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“The Wedding Garden” unites the life experience of its characters with their soul-life purpose.
An invitation from Rose Eva Thistle
“Tell our story,” he whispered in my ear as I hugged him for what would be the last time… I welcome you, with open arms, to walk with me through my life’s garden—a place where the seeds of hope, cast on the winds of time, altered the very mysteries of my life. Call it circumstances or fate if you so choose; but, in the coal-fields of southern Colorado, where I was born, the seeds that blew in on that wind were onerous labor and misplaced fidelity.
“My story embraces The Respite House for Orphans (pictured); matrimony—the customary kind—as well as the emigrant families who wedded for survival’s sake. Safe havens were constructred by honoring the traditions of their Motherlands. Distinct dialects drifted from every company-owned house in every Colorado coal camp and on every corner in my town, Wood River, Colorado.
“It was 1921, a time in North America known as the Roaring Twenties that the genesis of my life was set in motion at the Blackport Mine (coal camp), Pennsylvania. I am who I am because of those who came before: the men and boys who dug for black gold (coal); the women who dug through fear on behalf of their husbands and sons; injustice; coal strikes; orphans, and my origin. Yet, through it all, these same souls loved deeply and with intent. But, it was an era whose death was predestined as the winds of time shifted; once again!”
The Respite House for Orphans
The Wedding Garden
J. L. Montera
I wake to persistent ringing. Wrestling with a winter comforter, I snatch my cell phone from the nightstand and glance at the time: one o’clock in the morning. My mouth, parched by winter dryness, I say hello twice before a voice responds: “I’m sorry for calling so late.”
Shaking my head to clear the fog I wonder, it sounds like her; has something happened? “Rose, are you all right?”
“Yes, of course I am!”
“It must be your story, then; are you ready?”
“So it seems, or surely I would not have called at this most inconsiderate hour!”
I smile at this typical Rose Eva Thistle response and concede the fact my writer’s instincts to pry are now fully awake. On the other hand, I must maintain a balance between my never-ending love for Rose and my overwhelming desire to hollow out the truth of her life. I’ve wanted her secrets as a child wants security; yet I’m surprisingly anxious at what they might reveal.
“Be in Wood River on Thursday at noon,” Rose directs, and hangs up. A click, then the stillness of winter covers me once again.
…Rose taught me to be an active landlord in the plot of earth I tend and to make use of the fodder of my past. The Wedding Garden is my irreplaceable inheritance and is but one story on life’s stage. Waiting in the wings is a multitude of unique voices, still asleep in the ether of silence until their narrator hears the first whisper of but one voice.
Rose Eva Thistle asks in her handwritten eulogy, “What’s In a Name Anyway?”
I can tell you… Everything! John Joseph Quinlan
Every writer, regardless of genre, comes to life when a voice from the ether of silence whispers, “I need you.” Some writers hear a phrase or see a billboard and ask: “How can I utilize that in my next editorial piece?” A child screams with joy or fear and we ask why? Some of us read a book and steal (all right, borrow) a phrase or a character trait. We wrestle with a word until it either floats away or comes fully to form.
So, why do we write, exactly? I think it’s a need in the form of a want that begins the journey. And, it is the creative, in all its forms, that force us to declare: “Here I go!” I love this last phrase because I never know where “…go” will take me. That path is the responsibility of the words swirling and forming in my head that direct my fingers onto a keyboard.
In order to edify myself, and you if you so choose, I searched the thesaurus for the word WRITER. There are over sixty-seven words listed that describe us. Here are a few less familiar monikers: abstracter; compiler; cyberpunk; diarist; gagster; ghost; librettist; litterateur; pamphleteer; polemist; scenarist; tragedian, and word-painter.
The last name on the list, word-painter, I believe describes us, perfectly. For we no more and no less than any artist, meticulously pick our canvas and paint our narrative in order to capture the mind’s eye of our readers.