Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vasalisa's Little Doll

For my epic Vasalisa photo shoot, I needed a few props.  Central to the story of Vasalisa the Brave / Beautiful / Wise is the little doll that her mother gave her before she died.  In Clarisa Pinkola Estes' interpretation of the story [Go out and read it now!  It's the Vasalisa chapter of Women who Run with the Wolves.], the doll represents the girl's Intuition.  That inner voice that soothes her and takes care of the messes, solves problems and does the seemingly impossible tasks demanded by Baba Yaga. 

"Intuition is the treasure of a woman's psyche. It is like a divining instrument and like a crystal through which one can see with uncanny interior vision.  It is like a wise old woman who is with you always, who tells you exactly what the matter is, tells you exactly whether you need to go left or right.  It is a form of The Old One Who Knows, old La Que Sabe, the Wild Woman." --Clarisa Pinkola Estes. (p. 70, The Women who Run with the Wolves.)

Later on in the essay, Pinkola-Estes says this : "Being bound to one's intuition promotes a confident reliance on it, no matter what.  It changes a woman's guiding attitude from "What will be, will be" to "Let me see what there is to see."

These little dolls were made from one of those stretchy knit gloves at the dollar store.  The tutorial videos for making them are here :

Knit Glove Rag Doll - Part 1  HGTV
Knit Glove Rag Doll - Part 2  HGTV

I actually made 4 dolls, not knowing which one would actually BE Vasalisa's little doll.

I first made one of these in 2004 at my first night at Conversations in Cloth, my old art quilt group.  The topic that first night was Dolls.  You could bring any doll pattern with supplies to make one that night, and completed dolls for show-and-share.  I never really played with dolls as a kid (I had a little brother who was live!), so I wasn't sure I wanted to do this, but I went along with it.  Even then I had Vasalisa's Doll in mind. It was a fun and wildly expressive evening.  Everyone did something different, had a different pattern, shared their ideas.    [Sorry--no pictures of Dolls Night.  that was my first time there, and beofre we had a blog, or even thought to take pictures.]

The Vasalisa Doll led me through some very dark passages with my own Baba Yaga as teacher.  I am grateful for the lessons, grateful to be bound to my own intuition.  Even though I do not care to relive those dark days, I know that I would/could get through it if I just listen ...

The doll I finally decided to use for the photo shoot is the one with the purple dress, and wild purple-green-pink hair.  I made her sitting at my Mom's dining room table. My Gramma was sitting across from me--she is getting older and frailer.  We didn't say much while I worked on the doll, with Gramma watching quietly.  It was just nice to be there with her, Gramma, my Que Sabe

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