BellaOnline Literary Review
Gentle Face by Christine Catalano

Table of Contents

Letter to Our Readers
Lisa Shea Few things in life are straight up-and-down. Our Earth tilted toward the sun makes summer; away makes winter. But did you know orbit-wise we’re actually closest to the sun on January 4th? So the poor Aussies get a hotter summer with their double-whammy. The exact moment that the tilt gets most extreme, which in 2015 is Tue, Dec 22nd at 4:49am, is one thing, but that closest-point ups the ante. For us Northerners we get a warmish darkest, shortest day. The Southerners are broiling in the close heat of their longest. Our world isn’t neatly black or white, half and half. It’s about a myriad shades of grey. There’s always something else to take into consideration.

Our Mused entries help us explore this multi-layered, overlapping-rippled world we live in. In poetry, a beloved friend can be five, ten, twenty, or sixty. A woman realizes her hair does not define her. Wind rattles homes, writhes songs in trees, and rips away memories.

Fiction entries explore divorce through the eyes of a young girl and a ground-down artist. A family barely holding together unravels at the seams. A teen girl is forced to be the parent when her mother falls into alcoholism. And a young Calcuttan woman reaches out for her dreams of love.

Non-fiction opens a window into fellow traveler’s souls. A young woman in 1931 moves to the big city, is relentlessly courted by a telegraph worker for a month, and is swept away in the love of a lifetime. A mere year later, we get to hear about a young girl growing up in North London in 1932. This is the same year that Maria Cuasay’s mother was born. Mom worked multiple jobs to support her family – but in the end Alzheimer’s wreaked its havoc.

And then we have art – those images which can speak a thousand words. Mark Berkerey proves once again that he is a stunning bug whisperer, turning Aussie insects into miniature works of art. We have floating feathers in a sea of gold and delicately etched silver forests. We have infrared photos and hand-processed film photos. We have paintings done in acrylics, oils, and light. Each draws us into a new world.

Put up your feet. Take in a deep breath. And then join us on this journey of life, one page at a time.

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