started wrapping, it was about my confidence. I’d donated all my hair to charity and was struggling with my shorter locks. I felt like I’d lost some feminine part of me. I had no idea that it would be a gateway to one of the most awe-inspiring and loving communities that I will ever experience in my life.
The women of the Wrapunzel fangroup are diverse. We come from hundreds of different cultures, faiths, backgrounds and walks of life, and if you think that a fondness for pretty scarves is all we have in common…well, you’d be wrong.
I have never met such an incredible group of warm, loving, broad-minded and beautiful people. They stagger me on a daily basis with their openness, generosity and capacity for love. I share things with my Wrapunzel sisters that I don’t share with anyone outside of the group because it’s the only place I know where I can express who I am and all my fears and sorrows without any fear of judgement. The group is carefully moderated to ensure that all posts relate to head wrapping, but that can encompass why you chose a certain style, colour or scarf, such as when I had surgery recently and needed something that would stand up to an hour flat on my back. I asked for practical advice and received it in spades, along with an outpouring of love and well wishes. When I shared a wrap that had three generations of love in it – a pin from my grandmother, a sash from my mother and a scarf of my own – it opened a discussion on how the people we love share in our wrapping. The small kindnesses, the comments on a daily wrap to say it’s pretty or how it suits the wearer, have a cumulative power.
To me, the Wrapunzelistas represent everything that is the best of humanity. As I said recently in the group, there’s a quiet, indomitable goodness here that transcends any differences (of culture) we may have. Their willingness to send prayer or kind wishes in a thousand tongues and a hundred faiths to anyone that needs comforting is astonishing, if only for its ordinariness in the community. All are welcome. All are lifted up in the radiance of their positivity. Every day I see these small kindnesses, I can see that we are united in our hope for a better world. There are hundreds of volunteers, people who give to charity, those who care for the sick and needy. Every day there’s a tale of selflessness or altruism caught up in a swathe of fabric, a sweet story that we can all relate to on some level.
For me, joining the group was the balance that was sorely needed in my life. I no longer view humanity as broken beyond repair because I know now that there are a huge number of good, kind and wonderful people out there. They are the yang to the yin of humanity, the visible proof of light in the darkness. I feel honoured to be a part of this community and it has changed me. It’s one of the joys of my day to look at everyone’s wraps and hear about their day and tell them that I’m thinking of them and wish them well, as well as how beautiful I think they are, as I am told by them.
When I wrap, I feel surrounded by the love of my Wrapunzel sisters. It gives me strength and confidence and I think it makes me better at my job. The daily positive reinforcement is a reminder that what I do has purpose, that justice isn’t a losing battle. There are people, good people, all over the globe that rely on us to make the world a safer place.
My job may lead me through the darkest of times, but, with the love of my sisters, my head and heart will always be wreathed with light.”