Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dolly Mixture

Spent too much time this weekend reading about dolls. Just to be clear, I am not now nor have I ever been a doll person. As a child my favourite toy was a farm set, and even then at the start of playtime I killed off the little Mr & Mrs Farmer figures (by squidging ketchup on them) so that the animals could have the run of the place.

Like I said, not a doll person.

But there's a scene in the book I'm working on with lots of dolls, so I've been reading. And reading. One doll really caught my attention: made by the Ojibwa tribe in America. When a child died, they sometimes made a doll to represent the dead. It could have the actual hair of the child. The idea was that by caring for the figure, a mother could assist her child’s passage into the next world.

I found it amazing. Death is so closed-off nowadays - you can imagine how freaked out & clueless an office is when a grieving parent comes back to work. The Ojibwa custom suggests a more humane environment - to accept a parent bearing a symbol of their child and their grief.

So it turns out I'm not totally anti-doll. It's just that given the choice, I'd rather have a bunch of animals to play with.

PS - and it was a stunning day. Hence the photo of the last few minutes of sunshine.
PPS - and I made red soup. Pretty scrummy :)

No comments: