A few months ago I wrote the foreword for the book which accompanied Animal Cabaret, an exhibition of the works of Alice Mary Lynch, Paris-based dollmaker. We plan on more collaborations - her work moves me enormously, and I feel so blessed to have one of her dolls living with me soon.
My mother made an army built of stuffing. We were warriors, our armor bursts of jewels where, on you, there would be flesh. Our hearts are in her stitches; tight seams keep our armpits from surrendering to the push of our gossamer insides. Like you, we are complex, but our veins and capillaries are on our outsides. Though our thoughts fire in mounds of gold, they are as real and true as the ones inside your head. We are beautiful, we are knock-kneed, we shine, our eyes some dun, some stars. We are soldiers sent forth from our mother's fingertips, to Tokyo and New York, Bombay and the Barbados. Think of us, for we think of you.
The winter air was crisp and cold but a warm light glowed in the undergrowth in the early hours of the morning. You are in my mother’s land and in the naked copse, bare in the crystalline air, a glint cuts the shadow. There goes The Love Cat, the Dark Princess, Luke and Edward Hare, the Silver Hare, the Hare Prince, a Lost Romantic, a Rat Soldier, The Black Angel, The March Horse. The White Stag flies past last, and you don’t believe your eyes, but it is he, it is we, our mother’s army.
This is the denouement: Were you to disembowel me, my parts would shine in a bowl, yet I am more than the sum of my parts. I am a network and you cannot extricate one part or undo one vein without collapsing my beautiful beak, the efflorescence of my tail, the sway in my walk. Love me as I am, as she made me. Love me, and I will be yours.