I looked on eBay for idea’s, but nothing in the UK was appealing, at least within my limited resources. I was looking in particular for a lady doll, but French Fashions are out of my league and I just can’t bring myself to nurture something meant as a decoration on a vanity table. Decorative dolls are not made to be handled and often had rudimentary bodies under the clothes.
So I realised that if I want something I have in mind I will have to try and make it myself. Hoping the hands on experience will help reconnect me too. So I put my thinking cap on and went to see what I could come up with. I began the project yesterday and it was a bit amazing. I have no clue if it will work, but one has to start somewhere.
I have come to a few more understandings of what is going on between me and my doll life. I was yet again playing around a bit, at least picking one up and turning it over in my hand. Things that I so enjoy about a doll, such as the weight and feel, were making me smile. I pushed myself to think about what would I really like now in a doll?
I have both child and adult dolls. I have both modern and antique. As I was thinking of my upcoming trip this Autumn, I was playing around with the idea of a travel companion and wouldn’t it be fun to create a traveling wardrobe? Well of course this would mean a small doll and not anything too fragile or cumbersome to get through all the airports. Perhaps 12 inches and under. As I continued to think about which doll would be fun to work with, I felt a few pangs of hesitations. A child doll.
I have been grieving over the last few years at the loss of being in the lives of my family. Oh, we still keep in contact and there isn’t any discord. It’s the long distance and the often very long periods between contacting each other. My daughter does not keep me informed of her life unless I ask, she gives it all to Facebook. It hurts me deeply that strangers know more about my daughter’s life than I do. My grandchildren are growing up and two of them will not remember much of me. And that is a reason it makes it difficult to reach for a child doll. I felt that connection strongly without understanding why I sat my beloved schoenhut doll down and did not pick her up again. She reminded me of my granddaughter. Now of course you would think that would be a wonderful thing, but it is a touchy emotion for me. I have a terrible habit of pushing difficult emotions away as far as I can.
As I age, I feel further away from children. Child’s play is a push to remembering my own childhood, my daughter’s childhood and now my grandchildren’s. I cannot replace it with a doll, it only serves to make me aware of the losses. Moving to Scotland has been the best thing I could have done, but it was at a tremendous emotional cost.
I thought I would write this out before I push it away. All of my dolls are too filled with memories of something I cannot touch without some degree of sadness. It must have been why they sat and stared and I could no longer bear to see them being ignored because I could not deal with the longing for my own family.
I think the best thing for me to do, is chose one or two that I know will never be a part of my life again and sell them to finance a new doll. It is a bit of a last hope, but perhaps something new and not connected to my past will allow me to re-explore my doll life. I think an adult companion would be best.
Sorry, not such a good photo. This is what I was looking at in the last post while ironing. It’s a terrible state for some of them to be in. A few need hair put on, some need clothes and still…knowing this I do nothing. This reticence bugs me to no end. I can’t understand why I don’t reach out. I went to the net to look at other dolls and found a few that interested me, but the nagging guilt that I do indeed have beloved dolls already gathering dust just made me pull away from searching.
Thoughts of sewing lace on a fine piece of delicate fabric. Tiny leather shoes with silk ribbons. I was ironing and my thoughts were actively imagining sewing for a lovely doll. I was facing my dolls lined up on the cabinet and I looked into their faces. I wondered which one I could sew for? Or should I pine for a new one? It was this thing of a new doll that always so deeply sparked my imagination and I have not had that in such a long time. Was this the problem? Was this what I was missing? Yet, I know that it only begets wanting the next one and the continuation of the hunt and find and possess…only to want to do it all over again…and again.
A couple of days ago, I arranged the dolls on the cabinets. I again looked at their stony faces and watched for something to stir. Nothing but memories of them came to mind.
Then I find that my parents in the USA want me to come for a visit in Autumn of this year. After we talked about it, I soon started the practical thoughts, like not traveling with all that I did last time. I would not bring anything but a carryon. It will be an arduous journey by bus to Edinburgh (2 hours) and a 10 hour flight. I no longer have the stamina to lug suitcases nor deal with the stresses of travel. And I shake my head about it, because at one time I loved to travel and explore. Now, airports and security are enough to make me want to swear off travelling altogether. So to turn my mind away from the negative thoughts gathering their own storm, I thought that perhaps this could mean a new travel doll companion adventure.
For the first time in well over a year I looked on eBay for some ideas of what is out there. As usual, the extremely expensive dolls like Zwergnase grabbed my attention and a handful of antiques made me drool a bit, but all in all I was simply enjoying the revival of something I use to do with a passion. Nothing was found and I held myself in reserve as I know it is still many months away. But I liked how it felt. I really liked it. Hmmm….
I look upon their frozen faces and wonder what they are thinking. Are dolls inherently use to being loved and abandoned? I hate that word and all that goes with it. I haven’t quite abandoned them, they are not in boxes in the cupboard. But I have developed a weird distance to them. As if they all held memories that I no longer wish to experience.
Living in Scotland has changed me fundamentally. Or aging has. Or the combination. I have sort of lost recognition of myself. The mirror shows a completely different face than the one I have known. I mused over the thought that if I could gaze into the mirror of myself at say, 7 years of age, would I recognise myself any better? And so perhaps this longing to recognise what I once knew as me is what I am attempting to do with my dolls. If I cannot see myself, how can I possibly see them?
I am stopping by the dresser with all the dolls sitting on top of,rather regularly now. Still looking into each of their still faces and hoping to see a spark, a connection…something. Some are not even dressed. I muse that even that strangeness is not enough for me to dig through the dressers filled with their clothes and accessories even to dress them. I wonder why? Perhaps if I visit often enough, some sort of lost connection will re-connect? All I can do is hope.