The Burden by Eva

She wears an ornate gray cloak that covers most of her body and her soft gray hair is piled inside the cloak's large hood. She is barefoot. Her face seems determined, but perhaps a bit worn, hurt, or angry. Inside the cloak, we see what she's carrying. The inside of the reversable hood is lined with a crushed silk, hand dyed in variegated warm grays. Two black bead eyes peak from between the folds. In the cloak itself the silk forms tentacles that stretch downwards wrapping around the lining. Suckers are painted or shown with embroidered beads or pearls. The doll's body is covered with angry red marks and older fading scars, signs of where the suckers have grabbed and bit at her flesh.

This doll was partly inspired by the Wulfing painting Nightmare but it's taken shape into something else. I've struggled for much of my adult life with depression brought on by lack of sunlight in the winter. My mother suffers from this as well, so I knew it was coming for me. The weight of it gets heavier every year. There is no cloak I can open up. There are no physical scars I can show to explain it to others. Some people are understanding, some polite, but others only see it as weakness, my just desert for not trying harder. I see it as an illness that I'm struggling to survive.

The art and text on this page were created by Eva Schiffer for the 2011 Enchanted Doll Birthday Contest. Some (very much appreciated) editing assistance was provied By Danielle Meghan Tousey Schmidt.

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.