Time for tea, the beginning of Winona's journey
Do you know the meaning of her name. I do. In the Sioux Dakota language her name means “first born daughter” and is merely by hearing her name that the very idea of her being came to me in a dream.
I assume most of you know I dream my dolls first. I go to bed, always very happy but also expectant, because I know is in my dreams where my dolls speak to me the loudest. They give me stories, words, ideas, so much fabric to cut from. When I wake up, it’s as if I have been seeded with the beginning of a doll.
Sometimes those seeds take very long to germinate. I can feel them but I can also tell the time is not right for them. So I wait and wait until I can start seeing the leaves poke out: a strong feeling towards a certain colour, or a fabric almost screams at me. Little by little, the materials, textures and shades, that will become part of the doll as well as the words in her story, start sprouting from my very hands.
This process is truly magical and I believe most dollmakers experience it. Thet might not be inclined to say it in the same words I do, they might see it with very different eyes. To them it might be “inspiration” or “doll’s ideas”, to me is the most essential part of the birthing process of a doll.
How it all started, you may wonder? It begun happening when the lake started to bathe us ever so gently with a milky fog. Some days the fog is made of whole milk and you can hardly see through it. Other days, it’s more like a milky tea. In the early mornings is nothing but a mist, that cleanses every branch and petal in the forest so that the entire thing wakes up anew.
It is in this most sensual, quiet, almost eery time, that Winona decided to be born. The “idea” had been seeded long before, but the time wasn’t right. She needed the kind of emotions in me that these almost supranatural ambiances elicit in yours truly. I needed to be nurtured and shrouded in the all-encompassing foggy shawl of the lake, so that I could harbour just the right energy to bring her to life.
As I worked with wool here and there, taking long afternoons listening to piano and violins, sipping tea with muffins, this wooly child was born. Those eyes looked at me and it was not even love at first sight. That is such a misused word in my opinion. It was deeper than that, or wider? It was definitely stronger. It was recognition, salutation, a welcome back, or “I knew you were there” sort of thing.
Winona is the first born daughter of her family and in this family there have always been some sort of witchcraft, you could call it that. More like a permanent tie, a thread that links that daughter to the eons back.
These first-born daughters, always named Winona to honour their tradition, can travel back in time. Not forward, never forward, but back. To learn, to see and mostly to remember.
When they are little, the lapses in time are short, perhaps a day or two and only for a few minutes. They arrive in the same place where they were, but in the past. As they grow older and more wise, the time lapses are stretched quite far. This has to do with the sentient power of the daughter. Some daughters can go back centuries, others milleniums. Some do not come back.
Not all of them choose to put this gift to their advantage. They experiment heavily right about the age of Winona, when it’s much too exciting to go and see how things were. When you are bored in school and can’t be bothered or when mother has a chore list longer than your arm. They come back with beaming eyes, and speak so fast that it’s hard to grasp their experiences. Mostly, they become great writers.
I am happy to say that Winona seems to be the kind of traveler that goes back quite a bit and so she has brought for me some delightful information. The other day she brought a new friend! The shock almost toppled me over.
I am not wise nor smart enough to understand the vagaries of time travel, space-time continum or quantum physics, but I do know that it’s an awful lot of fun for her and she seems unharmed. So I make her a sandwich and off she goes. To explore the world once more.
The other day she came back very quiet. She did not wish to expand the tales nor commune in social gathering. I am told by members of her family that this is sometimes common when the daughter experiences conundrums. Sometimes the conundrums are too hard to overcome, so they stay where they travelled, but mostly they come back in this state of mind.
I really did not wish to know more. To anticipate a further departure from her company seems almost heresy to me, though I can already see the signs.
Those pesky signs that tell me she is almost finished and ready for the last chapter of her life with me. The lack, or let’s say, the wealth and abundance of clothes to wear, the words in her story, the way she looks at me. Yes, I do know our time is coming to an end. While my heart grieves a little, I shall enjoy every single second of it.
Like my dolls always tell me: No Rest for the Wicked.
Winona is a 20” tall doll, made in my Petite Fig style. A style that as of last year is sporting the great advantage of a poseable, articulated head, without a wire.
She is not a custom doll, so she will be looking for a home once our chapter together is over. I know you want that to be soon, whilst I, on the other hand, will try to stretch it as long as possible. Bear with me.