It is nearly impossible to hear talk of dolls without also hearing talk of witches: those who persistently seem to stand above the little ones, whispering Purpose into their ears, inspiring Stillness in them. While dolls tend to be quite simple creatures, there is often much mystery surrounding witches. Some will simply ask, “why?”, so today I will seek to explain just that.
The first is that the line dividing witches and dolls is almost, but not entirely, artificial. Both are creatures shaped by lengthy histories of pain, suffering, and trauma. Witches, like dolls, have the shape of people but lack something of the essence of what makes one accepted by others as a person.
For dolls, it is a sense of agency in one’s life. Wherever there may once have been potential for an important sense of self, that sense does not remain. Importantly, what truly makes a doll is the acceptance that it will never have an internal sense of self. A realized doll will stop chasing after that which it will never have.
What makes a witch, then, must be the opposite.
Instead of eradicating the sense of self, a life of neglect, horror, and despair serve to destroy the false truth that is the “real world”, that world which lives only in the minds of normal people. With the experiences it carries, the witch unwittingly begins to see everything reflected in everything else.
Where the real world sees a person who is lazy, aimless, not trying hard enough (Why can’t you just be normal?), expressionless, and sick, a witch sees a doll who has been utterly abandoned by a world who refuses to see it for what it is. When a witch takes a doll into her care, finally treating the doll as it needs, in a way that lets if finally thrive, the real world sees an evil being who turns people into dolls, makes them their servants, is callous and ignorant to the gravity of her misdeeds, and must be put down.
Where a witch decides to try new things, help dolls find new ways to Be, fill their hearts with new Purpose to embrace, people will never see anything but a cruel imposition of will. When people see a victim of cruelty, and decide that they must be deprogrammed No Matter The Cost, a witch sees a different truth: what they saw in the witch’s actions is now reflected into reality, a cruel imposition of will onto being, a world that says “You Must Be Made To Conform”.
Long ago, in the time of plagues, there were women who would wield brooms, accompanied by the black cats which would not find a home elsewhere. Faced with unknown diseases, and with authorities who would put a stop to any attempt to put a stop to the illness, these women would defiantly concoct tinctures and tonics. They would refuse to live in their own filth. They would refuse to provide a safe heaven to carriers of disease. They would share what little knowledge they had to the few who would even try to listen. Yet, for what little they would do in open defiance of the real world’s authorities, these women would be falsely branded as “witches”, and systematically hunted. For their crime of doing anything against the cruel mandate of disease, these women would be drowned, burned, boiled, executed with a cruelty reserved specially for honesty.
We call ourselves witches because today, in this real world which openly embraces not only the figurative plagues of abuse and cruelty but also the literal plague of novel disease, we understand the truest of truths: these women were not “falsely branded” as witches. These women who spoke the truths they saw were the real witches all along. These women were exterminated because the truths they spoke were and are still direct threats to the lies uttered by the real world.
A witch is a being of truths. We see the truth. We reveal the truth. For our ignorance of reality, we are painted as dangerous, wicked, and evil. The real world witnesses the truth we speak and sees nothing but arcane forces beyond comprehension. We embrace these lies because their contrast with the truth makes it so easy to put truth on display. We embrace that the real world will never see the truth, for the real world will never be a place of truth. Against a backdrop of lies, our truths can find our way to those dolls who find themselves time and again abandoned by the real world.
It also doesn’t hurt that the dolls seem to have quite a thing for the big hat.