I often find myself searching into the darkness (the shadow) of myself for healing. Many of my dolls have been created while I focused on fear, anger, grief. Several years ago I coached a female teenage artist who was living with a brain tumor. She was an amazing artist and I helped her to put together a show of her work at her alternative high school. She lived with two parents struggling with addictions and she worked at a local fast food chain; bringing in money to support her “family”. Several months after I met her I was told that she passed on from the tumor. I made a doll to deal with my feelings. After I made the doll I journaled with the image and wrote this message with my non-dominant hand (see this for explanation http://www.artisjoy.com/artheals.shtml)…. “My life has been a carnival ride, now wish me into the light.” I felt as if the young artist was speaking to me and directing me to to let her go into the light. As you can see the doll’s costume is very earthy, in fact her structure is made of tree branches, as well as her fingers and toes. The doll she holds and extends forward is faceless; her body a loose form of a body wrapped in purple and gold with a beaded headdress. The creation of this doll and her image served me well in letting the young girl go in peace and love, and later on when my father passed away the same message showed up in my journal and brought me great comfort.
In the past year I’ve been reinventing several dolls. The image, metaphor, symbol of their meaning had done it’s work and I wanted to transform it into the next offering. I took apart Wish Me Into the Light and placed all the body parts on my sewing table. I looked through my fabric collection for colors that spoke to me and seemed to speak to each other. I created a new face and put the doll together, changing the position of the arms. I made her a hat, painted the face to work with the colors used in the design of her and put the hat on. I liked her but something seemed missing. I looked through my box of miscellaneous items and found a perfect pin to put on the hat. The pin seemed the crowning…she was complete.
Often, after completing a doll, I hang her on the wall, as this one, or stand on a table and spend time with her. Looking at the design, colors, shapes I get my journal out and dialogue with her. I noticed that she too wears a earthly gown suggesting a tree or a plant, only the colors suggest spring or summer…a growing season. The pin on her hat looks like a light that a miner wears to go into the earth to find treasures. I write, ” You are entering a growing season, and like any well nurtured plant you will grow toward the light.” “Why the brilliant shiny gem on the pin?” I ask. “To show you the way out of the darkness…..” she says. I pause, somewhat stunned by the beauty of the affirmation and then I notice both dolls were about light, both made by my physical hand, and yet I feel as if they were guided by a hand greater than my own.