"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Friday, December 12, 2008

"The Gardener's Wife" & Heart-Song Scribblings

I always imagined two songs in "The Gardener's Wife": a grieving song and a lullaby.

While with my story buddy, Holly Robison, we explored the possibilities for the grieving song. The grieving song would be prompted when she is alone. She is strong when her husband is nearby.

In August 2008, I had the following ideas or what I labeled as "Scribblings from my Heart"--

An empty table.
An empty chair.
An empty family that should be there.

This was our starting point for our brainstorming and one of our handy tools was the thesaurus.

I realized that I would like to delve into the senses such as sight, sound, touch/feel, smell and taste. The empty table and chair were visual, but what about for sound or for touch/feel? Holly and I did not think that we could do much with smell or taste for this song.

I sensed that three verses were needed. Originally I thought the song would be sung all at once at the beginning. This would be before the Gardener's Wife is blessed with three children. Then I expressed to Holly that in some ways it was too bad that it would be sung once as the lullaby would be sung several times throughout the story.

Holly asked, "Does it have to be sung all at once?"

Silence. My mind racing.

"No, it doesn't!" I exclaimed.

As there are three children, one of the three verses could be sung before a baby comes to her. The lullaby would then be sung after a baby come.

First verse--rough draft:
A silent cradle.
A silent room.
A silent home that sounds like a tomb.
As not a single baby is in the home, it would be silent. The focus would be on the sense of sound.

Other things could be silent besides a cradle and room:
  • laughter
  • songs
  • stories
  • crying
  • sharing
  • chat/conversation/talk
  • play
  • room
  • home
  • corner
  • place
Second verse--rough draft:
A lonely ______. (needs to be two syllables)
A lonely ______. (needs to be one syllable)
A lonely ___________________. (2nd and 3rd lines need to rhyme)
The Gardener's Wife knows that though she is not as lonely as before, she still does not feel complete. There is also not a playmate or sibling for the first baby. The focus would be on the sense of touch/feel.

Things that could create loneliness:
  • moment
  • time
  • hour
  • hand
  • walk
  • hug
  • thought
  • meal
  • baby items
  • places
Third verse--rough draft:
An empty table.
An empty chair.
An empty family that should be there.
The Gardener's Wife knows, as a mother, that someone is missing. A third child needs to come to the home. The focus would be on the sense of sight.

Other words could be like empty:
  • barren
  • nothing
  • zero
  • lack
  • silent
  • bare
  • blank
  • vacant
  • unfulfilled
  • forgotten

There will be a day when this "grieving" song will not be silent, lonely, or empty. All will be complete. . .soon.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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