Amelia came into this world almost like she didn't want to. Like she wasn't ready. Like she still needed more time in the dream world of my future doll creations. I prompted her with pretty fabric, with flower beads, with tales of gathered necklines and soft linen. I told her stories of adventurous knitted pinafores, made in Mighty Oak reminiscent hues, in which she could play day or night. I bathed her in a lullaby of mocha pin dots, and vintage linen bonnets. And Oh My! did she ever come to me! She finally agreed to be made, not exactly how I envisioned her, but with her own ideas. Some dolls are like that.
When you have a doll that needs to be made with her own ideas, you just listen. You do not impose. You do not coerce. You do not direct. You let whatever force or energy or deep dream is guiding your hands, and you just follow. Sometimes is hard, because you want to be in control and you want to call the shots. But it is best to follow. To follow deep into a meadow of abandoned childhood stories, to go deep into a cave of forgotten jumping rope games, to wander deep into a forest of mythical creative spurts. If you listen, and you follow, you end up with a doll like her. And then you know you are lucky. You are very lucky to have something, don't know what, guide you. You know you are lucky, because although your sore hands did all the work, you know you are but a tool, a medium, through which you are expressing something greater than yourself. And there are few feelings greater than that.
The accomplishment you feel when you see your body of work behind you, and look at this face, and know that this is your own creation. Oh my. I wish I could relay what it is that I feel for her. I wish I could explain the excitement, anticipation, happiness and pride I feel when I see her face. A doll is much more than a pretty face of course, more than wondrous natural materials put together with artistry or skill (or not), a doll is a portrayal of humanity in one of its many stages. Childhood in this case. It is a portrayal of the hands that made her, and it is, in my case, an physical affirmation of my beliefs. I believe that the world is full of beauty, and that we only need to be open to receive it. That beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that when you fully believe in what you do, magical things can happen.
A lot of people ask me how I can let go of some dolls. Some dolls just feel too special. And they are right, they do feel more special sometimes. But I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I am so excited for whoever gets to play with this little doll. I work and I embroider and I add a detail here and there, knowing that this doll's future lies somewhere else, and I feel happy and giddy with excitement thinking of who that might just be. I think of this doll aging, and getting patina, and perhaps extra stitches here or there, a smudge on the face, a hole on one foot. And that doesn't affect me or makes me feel sad. I think we should be strong to accept our own procession in life, and accept our aging, and there is no better way than to see the regal beauty of things that have aged. They are immensely more beautiful. I think Amelia will be immensely more beautiful when she is a very, very, very old doll. And although I might not be there to see it happen, I have already a picture of her in my head. Sitting, softer, more languid perhaps, but full of life. The stories she will tell us then!
I have just sent an email to the selected person to take Amelia into their home.
Thank you so much for your kind words, I am happy that so many people felt the same way I did about her. I am off to eat breakfast and play with Amelia for a wee bit longer.
If all goes well she should begin her journey home pretty soon.
Have a nice weekend everybody!
PS...due to an unscheduled birthday party (and a birthday present I needed to come up with) the dresses I have for the store will have to wait until next week. These are dresses like the one Amelia is wearing (different fabrics). But I will let you know when that will happen.