Art Dolls are Green and Lovely
By Mo Conlan
Ebonmarie is one of my favorite Green Dolls. Her body is a green bottle. Her "gown" is made of recycled Olay facial wipes. After I use them, I let them dry. They are amazingly pliant for using in my Green Doll art.
Ebonmarie's face is an old clip-on earring, painted black and blinged up with gold sparkly glue. I found the black dots at Michael's.
My friends call me Ebby, my patients, Dr. E., but my grandmother gave me my real name, Ebonmarie.
She looked after me while my parents worked. And she’s the reason I became a doctor.
I must have been about 5 or 6 when she held my hand up and said, “You have my grandmother’s hands, Ebonmarie.”
I looked at my chubby mocha-chocolate hand held in her dark brown ones. She grasped both of my hands in both of hers, leaned down and spoke softly in a tone of great import.
“These are the hands of a healer. My grandmamma, she could make warts go away with a potion, and bring babies on when a woman had waited too long for one.”
I remember turning my hands back and forth. “How do you know I have her hands,” I asked courteously, as I’d been taught.
“You see the way these lines come together here, just so. Exactly like your great-great-grandmamma’s. You are named for her.”
That year, I asked for a nurse’s uniform for Christmas. The next year, I wanted a doctor’s kit.
I started out bandaging our collie Prince’s paw over and over, which he bore with great patience. I cured my dolls – a sudden loss of both plastic arms and I’d pop them back in for an instant cure. I turned scarves into arm slings and pretended I was mending a broken wrist.
School, med school, endurance-testing residencies. Now they want me to be the youngest ever chief of staff of the hospital.
I toss and turn at night worrying what to do. It’s a lot of paperwork, massaging doctors’ egos and helping the hospital shine to win grants. But what an honor. My parents were so proud when I told them.
Last night, my grandma came to me in a dream and said, “You’ll figure it out, Ebonmarie.” Behind her was a figure of a woman I did not know. Her black face was beautiful against a star-white dress and headdress.
She did not speak, but held up her hand and showed her palm to me. It was a palm like my own, lines crossing at the exact same spot. She smiled at me so lovingly. I wanted her to speak to me. I wanted her to stay. My great-great grandmamma Ebonmarie.
In the morning when I woke I knew. I was going to practice healing and let somebody else handle the paperwork.
After Art Doll, read about another doll, Deidre.
After reading Art Doll, return to home page.